New York

Bill Beirne

The Kitchen

Last fall Bill Beirne did a performance on 23rd Street in Manhattan titled Cross Reference. It was recorded with two cameras stationed at opposite ends of the street and broadcast live on Manhattan Cable TV’s channels C and D simultaneously, with each channel carrying one of the cameras. At home, on a single set, the final structure of the piece would vary from viewer to viewer, depending on when and how often he switched from one channel to the other. When I saw the tapes later at the Kitchen, however, they were run on two monitors simultaneously. This “double exposure” revealed the work’s poverty of concept and execution.

Two cameras scanned 23rd Street, communicating via walkie-talkie to each other and to Beirne as he executed his performance. Camera “C” followed Beirne as he walked east, camera “D” followed a pedestrian going west described to operator “C” and to Beirne on the walkie-talkie

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