From Receiver To Remote Control: The TV Set
September 12 – November 25 1990
Conceived by artist Matthew Geller and developed under the initiative of the The New Museum’s curator, the late Bill Olander, “From Receiver to Remote Control: The TV Set" was an unusual exhibition in that it did not consist of art objects, but presented the television set—that ubiquitous object in the American home—in its past, present and future manifestations. Exploring the impact that television’s physical presence has had on the American home, family, leisure time and community, this exhibition was devoted to a crucial aspect of contemporary culture. Moving outside a strict definition of the ‘fine arts,’ the exhibition addressed the symbiotic relationship of so-called ‘high’ art and ‘popular’ culture.
The exhibition, "From Receiver to Remote Control: The TV Set,” offered the first comprehensive study of the TV set. Responding to the vast body of published writing and research on television, almost all of it focuses on programming, technology, economics, or the history of the television industry, the exhibition focused on the box itself, which had been largely been overlooked. In a sense, the project took the TV set’s point of view: looking at itself, looking at the living room, and looking at the people watching it.