LEARN TO WATCH TV WITH YOUR RADIO "
Although someone already affirmed
that the war was a too serious thing to let it to the only
hands of the soldiers, no one could take advantage of such
an affirmation, in the name of a logic of the absurd, to contest
to the advertising agents, to the journalists and to the specialists
of the profession the legitimate right to take care of communication...
By way of consequence, either, anyone couldnít risk to refuse
to the artists the liberty to "do odd jobs" on this land.
A liberty and a pleasure that we applied, for our part, to
practice since a certain number of years with a lot of perseverance.
Besides, we showed enough persistence in this orientation
to benefit, today, with the recognition of the university,
of the respectability that we were in right to hope, as just
reward of our industrious efforts... The sought-after goal
consisted in putting at the disposal of a public composed
by all the listeners of ten local radios, an unique program.
Program animated by myself, inventor of the project, and by
Pierre Moeglin who assured the preparation of it, with me,
all along the different phases. October 19, 1984, from 7 P.M.
to 10 P M., the public was invited to a continuous experience
that had for object the critical analysis and a playful involvement
on the pictures distributed by the French TV. The game proposed
to the listeners consisting, in the circumstance, to watch
the programs of the three channels alternately and following
the indications, to jump from one to the other, at the same
time as they would listen to the commentaries in direct that
would be given to them on the radio: according to a principle
that the viewers amateurs of sport practices fluently, on
the occasion of some matches, coupling the pictures of their
TV with the commentaries of it by their favorite journalist
that assures the broadcast, on such or such radio. Concerning
local radios it is always so hazardous to advance some numbers
about the real audience, we can consider in the present case
that it was between 30 000 and 50 000 listeners. On the other
hand it was comfortable to note, to this opportunity, that
this kind of listeners is characterized by a strong degree
of implication and a important rate of involvement, if one
believes the data that have been communicated to us by each
radio after the broadcast.
Mode of working:
1. The general broadcast takes
place as public broadcast. It achieves in direct from one
bus-studio installed on the square of the Grand Palais (Paris)
the day of the inauguration of the FIAC (International Fair
of Contemporary art).
2. The general broadcast sent
by specialized telephone lines toward the antenna of every
local radio that distributes it in continuous, passes in transit,
nevertheless, by the studio of this one what allows the animator's
intervention to my demand.
According to the dedicated
formula by SVP each among them, in turns, makes a synthesis,
station by station.
3. The commentaries on the
pictures are assured from the bus-studio that is, also, a
stage placed facing the public that penetrates in the Grand
Palais. These commentaries are, to the seen of the pictures,
done in direct by a set of programmed guests that intervene
by successive groups that replace themselves on the tray.
The choice of these guests was made according to their domain
of expertise. It is about "specialists" of the media: academic
specialized in the communication, various journalists, institutional
and administrative responsible persons...
4. By telephonic return the
listeners, themselves, are invited also to produce this commentary.
Installed in their lounge between the television and their
transistor, the telephone to the hand, they also appear on
the antenna. In a way, they represent the general public opinion
that alternates with the opinion of the specialists... To
intervene on the general antenna they call in a first time
the standard of their own radio that places them in situation
of waiting before recovering them on the telephonic standard
of the bus-studio before the Grand Palais.
The rhythm and the progress
of the common broadcast, sent by the ten radios, are orchestrated
all along the experience by me. I give, alternately, the order
to the control to topple on the antenna: the present guest
commentaries on the tray, the interventions of the listeners,
the sound of the broadcast TV in progress...
At the beginning of the experience
the listeners have been invited to light on their television
for the receipt of the pictures but to cut the sound of it.
THE FASCINATION OF THE PRESENT
Some believed to see in our
action " Learn to watch TV with your radio... ()" a new way
to celebrate "the present instant". We must well confess our
fascination for these astonishing media Mass to which invites
us the technologies of communication when they give us to
live, to the neck-and-neck, in "the immediate" the force of
the event, its irreducible contigency. Definitely, there is
something that raises of the "metaphysical" and the "religious"
at the mythical hero Armstrong when he advances, of his uncertain
and clumsy step, on the denuded ground of the lunar star.
But beyond the ritual put in stage on the cathodic screen,
it is the phenomenon of the instantaneousness of the situation
that upsets our sensitivity of contemporary individual. A
instantaneousness shared somewhere on the media, out of the
time and out of the space, by millions viewers. Situation
that addresses in a very direct way to our deep sense of aesthetics.
This fundamental aspect of the communication could not let
indifferent and foreign the artists in this domain. Let's
underline, that in the daily uses of the communication, the
artist, by turn of mind, will be minded to carry his attention
on the marginal sides of this one that will seem to him, finally,
of his point of view, more remarkable and more worthy of interest!
