Adam Shecter
BCAST, 2009
Video, colour, sound, 10:01 min
(original version 19:35 min)
Courtesy the artist and Eleven
Rivington Gallery, New York

Animation: Adam Shecter
Sound: Justin Luchter
Costumes: Ricarda Burke & Adam Shecter

Adam Shecter


Invited by Sarah Cook (curator and researcher of media art, CRUMB / University of Sunderland)

»BCAST« (2009)

On June 12 2009 television stations across the United States turned off their analog signals, moving to digital-only broadcasting. »BCAST« – created by Adam Shecter during a residency with Brooklyn Public Television (BCAT) – was shown in an installation in a television Superstore in Brooklyn in the 2 weeks preceding the »digital transition«. It is an improvisation as well as a compilation, in a manic channel-flipping fashion, of sketches and music videos, mixing animations with video footage of people dressed as cartoon-like characters. Shecter writes that he made the work in response to television’s changing nature and »the end of the simultaneous event«, witnessed by the rise of TV on demand, micro- or niche channels, video file-sharing online, and the related erosion of audiences for public access TV programming.

Like after-school interludes remade for a jaded art world audience, Shecter’s choice of material is beguilingly entertaining and aesthetically serious. Cartoon action (rats riding yellow birds) vies for attention against cartoon romance and cartoon violence (a heart and a brain fight each other with wooden bats). Which came first, the drawing or the sound effect? A clock chiming the hour, a piece of paper flapping in the wind, a dog growling, a hammer hitting the wall. Snippets of music reminiscent of TV theme tunes and sitcom laughter tracks have been layered with sounds from nature shows – birdsong and rain (the soundtrack was cut to fit the animations by Justin Luchter).

Shecter calls the five to thirty-second long vignettes »quotidian trials« »of action and adventure, heroes and villains, monsters and magic«. He admits they were made in a Gonzo style – unfiltered, unedited – over the course of a year using Flash animation and free or easily accessible consumer equipment, such as flip cameras, a laptop, and wireless Internet access.

Watching »BCAST« is like re-scanning 100 years of analog television broadcasts while watching the outcome of thousands of hours spent surfing the web. It is the static in the gap between the analog and the digital, seeking out an unintended audience, an accidental viewer. So it is perfectly suited to be watched both on a television monitor and amidst the distractions of the web (in addition to the version screened here, the original longer cut is online at

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