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TV – Commons

TV Commons begun as a mediation on what will happen to all the vacated radio frequency spectrum between now and the Digital Switchover in 2012. Myself, Justin Pickard and Stacey Pitsillides were interested by what uses we could find for this fallow Hertzian space, and created a multimedia design fiction installation to explore a future whereby pirate television witnesses a boom in the United Kingdom

Below is the opening 10 minutes of a video art piece produced for Heterotopia Provocation. It speculatively mediates a scenario wherein multiple amateur TV Broadcasters compete with one another’s signals within a small bandwidth of Hertzian Space (the equivalent of a Citizens Band for TV)

The piece was inspired by the experience of driving through an area where radio signals overlap and your car radio phases in and out of the competing stations. We were curious what that liminal hertzian experience would look like. To that end two VCR’s with RF-out jacks were modified to act as low range TV broadcasting devices. The video shows the visual result of competing TV waves. The content for the videos consists largely of banned video nasties (from Britain’s infamous video censorship heyday) interspersed with found footage available on the internet archive.


TV Commons Short from Stephen Fortune on Vimeo.