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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathMassMedia

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completely without video technology and also without support from the broadcasting stations. The first programs created by artists date from 1968–1969, and beginning in 1970, various models were developed for cooperating with TV stations. It is astonishing that the developments in these three time-windows took place simultaneously in different places, without the participants being aware of each other. This synchronicity occurs in both technological development and art history from the nineteenth century onwards. Photography and electric telegraphy were developed around 1840 by several inventors at almost the same time, abstract painting emerged around 1910 and absolute film around 1920 in several artists' studios independently of each other. «There are hours in the thought of mankind at which a certain idea crops up at the same time in different places, endemically, so to speak,» writes the photographer Nadar when patenting his process for aerial photographs taken from balloons, pointing out that this idea is described at the same time in a book by a scientist called Andraud: «Hence the expression: the idea was in the air.»[10]


I → First Time-Window: 1962–1964—Fighting the boob tube

The television set as art material

The development of intermedia art forms brought about close links in the 1960s between art, experimental theater and film, which had become expanded cinema. Video was involved only minimally until the late 1960s: Sony did not start to market its Portapak as the first video equipment for private individuals until 1965. What possibilities were there for artists to work with television as a medium in this situation? The chances of an individual being given the right to create a ‹TV art broadcast› are extremely slight. Video art does not start to make any impact on television in the USA and Germany until 1968–1969. So artists find themselves in the same role as everybody else: they are viewers. Several artists addressed this by making the television set, as it stands in the front room at home, the target of their attacks or attempts at transformation. The following section takes a key point around 1962–1964 to explore the emergence of this artistic examination of the TV image.[11]

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