Saturday, March 19 – 6 pm


Alain Bourges

Memories of Television is a video in three parts that shows a vision of the history of television by drawing essentially from recent or long-ago archives of television and cinema. It is not the work of a historian, but an evocation based on personal memories, intuitions, and a reflection on the nature of the electronic image. There are references to artists’ works as well as extracts from television series or the news.

Some cinematographic works or film documents are also used. All these images and sounds are mixed, added, duplicated, or removed in order to create ideas or connections to ideas that only they can produce. As in any fastening (or unfastening).

Video Projection:

1st part: Memories of Television 1: La voix des morts (The Voices of the Dead) / 12’34

This part begins with the research on electricity and magnetism and then focuses on the technical invention of mechanical television. This invention is compared with the collective fascination for spiritualism and communication with the dead at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century in the USA and Europe. This comparison is justified by the interest of many scientists in the occult, starting, for example, with Edison.

2nd part: Memories of Television 2: La vie instantanée (Instant Life ) / 24’46

From the invention of electronic television to its invasion of the whole planet, looking essentially at the post-war years up to the 90s with a choice of moments or significant events (this choice remaining strictly personal). The discovery of television in villages, the birth of TV series, the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, the first space flight, the Vietnam War, May 1968, the coup d’état in Chile, etc. They were all chosen because television turned them into global events. Even the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, which was not broadcast on television, but which everyone thought they had seen on television. In a subtle way, video art also blends into this patchwork.

3rd part: Memories of Television 3: L’Âge Ingrat (The Awkward Age) / 12’32

This part deals with the 21st century through a few major topics: the invention of reality TV, the September 11, 2001 attack in New York, Kodak’s dismantling of its film factories, the violent demonstrations in Paris before, finally, returning to the ghosts of the beginning with the mystery of Elisa Lam, this young Chinese-Canadian woman whose last images were recorded by the automatic camera of an elevator.


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