Friday, February 7, 2014
That strange infomercial on Channel 21 is actually public art
It airs locally this weekend, then goes national on February 14 and 16.
You could set your DVRs for Saturday morning’s wee-wee-wee-small-hour’s premiere of the Good/Bad Art Collective's “experimental infomercial” titled Forever, the Dentonites’ offering in the Nasher XChange program wrapping up next weekend. Or you could just hang in there till 3 a.m., when it officially bows on KTXA-Channel 21. That’s certainly how the Good/Bad folks hope you experience the Jason Reimer-directed short film about … about …
“We’ve been working on this for two years, and it was developed with the idea you would be watching this thing — which is an odd, strange way of focusing on the Nasher’s ideas of public art — in the middle of the night,” says Martin Iles, director of the Good/Bad Art Collective. “We wanted to expand the program’s footprint into people’s homes late at night — unsuspecting people.”
One can only ponder what their response will be when they stumble across this handsome, charismatic stranger clad in white who rambles, whittles and promises salvation via a toll-free number. Says Iles, it’ll be just like the good old days, when the great Gene Scott owned the late-night airwaves and entertained a generation of True Believers, stoners and insomniacs.
“This isn’t about nostalgia, but about bringing in that feeling when you’re zoned out, vulnerable and watching TV late at night, and there are still plenty of people who do that,” says Iles, who used to stage the Rock Lottery back in the Good Old Days. “There’s a reason those things are on late at night. People are vulnerable. We’re trying to create that type of feeling.”
So we won’t say much more about it, then, expect to tell you where it was filmed (in Bryan Tower in downtown Dallas) and when (October 19 of last year). Everything else is left up to you. Like I told Iles, this thing is wonderfully … strange. And that’s the point.
“Thanks,” he says. “That’s good. I appreciate that. That’s the best thing I can hear. It’s a puzzle. There’s a lot to it. It’s not completely whacked out — weirdness for weirdness’ sake. I can explain every single bit of it. At first glance you can just dismiss it as sheer craziness. But if want to look deeper, it’s all there.”
And if you miss it tonight, another local airing’s been added: Forever will actually fill 30 minutes of airtime on WFAA-Channel 8 Sunday at 1:40 in the morning. Then it goes national, with broadcasts in New York City on February 14 and Miami amd Los Angeles on February 16. All at dark-thirty, of course.
In the words of Marin Iles, “Like my friend Corn Mo says, ‘Set your VCRs.’”