In all honesty, how many of you, dear Culture section readers, marked the ending of the analogue television signal last Thursday with anything more than an under-the-breath muttering as you tried to look bleary-eyed for Holly and Philip? I'm going to guess (based on conjecture and absolutely no scientific fact) that it wasn't very many of you; proportionally fewer (based on regional location and age demographic) than will visit Remote Control, currently on display at the ICA.
The exhibition, which explores the role of pre-digitalised television and its relationship to the visual arts, was timed to coincide with this passing. It's a smart act, and it's a smart exhibition. Continuing a run of form that has seen the institution look at both organised and freeform (and, admittedly yes, disorganised) movements that have had widespread affect on trends in artistic practice, this exhibition brings together the work of over thirty artists, who either use/d pre-digital techniques as their mode of production or who explore/d what creating and distributing art during that period meant. Depsite only having a mainstream lifetime of around sixty years, analogue television has had an indelible effect on how people see and comprehend. It can be argued that it changed human nature.
With a digital signal now in effect, audiences are able to participate further in the act of viewing and are party to more available choice. Alongside this show, the ICA have implemented an extensive events programme, including a list of some of Because Magazine's favourite young artists: AutoItalia and the ubiquitous LuckyPDF, which is worth the cost of admission alone (it's free). The analogue cut-off being only last week, and its demise a rather damp squib, it is hard to feel excited by the concept of the show. Timing, they say, is everything and the dust hasn't yet settled on the notions raised by the show, despite it being fundamental in a particular discourse of moving image work. Too soon, perhaps? Do get involved nevertheless; so that when the time does come you can say that you 'were there'.
Remote Control is at the ICA until 10 June.