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TV Museum

Contemporary Art and the Age of Television

TV Museum takes as its subject the complex and shifting relationship between television and contemporary art. Informed by theories and histories of art and media since the 1950s, this book charts the changing status of television as cultural form, object of critique, and site of artistic invention. Through close readings of artworks, exhibitions, and institutional practices in diverse cultural and political contexts, Connolly demonstrates television’s continued importance for contemporary artists and curators seeking to question the formation and future of the public sphere. Paying particular attention to developments since the early 2000s, TV Museum  includes chapters on exhibiting television as object; soaps, sitcoms, and symbolic value in art and television;  reality TV and the social turn in art; TV archives, memory, and media events; broadcasting and the public realm; TV talk shows and curatorial practice; art workers and TV production cultures.

Lavishly illustrated and with in-depth discussion of over fifty canonical and contemporary artworks, TV Museum offers a new approach to the analysis of television’s place within contemporary art and culture.

340 pages | 80 color plates | 7 x 9 | © 2014

Media Studies

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“Connolly undertakes a compelling and exhaustive study of the ways in which contemporary artists are reimagining TV now that it has lost its central position in the arena of mainstream entertainment culture and its products have been remediated across diverse platforms, on and offline. She makes a compelling case for the repurposing or cross-purposing of professional television studios and galleries. . . . Connolly gives us hope that the ‘televisual turn’ and the artists she has championed so convincingly in this book, will help to bring what is now a quotidian cultural form back into critical focus.”

Moving Image Review & Art Journal

“By linking television and the museum [Connolly] charts a history of contemporary art’s increasingly enamored incorporations of television, revealing the laziness of a hastily applied high/low cultural dichotomy. Harnessing the comparative brevity of this relationship . . . ‘televisual distance,’ or an outsider’s perspective, provides a tool to examine the museum’s operations from a new and revelatory perspective. . . . Presenting a dynamic portrait of the formal and institutional intersections between television and the museum, TV Museum serves as a call for sharper and deeper considerations of this knotty relationship and a nascent warning about the impact of depoliticizing the public sphere.”

Millennium Film Journal

“Connolly’s cross-disciplinary approach furthers this essential effort, and offers a perspective that would be valuable above all to students of curatorial practice, especially given her focus on the pressures institutions face to broaden their audiences and resituate their offerings within a rapidly developing cultural sphere. Her compelling account of the televisual turn in contemporary art provokes important evaluative questions about the kinds of works that find a home in museums and global exhibitions today, and the kinds of critical televisual practices that persist elsewhere in the media sphere, beyond the bounds of these institutional spaces.”

Alphaville Journal

Table of Contents


Introduction: Contemporary Art and the Age of Television

1. Sets, Screens and Social Spaces: Exhibiting Television

2. Quality Television and Contemporary Art: Soaps, Sitcoms and Symbolic Value

3. Reality TV, Delegated Performance and the Social Turn

4. European Television Archives, Collective Memories and Contemporary Art

5. Monuments to Broadcasting: Television and Art in the Public Domain

6. Talk Shows: Art Institutions and the Discourse of Publicness

7. Production on Display: Television, Labour and Contemporary Art

Conclusion: Contemporary Art After Television




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