Television Delivers People (1973)
Television Delivers People is a seminal work in the now well-established critique of popular media as an instrument of social control that asserts itself subtly on the populace through “entertainments,” for the benefit of those in power-the corporations that mantain and profit from the status quo. While canned Muzak plays, a scrolling text denounces the corporate masquerade of commercial television to reveal the structure of profit that greases the wheels of the media industry. Television emerges as little more than a insidious sponsor for the corporate engines of the world. By appropriating the medium he is criticizing-using television, in effect, against itself-Serra employs a characteristic strategy of early, counter-corporate video collectives-a strategy that remains integral to video artists committed to a critical dismantling of the media’s political and ideological stranglehold.