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Peter Weibel «TV-News (TV Death 2)» | TV News (TV Death 2)
Peter Weibel, «TV-News (TV Death 2)», 1970 – 1972
TV News (TV Death 2) | Photograph: ORF/Peter Weibel | © Peter Weibel

 Peter Weibel
«TV-News (TV Death 2)»

Video as a box, the TV set as a case. The newsreader reads his news. He smokes at the same time. His body is inside an invisible glass case, meaning the smoke doesn't disappear but accumulates inside the enclosed space, making it seem as if the TV set is filling up with smoke. The smoke makes the newsreader cough more and more, especially during the weather report. He stops reading the news when the TV set is filled with smoke and the screen is milky and impenetrable. He suffocates.
The medium has been taken by its word: the message occurred in the medium. Television’s day-for-day poisoning of communications has now turned on itself. The daily dose of fatal words read by the newsreader brings about his own death. He chokes on the noxious TV ecosystem of information and communication. A closed-circuit of word and meaning, of meaning and action.
In 1972, Austrian TV showed this work with its customary newsreader inside the glass case. Following the broadcast, many outraged viewers phoned up to complain – not about the obsolete news items (the news he read was one month old), however, but about the amount the newsreader had smoked.


Peter Weibel