Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kill Your TV

One day, I took an old farm road off the main county highway to see where it would take me. It led me to this. An old wood-frame tv, decomposing beside a beautiful tree in a lovely field. It is starting to become a part of the landscape. Somehow, it seemed very symbolic to me, and I was thinking about it for weeks before making it back to photograph it. I am asking the lovely and talented Cydney from Material Lives to write a comment about it- her brilliant mind will able to say what my feeble brain cannot.


  1. blow up your tv, move to the country, build you a home...eat a lot of peaches, you'll all find jesus, on your own....

  2. I remember when you first mentioned this experience: you sounded almost like you'd had an encounter with the sublime. In Madison (and Stoughton) we so rarely encounter the type of social detritus in our landscape that city-dwellers do (except at student move-out time).

    My first instinct upon seeing your post was a feeling of sadness. Besides the TV just looking plain weepy, as a material culture person, there is a loss of history implied by this object having been removed from its context and use. We don’t know the family who bought or used this TV or any of the memories they shared in front of it. This abandoned (or dumped, if we want to think about our relationship to technological objects as a love affair) set speaks to our ever-expanding technological ‘progress’ and the waste it leaves behind.

    But as I thought about your post today, I realized that the dissonance you experienced upon seeing this artificial object that has now become a part of the natural landscape (presumably part of the object, wood, is returning to a state closer to its natural form) has provoked you to an encounter you otherwise wouldn’t have had. It has sparked your thought, challenged you to return to photograph it, and inspired a blog entry.

    As I write this, I see the image of hundreds of thousands of people tossing similar objects in order to foster cultural critique. It’s an absurd thought. And still, there is a irony in this object touted as destroying the American (and, now, English) mind and body having the power to engage your imagination (and camera). And this object that once projected images has now become an image itself.

  3. By the way . . . how could you tell this is a TV? I would have guessed a piano.

  4. Brilliant, Cydney. Thank you so much for commenting! And then you had to follow up the sober comment with one that totally made me chuckle. J'adore.

  5. and jen! i just started eating peaches again this summer after a 17 year hiatus!