The Recovery Channels

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Nina Katchadourian's The Recovery Channels consists of footage from loose video tape collected off the streets of New York starting in 1998. The video tape is often found hanging in ribbons from trees, wrapped around lampposts, around fire escapes, on traffic islands etc. After being meticulously cleaned, restored and wound back into cassette shells, the footage is digitized and each "find" of tape becomes one of the "recovery channels." The viewer then uses a remote control to channel surf this television which contains cast off, unwanted, or perhaps shamefully thrown away material. The Recovery Channels comprises over 14 hours of footage on 38 different channels. The diverse material includes a Chinese action movie, hip hop videos, a ballet, an educational video on geriatric depression, an episode of Barney, and professional as well as amateur pornography. Videotape is gradually disappearing as VHS players become exinct in favor of digital technologies, and so The Recovery Channels also serves as a kind of local urban archeology.
Television, laptop, remote control, 16 hours of footage transferred from collected videotape, 2005.
Project Created: 
June 2005