National Portrait [the last transmission] [2009]

site specific commission for the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Dec 2009 - Jan 2010

In Liverpool, on the 1st December 2009 the analogue TV signal was turned off at midnight. The installation records the very last 24hrs of the five analogue TV channels as they were broadcast across the city. This forms a sound portrait of a day in the life of Britain, and reveals how we define ourselves through our channel hopping mass media. It celebrates the first generation of television history at the switching point between analogue and digital culture.

In the gallery five TV cabinets and the surrounding walls are boldly painted with TV test card stripes in red green blue, black & white. The cabinets frame a collection of classic old TV sets with a blank white sound reactive pulsating screen.. Each TV plays the sound of a whole days broadcast from one of the terrestrial channels. This is cut up into random length clips that are played back in shuffle mode, producing a varied series of sound bites. Across the five sets this produces a cascade of jump cut sound sentences ricocheting around the gallery. An infinite remix of space and time. A portrait of the nation.