The White Columns Curated Artist Registry is an online catalog of digital images documenting the work of artists who are not affiliated with a commercial gallery in New York City. Each submission is reviewed by our curatorial staff; in order to be considered for the registry, one must submit work digitally via this website.
For WORK, E.S.P. TV made Pioneer Works’ office staff and environment the subject of a six-week performative, televisual installation by relocating the organization’s second-floor, open-plan office to the first-floor’s main exhibition space. Surrounded by a de-centralized control room, the office doubled as both a dynamic sculptural set—painted partly in chroma blue and featuring movable walls, among other features—and the actual site for the staff’s five-day workweek. The staff’s “daily grind” was mixed live, on-site, with custom video effects and hourly commercial interruptions in the space. Far from peddling in the sensational tropes of reality TV, WORK instead turned banal, day-to-day office routines and patterns—the movement of a chair, a co-worker getting coffee—into the improbable, playful content of a serial program to be broadcast weekly on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. E.S.P. TV worked closely with curator David Everitt Howe to envision this social experiment and exhibition, which responded to the building’s unique environment and tight-knit, collective office culture. Recreated as a pastiche of a “contemporary” office, the installation featured a series of sculptural set pieces that could be activated in real-time or through the video editing process. A camera crew, live TV mixing consoles, monitors, and program feeds surrounded and permeated the working office. At the start of each workday, Pioneer Works staff functioned as both employees and cast members who “logged-in” to an evolving algorithm that combined their names with a glossary of camera shots and an office etiquette handbook. The resulting text generate an abstract script or textual narrative that informed both the episodes’ editing and their subtitles.
Documentation by Gabe Rubin of our "Lifestyle Guru" live taping performance. WORK concluded with this “office retreat” led by Jill Kroesen as a motivational speaker offering strategies for coping with a psychopathic presidency. Ian Hatcher delivers a crowd-sourced poem as an A.I. bot, and Ben Vida created a live audio/visual mix of his work, “Soft Sound Systems”, which develops music through facial recognition software.
E.S.P. TV #111 This project highlights the work, “Daytime Viewing” (1979-80) by Jacqueline Humbert and David Rosenboom. Daytime Viewing is an extended narrative song, based on a casual analysis of daytime television drama and the audience phenomena such programming addresses. The piece explores the use of fantasy as a survival mechanism against loneliness, illustrating the human compulsion to inflate the mundane to mythological proportions. A central female character weaves tales, using threads of personal experience and the idea of TV as friend, as mantra, and as transformational window between imagined spectacle and the pedestrian plane. Newly transferred and never before seen footage from the pilot performance, early video work by Rosenboom on a Radioshack TRS-80 computer, and a live fashion show of tele-characters from the piece made up this multi-sensory performance. We invited six contemporary artists working across media in performance, video, sound and fashion to interpret six characters depicted in the Daytime Viewing teleplay for a live televisual fashion show. Erica Magrey w/ Lilou Barbier, Heidi Jien Jouet, Dana Bell w/ Sari Nordman, Johanna Herr w/ Kelindah Schuster, Shana Moulton w/ Samatha Crabtree , and MV Carbon w/ Lily Benson reinterpreted the original character studies of Daytime Viewing in a live broadcast event. The newly transferred video and photographs of the original performance by Humbert and Rosenboom were integrated into the larger exhibition set, in large scale projections, monitor playback, and a real time, live to tape mix. The full piece was taped and mixed during the actual event for television broadcast — both online, and on Manhattan cable TV.