Edwin Schlossberg’s ‘Making Visible’ and the Dilexi Series: A Radical 1960s Broadcast that Put Art on TV
Posted April 9, 2018
In the late 1960s, ESI Design founder Edwin Schlossberg participated in a radical series that put art on TV. The Dilexi Series is a collection of groundbreaking, radical video and film works for television created by influential artists, including Julian Beck, Walter De Maria, Kenneth Dewey, Robert Frank, Anna Halprin, Phil Makanna, Yvonne Rainer, Terry Riley and Arlo Acton, Schlossberg, Andy Warhol, William Wiley, and Frank Zappa. Broadcast on KQED across the Bay Area in 1969, the Dilexi Series was one of the earliest projects where artists used television to disseminate their work to a wide public audience.
Shown in its entirety for the first time in almost 20 years, the Dilexi Series is on view at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts in San Francisco through May 5th, 2018.
‘Making Visible’ by Edwin Schlossberg
Made by ESI Design’s founder, Edwin Schlossberg, Making Visible is an essayistic look at communications theory and the invisible potential of the television medium. Schlossberg takes the TV apart, literally, to discuss the deconstruction of information and its visible reception. As he disassembles the TV, we hear:
“In order to make this image visible to you, it had to become invisible.”
Expanding on the mechanics of the physical transmission of information through television, Schlossberg begins to explore how we organize and transmit information as a society. We see artist Andy Warhol standing in front of a sunny window holding signs that say “May 16 2AM”, “December 5 4AM”, and various other dates and times. Schlossberg asks the viewer to contemplate why they believe the signs—is it because they are recorded? He explains:
“There are more than 24 hours in a day, if there needs to be… Time passes at any rate we choose, now that we have the process of recording sequence.”
Continuing to explore the potential of television, Schlossberg considers the metaphysical possibilities of the medium. This being 1969—year of the televised first moon landing—we hear Schlossberg narrate over NASA satellite footage:
“Television has been uninteresting because we were not using it to get through the screen to anything. Now we are. We can metaphysically meet through the use of this screen.”
As Schlossberg wraps up his meditation on communication theory as it relates to TV, we watch him reassemble the television set from the opening scene. He puts forth that the screen “can serve to unite, not isolate. Coordinate, not challenge.” And once the television set is completely reassembled, he leaves the viewer with a mission:
“See the screen as yours. Make visible.”
Watch the film: ‘Making Visible’
Dilexi Series Panel Discussion
On April 12th, 2018, a discussion panel will be led by former Pacific Film Archive curator Steve Seid, accompanied by Dilexi artists Anna Halprin, Philip Makanna, and Dilexi producer Jim Newman.
Thursday April 12, 2018 | 6:30 – 8 PM
McEvoy Foundation for the Arts
1150 25th Street, Building B
San Francisco, CA 94107