January 6, 2005 - Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius - CAC TV
January 6, 2005


CAC TV: Every program is a pilot. Every program is the final episode.


An amorphous group of social misfits and cultural outcasts are handed the reigns of a fledgling television program. Not having any experience in making television, they decide to re-invent the medium.


A time-slot for imagining alternate realities.


– It is a new project of the Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius.

– It is a TV program about making a TV program.

– It is produced by artists and television enthusiasts worldwide.

– Yes, the interest has been surprising. In fact, it had its official review of 1500 words before it went to an editing room.

– No, we prefer talking heads being inside the soundtrack instead of on the screen.

– Actually, it introduces the genre of reality meta-show both as a deconstruction of the format of reality (programming) and as an attempt to create one’s own (reality)(programming)(reality-programming).

– Well, one possible premise would be to imagine what kind of television could be produced if we were to invite a group of thinkers (i.e., Pierre Bourdieu, Avital Ronell, Paul Virilio, Raymond Williams, Jacques Derrida) to collaborate with a rotating cast of artists, cable-access producers, anti-capitalists, tele-evangelists, and day time talk show hosts.

– Failure is the underwriter of this program, and cancellation is one of several goals we have before we can call this a success.

– Yes, it follows the adventures of strangers, fans and TV-sceptics inside TV-land through planned accidents and unscripted actions.

– Good question. The show consists of two basic formats: the broadcast version (including a showcase of artists films, games and devices) and TVlog (whose excerpt please find below).

– It dreams of turning audience members and spectators into an active public possibly even producers. It dreams of inducing wakefulness and tapping into the inherent power of the multitude to counter the sleep inducing nonsense that often passes as entertainment. Activating the creativity and critical skills of the viewer while still remaining watch-able. You know what we mean?

– We would not be doing it if we did not think that it would in fact be an invitation to the viewers/participants to dream together.

– Believe it or not, it airs once a week on TV1, a commercial TV channel in Lithuania.

– It lasts 30 minutes minus a commercial break.

– Yes, the obligatory website plug, www.cac.lt/tv where you can find much more including The First Episode: Behind The Scenes (featuring the unforgettable performances of Egle Rakauskaite and Evaldas Jansas as well as editing by Maria Bustnes), which premiered in Lithuania in October and received a number of enthusiastic reactions including the famous “Beavis and Butthead doing Dogma in Vilnius…”

– Yes, this reminds me of a dream I had during the L.A. Riots in which the police were carrying television sets instead of guns. And instead of threatening people with lethal force, they induced them into a strange slumber by zapping them with programs from central command.

– Thanks, we truly are hoping to meet you online or on air. We also look forward for your suggestions for films as well as ideas and proposals for the CAC TV at tv@cac.lt


Excerpts from the CAC TVlog:

rai: “So… last week we had a couple of meetings with senior executives of TV1 channel in Vilnius www.tv1.lt where we presented the first draft of the concept of CAC TV. “It’s going to be reality meta-show” we explained “which belongs to the genre of intellectual infotainment.” In other words, it’s a program about making a program when each new episode plays a pilot version of itself (or maybe the next episode.) Why did we decide to make a reality show? Well, it’s the cheapest and the most popular genre these days, and we are eager to deconstruct it while bringing more viewers to the screens than the typical “art on TV” program us would allow. “It’s not the cheapest genre anymore” grinned the director of the channel. “But we still want to make it” we bounced back. “And we still want to turn each step of making a program, like writing the script, finding good voices for a voice-over, casting actors, meeting possible sponsors, etc. into a content of the program.” “You cannot forget the dramaturgy” said the director. “There must be some conflict going on, so the viewer does not switch immediately to another channel.” “Well, I can assure you that we are not going to show a close-up of a drop of rain for half an hour,” I said, but their remark about dramaturgy made it clear that we will need to play with the fundamentals of TV format: fast-thinking, sensationalism and escalated conflicts (where perhaps the basic conflict will arise between the TV demands and our wishes, so between the so called high and low brow – can it be a content of the program?) Yet we went on to explaining that the objectives of our reality meta-show are much more complex like “revealing the mechanisms of the industry of media to the audience, trying to stimulate the development of the skills of critical watching thus developing a creative viewer, introducing the most interesting films and videos by artists to the masses, and turning CAC TV project into a communicative and productive tool for new type of TV aesthetics as well as productive social relations to develop.And the constant interplay of scripted / unscripted elements will guarantee that we will all have lots fun,” I added. We all smiled in a variety of smiles that reflected the differences of an approach to the situation.”

CAC, Vokieciu 2, LT- 01130 Vilnius, Lithuania
ph: + 370-5-2623476; fax: + 370-5-2623954, info@cac.lt www.cac.lt

Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
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