Matthew Belanger

new media artist

Television Programming

The Weather Channel (06/22/1999)
The Weather Channel (06/22/1999)
Home Shopping Network (12/31/1999) NBC (03/08/1999) MTV (03/13/1999) CNN (03/25/1999) BET (07/05/1999) ESPN (05/10/1999) Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite (01/06/1999) FX (06/19/1999) The Weather Channel (06/22/1999) USA Network (07/04/1999) CNBC (07/28/1999) TNN (07/29/1999) ABC (07/06/2000) Fox (06/16/2002) Fox News (12/31/2003) Fox News (01/01/2004) Channel 35 (01/04/2004) Channel 35 (01/05/2004) Channel 35 (01/06/2004) Channel 35 (01/07/2004) Channel 35 (01/08/2004) Channel 35 (01/09/2004) Channel 35 (01/10/2004)
Click a thumbnail to enlarge photos.
This body of work began out of a desire to transform the never-ending stream of broadcast television images into something that could be taken in and analyzed as a whole. My thinking was that perhaps then patterns would emerge, that once realized, could give us greater understanding of the complex medium of television, and its impact on us as viewers.

I worked on this series from 1999 until 2009, when the NTSC method of broadcast came to an end in the United States. To capture these images, I placed a digital camera in front of my television for a day, a week, or even a month at a time. The camera, set to take a photo every minute, produced 1440 images per day. These images were initially placed manually onto a grid. Each row consisting of 30 images, representing a half hour unit of television programming. Later, I wrote a script to automatically place the images onto the grid, easing the burden of production.

By making it possible to study an entire days worth of television programming, I hoped that people would be able to identify a particular channel through its use of color, form, and pattern. Unsurprisingly, MTV is considerably more chaotic than CSPAN when viewed as a whole. While The Weather Channel's strict schedule creates a distinct pattern leading from top to bottom. Channels can also vary from one day to the next.