neil cummings

Broadcast Times

As the exhibition train leaves the platform, we are taken on a documentary journey of "a happy hunting ground for tycoons" the birth of commercial television broadcasting in South West England, in 1961.

Broadcast Times is assembled from film fragments found at the South West Film and Television Archive in Plymouth, and has multiple narratives; including the making and projecting - or broadcasting - of film itself; the entanglements of class, commerce and public service; the use of archives and the 'paraphernalia' of early television.

Commissioned as part of the British Art Show Six (2006), I collaborated with artists Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson and Ben White to explore public moving image archives in each of the four cities of the exhibition's tour; the project evolved into Screen Tests.

Our intention was to source orphaned or out-of-copyright material from which to create a new filmwork - while simultaneously looking for copyright expired music in the British Library and Library of Congress archives to create an appropriate soundtracks.

During the exhibition, we also negotiated with each of the archives to release our new filmworks, along with the moving image source files and audio material, under a Creative Commons license. Enriching rather than depleting the public domain.


Read more about Screen Tests or the British Art Show 6 


The beautiful soundtrack is composed by Ben White at

Screen Tests resurfaced in Substrate, and to some extent Entusiasts and Social Cinema. Take a look at DRAGLINE too.


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