Thursday Afternoon

From the inset in Eno's album "Thursday Afternoon":

The music on this disc was originally recorded for the video made in April 1984 at the request of Sony Japan. The video THURSDAY AFTERNOON is on vertical format i.e. the TV set has to be turned onto its right side. It consists of seven video-paintings of Christine Alicino filmed in San Francisco and was treated and assembled at Sony in Tokyo.

The following is an extract from the video's inlay card:

These pieces represent a response to what is presently the most interesting challenge of video: how does one make something that can be seen again and again in the way that a gramophone record can be listened to repeatedly? I feel that video makers have generally addressed this issue with very little success: their work has been conceived within the aesthetic frame of cinema and television (an aesthetic that presupposes a very limited number of viewings) but then packaged and presented in a format that clearly intends multiple viewings, the tape or disc ... Unfortunately, the cinematic heritage seems inimical to the idea of multiple-view video tapes or discs. It relies heavily for its impact on a dramatic momentum which is sustained by frequent scene changes, fast editing and the narrative development of the plot. As a result, being in some way a function of surprise, this impact is eroded by repeated viewings. The usual response to this problem has been to load the video with more scene-changes, faster edits, stranger camera angles and more exotic special effects, in short, more surprises - presumably, in the hope of delaying the inevitable decline in interest in the work as it becomes more familiar. This is the condition of pop-video, and it has almost nowhere left to go in this direction.

So long as video is regarded only as an extension of film or television, increasing hysteria and exoticism is its most likely future. Our background as television viewers has conditioned us to expect that things on screens change dramatically and in a significant temporal sequence, and has therefore reinforced a rigid relationship between viewer and screen - you sit still and it moves. I am interested in a type of work which does not necessarily suggest this relationship: a more steady-state image-based work which one can look at and walk away from as one would a painting: it sits still and you move.


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