IV. Telewizje / w centrum i na obrzeżach - Rewolucji w telewizji nie będzie

Bartek Zając


Televisions – centers and peripheries

Television Will Not Be Revolutionized. A Subversive Potential
of Audio-Visual Essay and the Reality of “Cool Medium”
The article examines a complex alliance of the form of audio-visual essay and the medium of television. Starting from the early 1960s television was criticized from the positions of modernist authorial cinema as a medium responsible for the cultural degeneration. Surprisingly only one decade later the same medium/institution became
a harbor for many new wave authors such as Alexander Kluge or Jean-Luc Godard giving them opportunity to produce highly experimental, critical works. The ‘cool medium’ functioned here not only as a platform for production and exhibition, but was also conceptualized, presented self-reflexively. The article echoes some of the most important contexts, institutional and aesthetic, crucial for understanding the emergence of subversive essayistic forms in the programming of public and commercial networks since the early 1970s. Through some case studies it also tries to answer the question of the extend to which we can describe this artistic attempts as subversive.