When Tank Magazine hits the bookshelves in 1998 it created somewhat of a publishing stir. In a format too cute to ignore, and with an ingenious blend of editorial content that read more like a zine than a newsstand magazine, Tank Magazine achieved a major following of appreciative readers and publishers the world over.
Following on from this success, Tank explores the territory of the moving image with its on-line portal Tank TV, launched in December of 2003. With such a huge increase in short film and video production worldwide, and a dizzying amount of streaming content on the web, finding thought provoking and conceptual video work can be a little overwhelming.
That’s where Tank’s smart editorial approach comes in, by sourcing quality motion works from a wide pool of established and ‘unknown’ artists, in any format, that all engage with the editorial theme, in surprising, and often humorous ways. Each submission is limited to three minutes, to encourage artists to convey their message succinctly and to the point, working more as a collection of creative insights to keep viewers engaged. In keeping with this, the graphic interface is functional and straightforward, to allow visitors to access the works with the minimum amount of mouse-clicks needed.
In September’s topic, Tourism, Tank.tv encouraged us to sit back and explore the ‘modern anxieties’ of contemporary holiday-making with a selection of video works by a range of creators, from your average tourist’s wobbly, handheld video footage, to artists who directly address the theme from within a conceptual framework.
Artist Douglas Fishbone’s second clip is an amusing and often disturbing monologue piece begins rather cynically with a nursery rhyme, then continues to describe his childhood. Still images flick through like a slide-show, all describing his difficult family life.
It’s an entertaining play of words and pictures, with a series of found images – space, computer games, newspaper photographs, and disfigured people – mixed with family photos. Here, the holiday slide show becomes a slide show of life’s experiences and living in America.
Tank.tv collects videos itself from various sources, and adding an interesting angle to the ‘Tourism’ topic, is a work by KFA Delegation. But they’re no conceptual art collective. KFA is an acronym for ‘Korean Friendship Association’, and this short, low budget video promotes travel to North Korea, with footage of public parades, fireworks, long highways, and socialist statutes, determined to show a modern and positive image of the socialist society.
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