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End of analogue signal in UK captured on film at David Hall exhibition at Ambika P3

18 April 2012

An historic moment in UK history has been captured on film in a unique installation at the Ambika P3 exhibition space, on the University of Westminster’s Marylebone Campus. Artist David Hall has captured the end of analogue TV in the UK in his new commission ‘1001 TV Sets (End Piece)’ 1972 – 2012 and the University of Westminster has commissioned a short film to document the exhibition and historic event.

'1001 TV Sets (End Piece)' features 1001 cathode ray tube TV sets of all ages and conditions, filling the massive Ambika P3 subterranean space. The TVs had been tuned to different analogue stations that played randomly in a cacophony of electronic signals. The signals gradually reduced between 4 and 18 April 2012, as the final analogue signals were broadcast from London’s Crystal Palace.

Since the analogue signal broadcast to London was switched off today, the 1001 TV sets in Hall's new commission are now emitting only terminal audio hiss and a visual sea of white noise. The exhibition is free and continues until 22 April. Opening hours are Wednesday to Friday, 11am-7pm and 12-6pm during weekends.

Internationally recognised for his groundbreaking work in the field of video art, David Hall (b. 1937) has often been cited as its most influential pioneer in Britain. On 25 January 2012, he was awarded the augural Samsung Art+ Lifetime Achievement Award by an international panel.

Hall started his work as a sculptor, and was awarded first prize for sculpture at the Biennale de Paris in 1965. The following year he took part in the first major exhibition of Minimalist art, Primary Structures, New York (1966) before turning to photography, film and video. He participated in the formation of the Artist Placement Group with John Latham and others in 1966, and was co-organiser of the seminal international Video Show exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1975. Hall was co-curator of the first video installations exhibition at Tate in 1976, and in the same year he initiated and was a founding member of the artists' organisation London Video Arts (now part of LUX).

David Hall’s first works for television appeared unannounced on Scottish TV in 1971. The transmissions were a surprise, a mystery, and have been acknowledged as the first artist interventions seen on British television. An installation version of these early ‘TV Interruptions’ will be exhibited in Ambika P3 alongside ‘Progressive Recession’ a multi-screen interactive work utilising nine cameras and nine monitors as complex analogical mirrors.

The exhibition, curated by Michael Mazière, is presented by Ambika P3, University of Westminster in association with Rewind and supported by DHL Envirosolutions, SWEEP, North London Waste Authority and VINCI construction.

Ambika P3 is a 14,000 sq ft space for contemporary art and architecture, developed from the vast former concrete construction hall at the University of Westminster. It presents a public programme of curated exhibitions, education projects, talks and events in central London. Ambika P3 is located at 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (nearest tube: Baker Street).

A related exhibition, Remote Control, will be held at ICA, London from 3 April – 10 June 2012. Remote Control offers a unique insight into the impact of television broadcasting on cultural and socio-political phenomena through a wealth of established and emerging artist responses. The free exhibition, which will include work by David Hall, will be complimented by a full programme of events and films.

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