ICTYTV (2018)

Single-channel video installation with found video from the digitized VHS evidence archive of a United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague; vintage sofa, coffee table, carpeting and cathode-ray tube television with stand.

Dimensions variable; video duration 1 hour  5 min. 41 sec.

Installation views: NARS Foundation Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY, June 2018 (photo credit: Cary Whittier)

ICTYTV is an early 1990s "television channel" with programs and content sourced entirely from the institutionally-digitized VHS evidence archives of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Much of the tribunal's video evidence was recorded partially on top of previously-used tapes, meaning that, in addition to pertinent war crimes evidence, the archives also contain cartoons, films, advertisements, home video and other individually-generated material from around the world. This work gathers together a selection of broadcast material, presented in a pseudo-domestic environment, as a means to explore the underlying medium of transmission of image-based war crimes evidence. It emerges as inscribed not upon a neutral surface, but rather as one component of a palimpsest of socio-cultural production.

The video opens with a test pattern originating from a town north of Sarajevo, where the engineer has replaced the standard audio beep with a recording of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door".