Monday, August 07, 2006

emergency broadcast network

in the early '90s, joshua l pearson's emergency broadcast network (EBN) was one of the hottest collage acts around. sometimes political, sometimes surreal, EBN achieved their 15 minutes of fame when they were commissioned to do all the video work for u2's "zoo tv" tour, when u2 was trying to rebrand themselves as subversive media manipulators rather than the huge corporate sellouts they'd become. (which was ironic considering u2's lawsuit against negativland, just a few years earlier.)

EBN's music often revolves around a "throbbing techno beat" that by today's standards sounds dated at times; musically, it doesn't always stand up as well as collage from that period by negativland, john oswald, or people like us. but listening to EBN on cd (or mp3) is sort of missing the point. where EBN really shone was in their prolific video collage work.

i posted a couple links to EBN videos back in june, knowing there was more there to be seen. i've since gone back and discovered that there is a ton of EBN stuff now on youtube.

collected here are links to a whopping 25 (!) EBN videos, some of which appear to be fairly recent. there's some amazing stuff here. former president george HW bush factors in heavily, as do tom brokaw and CNN's talking heads (from back when CNN was the only 24-hour news channel). attentive viewers will even spot dick cheney and john kerry, in what are almost certainly the earliest collages to incorporate either of these men, long before cheney became VP. this is pioneering stuff.

if you're familiar with EBN, you'll know what a treat this is. if you've never heard of them before, start clicking links. you'll thank me later.


No comments: