Awakening, 2012

 

Awakening (2012) is composed of four famous American newscasts from the 1960's and 1970's featuring news broadcaster Walter Cronkite. The four newscasts include the 1963 broadcast announcing the shooting and death of President John F. Kennedy, the 1968 broadcast announcing the death of Martin Luther King Jr., the 1969 broadcast of the launching of the first manned moon landing of Apollo 11, and the 1973 broadcast announcing the death of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The four news broadcasts play simultaneously with the audio intertwining into a collage of voices sending the viewer into a disorientating sound journey. Once the events of the broadcasts become defined, the importance and impact of the news settles into a rhythm of tension, anxiety and suspense. Each broadcast casts a shadow on the American psyche and collective body. At a time when America struggled with civil rights, the Vietnam War and growing global cultural influence, these newscasts bring light to frailty and vulnerability of the American collective body. Additionally, these broadcasts function as a historical marker in American history, tearing down the safety, strength and assuredness of the constructed fantasy of 1950’s American idealism. The Apollo 11 newscast is the one hope in these newscasts, alluding to a future of prosperity, growth and technological advancement. Awakening brings us back to a time when television news media brought the blunt truths of life into the safety of our homes. In our current contemporary culture filled with instant news cycles, up-to-the-minute breaking news, blogs, and social media, have we lost the understanding and reverence for how we comprehend learning of life’s important moments?

Awakening (video still)

Awakening (video still)

four-channel video, found news broadcast, various dimensions, 2012

Awakening (video still)

Awakening (video still)

four-channel video, found news broadcast, various dimensions, 2012

Awakening (video still)

Awakening (video still)

four-channel video, found news broadcast, various dimensions, 2012