Feedback

Feedback American Television Embodies A Paradox It Is A Privately Owned And Operated Publiccommunications Network That Most Citizens Are Unable To Participate In Except As Passive Specators.Television Creates An Image Of Community While Preventing The Formation Of Actual Social Tiesbecause Behind Its Simulated Exchange Of Opinions Lies A Highly Centralized Corporate Structure Thatis Profoundly Antidemocratic In Feedback, David Joselit Describes The Privatized Public Sphere Oftelevision And Recounts The Tactics Developed By Artists And Media Activists In The 1960s And 1970sto Break Open Its Closed Circuit.The Figures Whose Work Joselit Examines Among Them Nam June Paik,Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Abbie Hoffman, Andy Warhol, And Melvin Van Peebles Staged Politicalinterventions Within Television S Closed Circuit Joselit Identifies Three Kinds Of Image Events Feedback, Which Can Be Both Disabling Noise And Rational Response As When Abbie Hoffman Hijackedtelevision Time For The Yippies With Flamboyant Stunts Directed To The Media The Image Virus, Whichproliferates Parasitically, Invading, Transforming, And Even Blocking Systems As In Nam June Paik Ssynthesized Videotapes And Installations And The Avatar, A Quasi Fictional Form Of Identityavailable To Anyone, Which Can Function As A Political Actor As In Melvin Van Peebles S Inventionof Sweet Sweetback, An African American Hero Who Appealed To A Broad Audience And Influenced Stylesof Black Power Activism These Strategies, Writes Joselit, Remain Valuable Today In A World Wherethe Overlapping Information Circuits Of Television And The Internet Offer Different Opportunitiesfor Democratic Participation.In Feedback, Joselit Analyzes Such Midcentury Image Events Using Theprocedures And Categories Of Art History The Trope Of Figure Ground Reversal, For Instance, Is Usedto Assess Acts Of Representation In A Variety Of Media Including The Medium Of Politics In Atelevisual World, Joselit Argues, Where Democracy Is Conducted Through Images, Art History Has Thecapacity To Become A Political Science.