Contemporary Art Center Gallery 205
Curated by Alice Smits

The SKT-090

On Sunday Oct. 8th between 12 and 6 PM a legendary seventies consumer machine, the SKT 090 by RCA, will check into Hotel New York and present a day-dream performance for one day. The player looks similar to a record player and is a forgotten video system from the late 70's called CED (Capacitance Electronic Disc) It was the last technology in the tradition of Edison's phonograph to read information from a disc with a needle. This technology was in use for less than a decade and quickly replaced by Pioneer's Laser Disc Technology. What makes this particular SKT-090 model a unique performer is its highly individual and eccentric way of playing back the video. The machine,
17 years old, reads scratches on the disc not like crackles on an audio record but chops a scene into fragments less than a 1/4 sec long and re-assembles them by chance operation. The needle gets physically irritated by several factors besides the scratches that let it skip the grooves, resulting in an infinite number of similar but not identical collage variations of the same scene. The performed "cuts" are almost seamless. Considering its historical context, there is some irony involved in this "accident" which is performed without human interaction. This collage machine mimes deconstructive editing techniques well-known in the video art from the Eighties. (The same decade this SKT 090 model was manufactured) The fragile unpredictable nature of the machine reproducing the stored analogue information in such an illogical way produces a machine autonomy that questions the way real-time is adapted into film-time. In classical cinema the latter one usually features a successive order of events. Based on the given data the machine suggests an infinite number of alternative readings on its own.

More on this technology can be found on this incrediblede site dedicated exclusively to CEDs

CEDs are often mistaken by Gebhard Sengmueller's legendary VinylVideo™ system that propelled sentimental feelings into the community