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Rob Duarte’s 2010 work UTV bears a strong resemblance to The Murmur Study in its symbolism and purpose, but takes a different physical form—that of a stack of old analog televisions. The piece, is an over the air broadcast of our internet ideates, defined by Twitter feeds. Part of a bigger exhibition called “Communication III”, it consists of two parts. One part, “Interface” takes up half the gallery space and is made up of a laptop displaying the algorithms and scripts that collect the tweets from people in the Chicago area. A camcorder then converts this feed into a television signal which is broadcasted to all televisions in the immediate area. There is a corkboard placed above the laptop that contains notes about the process of the project as well as, “comparisons between the sociopolitical histories of Internet and broadcast TV media, and the re-appropriation of the obsolete medium of analog TV for the purposes of broadcasting local community-produced content.” The second part of the project is the actual televisions, or the “Output”. A stack of analog television sets with rabbit antennae display the twitter feed as white text on a black background, the phrases scrolling from right to left across the screen at different speeds. The purpose of this piece deals with the relationship between the demise of analog televisions and the struggles the internet might face in the future. With the death of the analog TV came the death of “freely available, community-driven content”  This piece aims to bring that community content back. However given present day issues, this piece has a darker side. The creation of SOPA, and perhaps even more threatening, ACTA, are legislation that aims to silence some of these voices. Perhaps Duarte was far ahead of his time when predicting the future struggles the internet will face as corporations try to silence it, just as corporations bought out community channels on analog television.

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Sources:

(http://www.robduarte.com/utv.html)

(http://www.random-magazine.net/2010/06/utv/).