Television is a foreign country

Installation
Satellite dish, 5 television sets, video
2011

Site-specific installation, Residence Botkyrka, Fittja, Stockholm, Sweden

“Television is a Foreign Country” is an media installation that puts the artist’s longing for her homeland and its media on the window of an apartment in a Stockholm suburb. The installation is composed of vintage television sets piled on an apartment window facing outwards onto the street.

It shows 5 instances of television transmissions: the first is a reel of nostalgic images from my hometown, Rio de Janeiro; the second shows a real-time television sending (connected to the apartment’s satellite dish); the third displays a colorbar image signifying ‘broken signal’; a fourth television displays chapters from a Brazilian soap opera from the 70s and seen all over the world’ and the fifth shows only noise – no signal.

Each of these television sets represent one instance of one’s relationship to television media – the nostalgia that images from afar can bring about, the informative and entertaining live tv signal, the frustration of missing or broken signals – where the television apparatus renders itself useless, and a historical TV soap opera from the 1970s that relates both to the time when the apartment block was built as well as to my year of birth.

The televisions are turned onto the street 24/7 for two months, thus making the television a public object and television watching becomes a public affair. The window itself is activated as a frame that looks out onto the passer-by, and turns it into a media vitrine.

This installation was part of Fittja Open 2011.

Thank You Residence Botkyrka for the support.