Michael Chernoff

Video Artist | Researcher | Educator

Always ON (2022) Video Installation

Materials: CCTV BW Cam, HDV Camcorder, GoPro Hero6, iMac(s), VCR, CRT Television, PVM CRT, BNC Cables,
HDMI Cable/Adapter, HD Projector, DELL LCD, USB CamLink, Twitch, Quicktime, OBS, Sofa, Computer Cart, JOBY Mount, Tripod

Center For The Arts: Room 286 - Dept of Media Study - University at Buffalo 

The point at which video broadcasted is recieved varies. For video to to be called Live it must be culturally constructed. Beginning with television broadcasts video the term “LIVE” is a draw for viewership for a temporal event that will be missed. When video is live, the word is printed on screen, stated audibly, and perceptually synchronized despite delays and different proximities from sender and recievers. These aspects of live TV media have carried over to internet streaming. Independent streamers use web cams to self-surveil themselves and their surroundings. As television and the internet compete for influence over culture and exchange media the presence of broadacasters and viewers is increasingly becoming more transparent as one’s own presence is knowable. The streamers self-image programs content as much as messages sent by viewers form feedback dialogues between streamer and audience. Even metrics of viewers, duration, and selections are immediately visible on screen. Different from television we see a style of video production where streamers and viewers collaboratively generate a performance through feedback in a more pervasive way than phoning into a TV station ever has. However, the surveliance of self and others is nothing new for live video streaming. From the start of television performers were jarred by the surveillance of CCTV cameras. If all parties know, watch, and react to one another through real-time media the questions surrounding liveness and performance has become even harder to know. And as video surveilance, feedback, and social construction expands  the moment of being live is harder to detect as social media expands live streaming capabilities.

With these ideas in mind the intention Always ON is a video installation meant to highlight how “LIVE” broadcasts is constructed by a convergence of video signals gotten from surveilance not only via cameras, but also the viewing spatial location of screens and machine. Within the streaming video signal on a monitor are the transmission of signals sent from other machines all converging into a single percieved image-event. Yet the performances of multiple actors and machines that would normally be distant is occurring in a single space. Paralleling the convergence of video signals the installation includes cameras and streams which surveil and emit other streams. Set before a sofa is a Twitch stream which re-contextualizes internet broacast within the original broadcast medium of televison. Above the CRT TV is an iMac which is acessing Twitch but whose screen shows a webcam view of anyone sitting on the sofa. The iMac’s video signal is sent to stacks of BNC video CRT monitors meant full studio produciton. Meanwhile a grayscale CCTV ceiling mounted camera sends a closed real-time signal and is projected on screen for the sofa sitters to glance at but never catch their own gaze. Towards the back of the room another closed circuit camcorder offers a panoramic view of these set ups. And back to the internet a Go Pro shares a stream of the entire space on a time delay to be seen on another iMac set back to back with the CRT-iMac build.

Rear Surveillance View - Camcorder to LCD Circuit

LIVE Sofa Set


Twitch Chat Feed

All of these set ups enable any person to participate as both spectator and performer. Where the liveness of video in past and present media technologies enters a feedback loop of local, real-time, and “near time” experiences within multiple live moments that have been deconstructed in the presence of other constructions of live video. As long as cameras and computers remain powered and the streams activated every vantage point is always running an always happening performance

iMac 27inch Facetime Camera fed through daisy chained CRT display

CCTV to Projecter Circuit

iMac 23 inch recieving Live GoPro HDMI transmitted to Twitch with OBS delayed tranmission 

Twitch Stream of people playing a Tarot Card game by Famous Clark

Hidden Video Feed

Audiece Seating

Title Card

Entrance View

Equipment + Room