Critical Writing Index

Adjusting a Colour Television

by Tom Sherman

VIDEO re/VIEW: The (best) Source for Critical Writings on Canadian Artists' Video, 1996, p. 402

Toronto: Art Metropole and Vtape, 1996

Originally published in Video By Artists in 1976, this piece is a first person meditation on the perils of colour t.v. and marriage. The speaker and his companion, who(judging from their domestic setting) is his wife, sit down in front of the television and the interior monologue that ensues comments not only on the poor picture quality of their t.v. but the critical state of their relationship. As the tint of the screen worsens, the speaker becomes agitated at his wife's vain attempts to fix it. The "fleshtone" of the familiar news anchorperson becomes increasingly muddied, until the speaker can no longer "even tell what [he's] looking at." As the wife ultimately destroys the picture on the set, the speaker doesn't speak up and we are left wondering who is really at fault for this dissolving situation.

ITEM 1996.060 – available for viewing in the Research Centre