Information

1973, 30 min, color, sound

Information is an exercise in technological reflexivity, an early investigation of the material presence of the electronic medium. From a technical mistake, in which a videotape recorder tried to record itself, Viola constructed a study of electronic anarchy — a disintegrating and self-interrupting signal that perpetually reiterates itself. He writes: "Information is the manifestation of an aberrant electronic nonsignal passing through the video switcher in a normal color TV studio, and being retrieved at various points along its path. The resulting electronic perturbations affected everything else in the studio. After this error was discovered and traced back, it became possible to sit at the switcher as if it were a musical instrument and learn to 'play' this nonsignal."

Produced in association with Synapse Video Center, Syracuse University.

 
 

SCREENING REQUIREMENTS for museum or gallery presentation: The video should be presented as cinema. The screening should take place in an isolated dark room with seating for the audience (ie. not be an open "walk through" gallery.) If available, a normal museum theater is best. As with film, it should be shown according to a printed schedule and not on an automatically repeating loop. Quality presentations less frequently to larger groups are preferable to continuous screenings throughout the day. A large screen monitor may be used (26, 30, or 35 inch) for groups up to about 60 (varies with floor plan and seating arrangement). For very large groups or in a large space, a video projector with a flat screen (high gain) may be used. Audio must be monitored through a separate stereo sound system (amplifier and 2 speakers). The built-in speakers in the video monitor must not be used. Please contact EAI distribution (info@eai.org) if you have any questions.