Television Spots

Diane Poitras

1988, colour


Television Spots are twelve short video tapes designed for transmission among the commercials that interrupt late-nite television in North America. They range in duration from fifteen to thirty seconds, and though a number of them appear to be little more than moving stills, all are able to inhabit time and represent subjects in a manner uncommon in commercial breaks. Ideally only one Spot would be broadcast on any given day though it would be "rotated" numerous times: underlining the either repetitious or unresolved situation that it depicts, and with each reappearance amplifying the affect of the ones that had come before. They acknowledge the condition of repetition and sameness they endure -- even as they suggest a world of detail in excess of their spectacular surroundings.

Television Spots are extremely reticent: they do not attempt to sell anything, they do not attempt to convince anyone of anything, they merely after brief glimpses of uncanny commonplaces that question the canniness of television's discontinuous monologue.

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Critical Writing

Interrupting the program...: descrambling TV through video
by Heidi May. Canadian Art, Summer 2001, v. 18, no. 2.