vhf video transmitters / modified crt monitors / two way mirror / wood
video-sculpture / edition of 3 / 2017
Channelers' is a series of video-sculptures that act as a medium between the living observer and the dead radio waves left behind by the abandonment of analog television broadcasting.
Once popular portable television sets have been modified into curious, altar like, structures resembling both ancient temples and esoteric radio towers.
Each sculpture receives a local transmission of a standard test pattern once used by broadcasters. As the viewer walks amongst the sculptures, the presence of their body acts as an additional antenna, warping and transforming the test pattern on the screens.
By offering a direct line of communication between the observer and the invisible radio waves around them, Channelers seeks to reveal our affect on the electromagnetic spectrum as a eerily mystical, spiritual force.
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A Response to 'Channelers' by Beth Schellenberg
Colby Richardson’s Channelers invites the viewer to worship at the altar of analog television broadcasting. The video-sculptures are crisp white simulacrums of temples crested with glowing gems that serve to transmit heavenly frequencies. These reimagined relics use the observer’s body as additional antenna to reveal the constant presence of forgotten radio waves. The interference of the viewer’s physical presence on the waves and the consequent effect on the screens prove that these mystical forces occupy a space beyond imagination alone. Richardson’s TV temples use iconography to explore the age-old human desire to tap into unseen powers, to connect and communicate with invisible forces. The show troubles historical conventions of how anachronistic technologies, both the structures resembling Mayan pyramids and the analogue emissions of broadcasters, are disposed of and/or memorialized by societies, questioning obsolescence and the temporality inherent in human invention.
1. Photo and video documentation from Channelers at Flux Gallery, Winnipeg, MB. April 2017.