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Radical Software (Korot/Schneider)

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broadcasting institutions. Around 1970, an electronic image still meant a TV image. This is clear from the titles of the first major exhibitions in 1969: «TV as a creative medium» (Howard Wise Gallery New York) and also «Vision and Television» (Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA) and the magazine «Art in America» called its special issue «TV—The next Medium.»[46] Video art has scarcely appeared yet, even though the Sony Portapak was on the market from 1965 as the first video camera for private use that was viable both financially and in terms of weight. Artists like Bruce Nauman work with it, but their real-time video tapes, technically primitive but intensive as a result of their permanent repetition, were made by performing directly to camera, without any subsequent editing.[47] But videos of this kind are extremely unsuitable for television broadcasts. They are more like exhibits to be shown in the white cube of a gallery, alongside photographs or objects.

But the possibility of autonomous video production also stimulated political media work, thus producing and provoking a counter-public to mainstream TV: «Guerrilla Television» was the program aim of the group


that formed around the magazine «Radical Software».[48] But sooner or later the underground video movements usually fell between the two stools of professionalization and adaptation, or radicalization and marginalization.[49] This dilemma caused by the elaborate technical demands of TV as a medium was more successfully avoided by the pirate radio movement. But for the video underground, television remained the master medium, as expressed in the ironic doubling in the name of the group «TVTV» (Top Value Television).

So television as the art form of the future was to take place on several platforms— in exhibitions, in broadcasts and in alternative screenings. But it was not to have a neo-primitive video aesthetics. It was going to try out perfect exploitation by artists of the professional possibilities offered by the medium. The initiators of the three programs that mark the beginnings of these hopes in 1968–1969 were in complete agreement about this point. But otherwise they are started from very different agendas—and that is why the three programs look so different.

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