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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Our first TV set, and others

This week's prompt photograph is of a showroom full of older style free standing television sets. Nothing particularly family history related comes to mind, but as it is the second anniversary of my blog this weekend, I thought I would post this photo of one of our sons, taking early steps in 1983. At the time he had been walking for just three weeks, so naturally he was very excited, and when growing up he loved all ball sports. Behind him however is our first little television set. It was a Thorn model, and was operated by remote control, that is if you can call a control connected to the set by a cord remote. You just had to sit close enough for the cord to reach the set, which had been given to us a couple of years earlier by my mother-in-law Mary. We had been married for seven years at the time and had managed fine without a TV up until then, and I planned to continue the same way, but I think Mary thought we might need some distraction, or perhaps that our one year old might need more entertainment. The set wasn't free-standing, but we found a suitable spot on top of the wall unit, plugged it in and were a TV-owning family from then on, although I tried not to let the children become addicted. That little set lasted for over 30 years. Eventually it became a second set in the corner of the front room, handy if you really wanted to watch something different. When analogue reception was finally phased out, we put it out on the nature strip for the council rubbish collection, but before the collection date arrived, it was picked up by someone who was probably planning to use some of its parts. Nice to think that it could be recycled in that way.

Here's another photograph of a baby not watching television, in this case our English granddaughter, when she was very young. The photo is courtesy of her father, who was engrossed in watching a game of Australian rules football, broadcast live in the UK in the early hours, while babysitting at the same time. If you zoom in, you can see that the right team was winning, at least at that point. 

We now have three TV sets but we still don't watch it a lot, or at least I don't. I may be sitting there to be sociable, but I'm often concentrating more on something on the lap top or Ipad rather than what's on  'the box'.

With regard to our prompt image of a room full of television sets, here is a link to an interesting installation called Küba that I saw last year, not in Canada but at the Museum of Old and New Art, in Hobart Tasmania, the island state below the Australian mainland. The article also describes another tv room exhibit by the same artist Kutlug Ataman, but Küba was the only one of his works that was on display at MONA.You view this installation by relaxing in assorted old armchairs placed in front of forty old sets, each playing different interviews with a group of Turkish refugees. The photograph below from the national newspaper the Australian shows the multimillionaire founder of the MONA Gallery, David Walsh, with some of the sets behind him. Apparently he said it was his favourite exhibition in the whole gallery. Some of the other exhibits are very confronting to say the least, but art takes all forms, doesn't it? Everyone who visits Hobart visits MONA.

                                                                              David Walsh

For more blogs of all kinds and possibly television in particular, just click the remote to change channels directly to Sepia Saturday #291. 
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