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The Medium Is the Medium (WGBH), 1969Die Fernsehgalerie (Schum, Gerry), 1968

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II → Second Time-Window 1968–1969: Artists go on the air

Television—the art form of the future?

Around 1968–1969 it suddenly seemed as though television could become the art form of the future—and conversely that the Muse's kiss could wake the «sleeping lion» television.[42] At almost the same time, in both Europe and the USA programs started to be made by TV stations and artists working together that were historic milestones in the interplay between art and the mass media. In an astonishingly short time, the TV art attempted around 1963–1964, which had been skeptical and distanced in terms of content and usually quite primitive technically, was overtaken by a reinvigorated utopian spirit: «What happens if artists take control of television? … reaching a vast audience, creating a museum for millions.» This was the kind of futuristic emphasis used to introduce the program «The Medium Is the Medium» on WHGB-TV from Boston. And in the same year Gerry Schum pronounced on the occasion of his first broadcast of his Television Gallery on Sender Freies Berlin: «The circle of people that can be reached by galleries and museums is minimal. …


Compared with the book market, it is as if a successful writer could only keep in touch with his public through poetry readings, with his novels going through print-runs of millions. I am forced to the conclusion that in terms of possible communication between artwork and art public we are at about the same point as literature was before Gutenberg's invention of the letterpress. … I cannot see why modern art can only be publicized on a wider scale when it is no longer modern.»[43] In this situation, Schum's credo was: «The only chance for Fine Arts I see, is the deliberate use

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