Private Room/TV
Masaki Fujihata



Mixed media installation. Dimension flexible.
Large-sized low-resolution display sculpture made with over 150 fluorescent tubes.

Note from the artist:

When noticing the excitement in our neighboring country during the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, I remembered how enthusiastically I used to watch the black-and-white images on the tube every night as an elementary school boy. Although I was supposed to sleep at 7:30, my parents had allowed me to stay up and cheer the athletes at the Tokyo Olympics e64. If I hadnft watched it all, Ifd been the odd one out at school. I remember how even our teacher was obviously suffering from a lack of sleep at the time.

I suppose this was one of a chain of collective experiences of worldwide TV audiences connected via network live broadcasts, which began with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November f63, and continued until around July f69, when the first man set foot on the moon. And there was I, sitting at one end of the network. I witnessed Armstrongfs moon landing together with a bunch of people who were gathering around a color TV at the company where my father was working. Everyone was excited and moved. I particularly remember how, being a little astronomer as a boy, I felt like floating a few inches above my seat. Everyone around me was in fact already getting up from theirs in excitement.

Different from a movie theatre, where one is part of a crowd of individuals who stare surreptitiously at a screen under the cover of darkness, TV is free from such gshadyh notions. It is the medium that introduced the ability to share an experience with friends or relatives, classmates who are supposedly watching from some other place, or even unknown people yet further away, while sitting in a well-lit room at home. What is actually shown is perhaps even rather unimportant, and it might have been the awareness that I was gsharing this event here and now with a lot of peopleh that caused my excitement at the time.

Television itself is currently about to make a shift from analogue to digital. The implementation of multi-channel and database functions will ultimately transform the TV set into a personal media terminal that eliminates the notion of simultaneity that we enjoyed so much in the golden age of television, as a result of which we no longer have a medium that connects people around the globe and gives us the shared experience described above.

This makes me a little sad.
Only now it dawns on me that, back in the 1960s and e70s, TV had set up an invisible network there in the back, behind me, my friends and family. When walking back home through the streets at dusk, there used to be that family I could see sitting around the dining table while the living room was filled by the TVfs flickering bluish light. I wonder where that scenery, that family has gonec All I see now is a shadow of myself standing under the electric light, staggered and motionless as I lost my way home.