Remote Nation is a public art installation in which the inhabitants of an entire high-rise apartment building appear to watch the same television station simultaneously. Viewers outside of the building are presented with an orchestrated display of the ambient televised light which appears to be organic, pulsing, breathing and changing color reminiscent of aurora borealis. From the outside looking in, the viewer becomes a voyeur to these individual electronic campfires, as a witness of the collective solitude of a remote, tv-watching nation.
Inspired by observing my parents watching the same program, but in separate parts of the family home, I have animated a new residential condo building with 100 reclaimed analogue televisions. Each TV is individually tuned to receive to a live transmission from my father's television in Niwot, Colorado. I employ a combination of analog and digital technologies to transmit this signal across the US. Each individual TV set receives a local Internet transmission to display a tightly cropped, altered version of my father's nightly edit of televised content. A single television, turned to face the High Line, allows the public to see a doubly abstracted version of the original program that more closely resembles an fuzzy over-the-air broadcast from the past than today's hyper real, crisp digital format.
Remote Nation evokes a physical manifestation of the abstract concept of a television audience. In deconstructing the process of how information is disseminated electronically, this project suggests a framework for a discussion of how technology can be simultaneously human and impersonal, and how it can bridge the gap of physical distance yet often fail to connect us as individuals.
Remote Nation is a meditation on evolving relationships to technology, and with each other.