The failures, the stammerings, the slips, the skids, the ruptures
of the communication will constitute his privileged field
of observation, reflection and action. The breakdown that
affects sudden the broadcast in direct of the Elysée
is obviously more essential, in itself, that everything that
the French President could say. More essential insofar as
the emptiness created constitutes a way of "time recovered"
that restores us to ourselves.
TO OPEN THE FIELD OF THE POSSIBLE.
The artist endeavors by the
practice, in the limits of the means of action that are his,
to introduce in the channels of communication a few variations
whose calculated aberration will have for objective to reveal,
if possible, other fashions of working. In it the artist,
faithful to his first vocation, appears like a "inventor"
of models, even though in a first time his propositions are
only interpreted by the society as emanation of the utopia,
will of free provocation and fruit of a suspected imagination.
To come from it to our action
"Learn to watch TV with your radio..." we are going to tempt
to describe the device of it. Bringing some elements of explanation
that permit to seize the working of it. We are convinced that
what counts, in the first place, it is less the media itself
that the way of which one uses it and organizes it to exploit
it in systems. To have never experimented it for lack of curiosity,
the man ignores all of what he could have pulled, for example,
of a vacuum cleaner and a sewing machine gathered in a hybrid
function... The nature, on the other hand, already taught
us everything that we could wait reasonably for the possible
combinations of mating between the donkey and the horse. To
simplify our explanation, and to summarize to the extreme,
we will say: we wanted, for our part, to know what would result
from the marriage of a television and a radio set! This experience
is added to the list, and completes it, of all those that
we achieved in the past mingling the art and various media
(press, radio, TV, video, telephone, etc.). Its preparation
will have confirmed me, once again, how much it is difficult
to convince the "possessors of the media" to enter into actions
of research that imply their own support of communication.
In their reticence to make it, one discovers at a time the
prudence, the distrust in relation to initiatives of which
they badly seize the profit to withdraw, the pure and simple
indifference! This preparation also gave us the opportunity
to note brutal turn back. What was the case of France Inter
in the person of its representative Jacques Pradel that, overnight,
after eight months of common work decided one-sidedly to annul
the project, without taking the pain to provide us the least
explanation. Probably a time of maturation has been necessary
to become aware, suddenly, that this type of project and his
critical implications didn't match with the soothing tone
in which bathes his broadcasts...
AN EXTRAORDINARY INSTRUMENT
"LEARN TO WATCH TV WITH YOUR
The generic title of our action
is very explicit in itself on our intentions. The proposition
is clear: it consists in inviting the listeners of ten free
radios, gathered, to light their televisions and, making that,
to continue, not less, to remain attentive to the commentary
produces by the radio. Commentary exercising itself on the
pictures, with the progression of their apparition on the
screen. This idea has been inspired to me by the practice
of some viewers that during the retransmission of a match
of football borrows the pictures to the TV and the sound to
the radio... Widening this practice to other types of broadcast,
it is comfortable to seize immediately in the implementation
of such a system how the radio nourishing a critical commentary
can become, in real time, an extraordinary instrument of analysis
of the television medium under working: A lesson of things
applying to reveal us the significance, live, of the "objects-imaginary".
It is what we tempted to make with Pierre Moeglin during a
broadcast, created for the circumstance, taking place without
interruption from 7 P.M. to 10 P.M. from a bus-studio installed
on the roadbed of the Grand Palais at the occasion of the
inauguration of the International Fair of Contemporary Art.
Guests: journalists and academic specialists of the media
follow each other during three hours, reacting on the images,
in alternation with the listeners intervening on the antenna
by telephonic return ().
Our broadcast adjusts itself
on the TV programs of the evening, jumping from a channel
to the other according to the menu composed by our cares.
Surely, the News will constitute the piece of resistance,
but the presence of the Bernard Pivot, Julio Iglesias and
other stars on the antennas will contribute to throw back
the appetites... Three axes structure our basis concept from
which the deliriums of an improvisation will be able to develop
themselves that are part of the very parameter of the experience:
- an educational axis
confided to specialists of the picture. To them the charge
to put in evidence the importance of the justification, the
angle of shot, the rhythm of the sequence, to demonstrate,
in the stride, how finally the significance of all picture
produced is tributary of its shape of production;
- A reflexive and critical
axis calling the present guests, but also the listeners,
to comment the products that the three French channels propose
- finally a playful axis
calling on the imaginary of the public, inviting him to practice
the systematic diversion of sense, superimposing to the pictures
presented the pure fantasy commentaries.
It would be presumptuous to
pretend that such an experience of punctual character could
change truly our way to consume the TV. It would be false
to declare that it remains nothing of it! Between these two
affirmations, be patient: let's open our eyes, let's stretch
our ears, let's activate our neurons. One day, we will end
up well understanding that we are ourselves a transistor!