July 16th, 2001



(On channel 457, Mon and Wed 10PM-11PM, maybe other times as well)

I've often heard it said that art is a matter of being just slightly beyond the audience's ability to predict, in a manner that communicates something for which there is no current word. Based on these criteria, I heartily recommend static.

In a way, you know what's coming: "snow" on the screen, plus a general noisy business not unlike too much rain during a hurricane. But I find myself at the edge of my seat, wondering exactly how, and exactly why.

Will there be a black or a white dot four centimeters up and three centimeters right into the screen? If so, why? Does it relate to earlier dots there? Will my vaccuum cleaner change it? What does it mean for me? What was the author intending? Which is more important?

Often, I like to turn down the sound, and instead play some nice John Cage, and pretend that, somehow, the music is a soundtrack to the show.

It doesn't have the kind of high-budget special effects or big name actors you might expect, but if you spend the time and ask the right questions, static is a richly rewarding experience.