TELEVISION SIGNAL (ONE MINUTE)
2016, 60 books containing 48.000 pages of binary code, hardcover, thread stitching
"Television Signal (One Minute)" depicts the binary code of a one-minute television signal, spread over 48.000 pages. Divided into 60 books with 800 pages each, not only the complete image information, but also two audio tracks and the teletext are stored in half a billion zeros and ones. Ruben Aubrecht, renowned for his cryptic and subtle infiltration of existing structures in the art world and media world, fills an entire bookshelf with the books, each representing one second of TV signal. By doing so, he enables us to visualise the quantity of information that constantly surrounds us in the form of radio broadcasting waves, wireless LAN and mobile network data. The transformation of the cursory, digital signal into the analogue, solid form of books, lined up on a sturdy grey shelf, additionally emphasises the powerful effect of our media environment, which we otherwise tend to perceive as ephemeral.
“The 0/1 code is the language of the digital world; the computer knows only two ‘states’, two symbols that can be assigned to these states – activated or not activated. Our entire media world is based on this binary code. […] Hence we are aware of it, in a way, this phenomenon of information overload that constantly surrounds us in the form of radio waves for TV and radio broadcast or for mobile communication. And yet nobody has ever illustrated it in such a surprisingly simple, elegant, subtle, aseptically striking and clever way as Ruben Aubrecht. One minute of television fills an entire archive rack. And that’s without considering the actual content of this one minute of TV … “ (Carina Jielg)
Catalogue text: Europe Media Art Festival 2017