Photo History of Social Broadcasting

A pictorial history of artists engaged in participatory performance and creative dialogue documenting the evolution of social broadcasting.

Marshall McLuhan, who forecast the concept of the “global village” in the 1960s, appears on the first international round-the-world, sunset-to-dawn, satellite broadcast in 1967: Our World. The program featured 24 hours of broadcasting as the satellite transmitter orbited the earth, demonstrating the potential of this new global technology. Video of broadcast.
The Australia National Control Centre Studio for the 1967 Our World satellite broadcast. The program featured a performance by the Beatles in London performing All you Need is Love.
From left, Videofreex artists David Cort, Bart Friedman and Parry Teasdale filmed kids’ programs and daily goings-on in 1973 at their Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, N.Y. The Videofreex created the first alternative, independent television station in America in 1972.
Broadcasting over their own station, Lanesville TV in upstate NY, the Videofreex put local residents on the air and used the telephone to create a two-way medium of social broadcasting.
Satellite Arts 1977, Working under the name Mobile Image, Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz used NASA’s satellites, staff, and equipment at the Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to link sets of dancers in the two cities. They created a bi-directional, bi-coastal, real-time television link between the two locations, compositing dancers in the electronic video space. Video still copyright Kit Galloway.
Hole-in-Space 1980 networked installation by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, linking Lincoln Center in New York with Century City, Los Angeles via Satellite. For three days, they staged a spontaneous telematic Happening in which people could peer through a hole in space, engaging with people on the other side, transcending geography and distance.
The Electronic Café, a commission of the LA Museum of Contemporary Art and the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival, connecting diverse cultures at restaurants and cafés situated in the various ethnic neighborhoods of Los Angeles. TheElectronic Café was an ongoing project at its home in Santa Monica through the 1990s,  where it became internationally known as an influential hub for dialogue, exhibitions, and performance dedicated to networked art.
Merce Cunningham performing in the 1984 satellite broadcast, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, directed by Nam June Paik. In 1984 at the stroke of midnight, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, took place as a simultaneous broadcast from New York, Paris and San Francisco in response to George Orwell’s dystopian novel. The work demonstrated how new media collaboration could contradict the Orwellian future, rather, empowering artists and audiences in an age of expanding communications technologies, to take control of electronic media for artistic purposes.
Telematic Dreaming (1992) by Paul Sermon, connecting two remotely situated participants joined in electronic space via ISDN. Two separate interfaces are located in separate locations, these interfaces in themselves are dynamic installations that function as customized video-conferencing systems. Within the third space, two participants lie on beds in remote locations, but together they share a bed in electronic space.
Jennifer Ringley’s seven year Webcam project, JenniCam, live broadcasting 24/7 from her apartment from 1997 to 2003. JennyCam became a worldwide phenomenon for the seven years she conducted the project. She lived her life in front of the camera: sleeping, eating, walking, the things that people do in their personal life. Ringley’s notion of the project was that she simply wanted to live her life in front of the camera as a site-specific Internet project. It was never clear whether or not her aspirations were as performance, or rather, a self-portrait in time of the most mundane and intimate details of her life.
The Big Kiss (2007) by Annie Abrahams. Despite physical separation, there is a sense of intimacy and even sexuality in the telematic embrace. We ask the question: are we “alone together,” or are we able to form meaningful and deeply human connections through networked interaction and performance.
Angry Women (2009) by Annie Abrahams: 12 Minutes long 9 women in front of their webcams, connected via a common interface to internet, express their anger, their irritations. An artistic research project on remote communication and collaboration using anger as a pretext for female anger using webcam performances as a facilitator.
Live performance event in 2012 led by Randall Packer with Internet artists Annie Abrahams, Helen Varley Jamieson, Andy Deck, Nathaniel Stern, and students from the California Institute of the Arts. The workshop exercise demonstrates actions of collective play in the virtual space.
Roger Mills Ethernet Orchestra performing live telematic music at the 2012 Cyposium online conference. Mills founded the internationally acclaimed Ethernet Orchestra, a networked music ensemble exploring new approaches to intercultural telematic improvisation.
Randall Packer hosting The Post Reality Show: Talk Media, interviewing artist Mina Cheon, net broadcasted live as part of the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC.
Waterwheel (2013) project by Suzanne Fuks and international collaborators: the streaming platform Tap with 6 webcams and real-time media. Waterwheel is an online place where people can meet to share, present and perform about water across disciplines, cultures and ages. Media are stored in the Media Centre, a growing collection of shared water-related audio, images, video, text, spreadsheets & animations. People, whether or not they are registered, can consult the media centre by using the advanced search to explore artists’ works, projects or topics, out of personal interest or in order to curate exhibitions, festivals or conferences.
@ Home with Furtherfield, online event with London directors of Furtherfield Ruth Catlow and Marc Garret, interviewing San Francisco artist Juergen Trautwein as part of the 2015 Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium held in Singapore.
In 2016, Blast Theory and acclaimed author Tony White created “A Place Free of Judgment,” working with young people in libraries in Telford and Wrekin, Worcestershire and Staffordshire to reimagine libraries, storytelling and their place in the world. On 29 October 2016, over the course of nine hours from 3pm to midnight, the young people took control of their local libraries, and performed live to a worldwide audience via an interactive live stream.