The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
To coincide with the digital switchover, new curator Matt Williams's Remote Control at the ICA is impressive, carefully considered and boldly designed.
As an exhibition of video art it shines a long overdue light on the part played by its practitioners in the critique and demystification of television.
David Hall's 1971 TV Interruptions is a series of seven short works that cleverly and simply communicate the concept of the television as container and the screen as a surface reliant on signals passing to it - a frame within a frame. This is minimalism at its most transparent.
These works by an outstanding artist and prolific risk-taker were originally selected by the then Scottish TV network to deliberately interrupt their daily schedule during the Edinburgh Festival.
Rumour has it that these unannounced TV interruptions were the first and last video art experiments on the ITV network and the reason why there have been no more interruptions since - apart from commercials.
The most dynamic of the works in the exhibition come from the 1960s and 1970s, attacking as they do the nature of television's corporate ownership, meaning-making or imperialist message giving.
Harum Farocki and Andrei Ujica's 1992 Videograms Of A Revolution, shot in Bucharest, is pure video-verite as cameras follow people in real situations.
Made from 125 hours of amateur source footage and video shot by state TV crews supporting the revolution, this is a totally compelling precursor to the now familiar "camcorder revolutions."
Ferdinand Krivet's Apollovision 1969/2005 is a brilliant bombardment of the senses, with rapid, quick fire sound and image cut-ups. The relentless stream of power messages show US television networks using - by hook or by crook - the Apollo 11 space mission as a form of global US imperialism on the back of where science meets advertising and consumerism.
The "spirit of Apollo" bringing the world "together in peace" cut to Esso logos brings it all home.
Now that the digital switch has been triggered and the analogue broadcast system is defunct, maybe it's the artists that should take it over.
Runs until June 10. Box office: (020) 7930-3647. David Hall's End Piece runs at the Ambika P3 Gallery, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 until April 22. Box office: (020) 7911-5876.