Information, 1973

NTSC, sound, colour

This work is one of Bill Viola's first video pieces. Directly inspired by his research into electronic music, the image is literally immersed in the signal, the very representation of the medium. A monitor, opposite us, shows us a series of scrambled, disturbed images, interrupted by visual and audio test sequences. The video material is captured raw, drained of any formal or conceptual insinuations.
Bill Viola relates the genesis of this tape: "I was using two machines to make a copy, when I mistakenly plugged the output into the input on the same machine; I started recording and there was a strange feedback, a signal which was not a signal at all, but as it ran throughout the studio installations – the mixer, the Chroma Keyer, all the monitors – each time I pushed the button, the result was different. I had never made such a good tape [laughs]. I had the feeling that, if my best result was born out of a mistake, then I ought to brush up my own knowledge." 1

Stéphanie Moisdon

1 Interview given in Paris, to the Cahiers du Cinéma, February 1984.