Daytime Viewing (Prime Time)

This project highlights the work, “Daytime Viewing” (1979-80) by Jacqueline Humbert and David Rosenboom. Daytime Viewing is an extended narrative song, based on a casual analysis of daytime television drama and the audience phenomena such programming addresses. The piece explores the use of fantasy as a survival mechanism against loneliness, illustrating the human compulsion to inflate the mundane to mythological proportions. A central female character weaves tales, using threads of personal experience and the idea of TV as friend, as mantra, and as transformational window between imagined spectacle and the pedestrian plane. Newly transferred and never before seen footage from the pilot performance, early video work by Rosenboom on a Radioshack TRS-80 computer, and a live fashion show of tele-characters from the piece made up this multi-sensory performance.

We invited six contemporary artists working across media in performance, video, sound and fashion to interpret six characters depicted in the Daytime Viewing  teleplay for a live televisual fashion show. Erica Magrey, Heidi Jien Jouet, Dana Bell, Johanna Herr, Shana Moulton, and MV Carbon reinterpreted the original character studies of Daytime Viewing in a live broadcast event. The newly transferred video and photographs of the original performance by Humbert and Rosenboom were integrated into the larger exhibition set, in large scale projections, monitor playback, and a real time, live to tape mix. The full piece was taped and mixed during the actual event for television broadcast — both online, and on Manhattan cable TV.

Very special thanks to Jacqueline Humbert, David Rosenboom, and Unseen Worlds Records for their assistance and support in making this project possible.