allowed viewers to choose among broadcast programs and a videotape by Boutourline and Wynn Chamberlain. The emphasis on the role of the viewer and the viewer's freedom to choose in all of these works indicates the hands-on, take-control-of-television attitude which informed much early video art.
Several other pieces in the show concentrated on abstract electronic imagery and image/sound relationships. Black Spiral, by Aldo Tambellini, was produced in collaboration with Bell Laboratories. It is a riveting videotape that filmmaker and critic, Jud Yalkut has described as a "high-contrast spiraling white light, [which] shimmers, radiates, contracts, twists in orgasmic ecstasy, dwindles to nothing, and blazes forth again on the black video field." 30 Siegel's Psychodelevision in Color 31 consisted of three tapes: Einstein, a manipulated image sequence of Albert Einstein's face, where his features radiate color and abstract imagery; Symphony of the Planets; and Tomorrow Never Knows, accompanied by the Beatles song. Both of the latter tapes display psychedelic imagery in conjunction with music, and Siegel jokingly refers to Tomorrow Never Knows, as "a kind of very early rock video." Today, however this work looks like much more. Siegel's exploration of relationships between abstract imagery and sound entails sophistication not unlike that in the experimental films of Oskar Fischinger.
Completing the variety of work in "TV as a Creative Medium"- was Everyman's Mobius Strip, by Paul Ryan (who, along with Gillette, was soon to become the theoretical mover in the video collective Raindance). Working with McLuhan, Ryan was exploring video as a psychological mirror, a social tool, and a communications device. Yalkut described Ryan's piece:
You are sitting in a curtained booth on a stool, a TV aperture hangs before you like a surrealistic picture frame, beyond which the portable video camera sits and observes, as you are prodded ever so gently by calculatedly stimulating questions: "React to the following people: Nixon, your mother, Eldridge Cleaver, Teddy Kennedy, you... for the next ten seconds, do what you want... now let your face be sad..." You watch yourself in full audio-picture recap of your "interview," arising all but the fewest frames of the previous tape as your tape will be obliterated by the next.32
Ryan's intimate and confessional purposes portended videotapes of the 1970s, in which the artist directly speaks to the audience.
"TV as a Creative Medium" was extremely popular, and Wise extended it beyond the scheduled closing. But it was not a show that was universally lauded in the art press. One dissenter, critic Barbara Rose, wrote that the show was
an apt finale to the 1969 art season, in that ft represented the pinnacle of pretension and the nadir of achievement, the exhibition
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