41 Shots

Curator's Note

This excerpt from the video 41 Shots (2000) by media artists/activists Sherry Millner and Ernest Larsen suggests that the possibilities of television as a cultural form are hardly exhausted by what pours out of the cable and the satellite dish. While Millner and Larsen’s formal aesthetics may evoke some versions of the music video, their use of these aesthetics for a content of resistance summons an intellectual commitment that seems lacking in most big tube media. Those old dead theorists of yesteryear may have been on to something with their distaste for pop culture – which they decried as the standardization of culture. These same critics of the popular – too easy, too repetitive – warned of a loss – of authenticity, of integrity, of depth and variety – of which they may have been more acutely aware having lived through the time in which this loss was incurred. The shooting of Amadou Diallo – as with many similar acts of violence – needs to be examined through the lens of the political imagination as much as through the evidence necessary to correct the media record of what transpired on that morning in NYC in 1999. Links: www.videodatabank.org www.permanentstateofemergency.com

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