apexart :: Joshua Decter :: Cathode Ray Clinic #1

Cathode Ray Clinic #1
curated by Joshua Decter

Constructs a theoretical therapeutic context where TV acts as a prescribed remedy for both media withdrawl and oversaturation. CRC #1 builds an experience that gives us what we want from TV while evoking how it is working on our desires and our abilities to take in information.

May 16 - June 16, 1996

291 Church St. New York, NY 10013




Cathode Ray Clinic #1
A TV project by Joshua Decter.
{crisis scenario}
Imagine the world without television.
What would your life be like? Who would you be? How would things look? No more Saturday morning cartoons, MTV, Dan Rather, Home Shopping Network, football, The World Series, late-night stripper shows, I Dream of Jeannie re-runs, cereal commercials, Star Trek, Bill Moyers, Seinfeld, Public Access, BET, Court TV, The Simpsons, The Weather Channel, CNN, David Letterman, or whatever else turns you on. Suddenly, it will all have been turned off; we would have been turned off. Television would become a strictly contraband drug, as the already entrenched mass addiction, the great tube habit, clamored for satisfaction.

Cathode Ray Clinic #1 is a therapeutic context, a place where TV is prescribed to "fix" the addiction that television itself created. No longer an over-the-counter drug, regulated exposure to TV now becomes the only prescribed remedy for the debilitating effects of chronic media withdrawal. Feed the deprived mind, and then deprive the fed mind, until the addiction is overcome or transposed. As you eat TV, TV will eat itself, eating you! Cathode Ray Clinic #1 is not only a framing device for television viewing, but also a diagnostic tool that has all the answers.

Comprised of two TV viewing structures, and a multimedia computer/television workstation, CRC #1 is conceived as a site where you can absorb the energies of media, and engage in the endlessly disjunctive narratives of communication and information that television naturally offers. Squeeze the remote, and watch the tube until you're satisfied. There are no prohibitions in CRC #1 --- only, more freedom than you know what to do with.

CRC #1 brings back the pleasure, bathing you in the ethereal glow of the cathode ray. Here is the therapeutic answer to your TV-deficiency problem. When you're aching for some channel-surfing, CRC #1 will provide you with a sufficient dose. And, as a souvenir, you can take away a TV screen-shot of your choice, a picture of a picture, a trace of the multimedia computer/television experience.

{Stay tuned: Cathode Ray Clinic #2 is coming to your area soon.}

Joshua Decter is a New York-based critic, curator and cultural historian who does not apologize for his love of television. His recent exhibition, Screen, held at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery, offered a negotiation of painting and television through video. Mr. Decter is currently organizing an exhibition entitled, a/drift: scenes from the penetrable culture, for the Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts, New York University, and will be conducting a course this summer on television culture at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Thanks to Big Room for cooperating in the viewing station design.

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