Today was the first of a two-day marathon on the ground with Michael Branson Smith (MBS) as embedded artist in the Console Living Room. It was awesome. Within the first hour he had all five of our TVs broadcasting to UHF channel 38 a fully programmed day of CBS. Starting with games shows like the $25,000 Pyramid, Wheel of Fortune and The Price is Right, it then moved onto soaps like As the World Turns and The Young and the Restless. During the afternoon game the re-runs like Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, Good Times, Sanford and Son and MASH. At 6:00 PM the CBS Evening News came on, after that we moved into primetime with The Dukes of Hazzard (there was more be we had to leave by the time Dukes was finishing).
— Debra Schleef (@DebraSchleef) April 13, 2015
I can’t begin to tell you how transcendent the space began to feel broadcasting TV all day. Possibly the most interesting part of the broadcasts were the commercials. MBS cut advertisements back into the shows he found online. It transformed the console into a very focused space for the study of network television in the 80s. An experience that is almost impossible to emulate online. The myriad assumptions about who we were in the 80s erupt from the broadcast. It’s almost impossible not to be pulled into a deeper set of questions about what this exhibit is trying to do. Once he started broadcasting the TV, I knew I was going to be spending most of the next 6 months programming TV channels. We actually made some headway in the department by getting me set up with my own hardware and software for getting my own channel setup, but that will need its own post.
— Michael B Smith (@mbransons) April 13, 2015
After we got the TV setup, MBS worked with two sections of Zach Whalen‘s Games and Culture class to remix the exhibit. The idea was provide students an overview of what’s possible with free and easy tools for your phone like Vine, to.be, phogy, fyu.se, etc., and try and capture elements of the living room from the perspective of aesthetics and design. Below are some of my personal favorites, but you can browse many more on the #umconsole Twitter tag. Enjoy, cause I know I am!
Flipping through some Atari Games
Oils and Soaps
I am not a model
E.T. > Donkey Kong?
Werewolf by night…
There were a number of very cool to.be GIFs, but I can’t get them to embed. So, I am gonna leave a couple of them below.