White Wash Video
Referencing Barnett Newman’s paintings, White Wash is a Single-Channel Non-Narrative/Non-Linear Video that graphically represents 24 hours of CNN programming. This video explores my interest in questioning how the emphasis in Hard News reporting has changed in contemporary journalism. The video starts with a seemingly innocuous composition of an abstract painting. Through the slit in the middle of the composition, the viewer sees a black and white video of a person reporting the news in Silence, a talking-head, that offers no real information.
On January 17, 1991 at 3 A.M. (AST), with the start of the first Persian Gulf War, CNN moved passed the three major broadcast networks for the first time in its history. The world tuned in to its reporting on the war in Iraq due to CNN being the only news outlet that was able to make live reports from within the country during the initial bombing of Baghdad by the Coalition Forces.
On January 17 at 3 A.M. (AST), I recorded 24 hours of CNN. I then meticulously organized every minute of programming into five major categories that represented the totality of information that was aired during that period of time. The breakdown of information is as follows for the 24 hours: Repetition (34.89%), Advertisements (33.47%), Opinion-based (17.16%), Human Interest (11.21%), & Hard News (3.27%). The resulting video is based on a mathematical percentage of how much time, within the 24 hour period, was devoted to each category. In other words, the entire surface area of the video represents 24 hours of CNN programming and each color-area represents a specific category of programming with its size defined by the percentage of time that was devoted to presenting that particular type of information within the given 24 hours.
White Wash, 2014 (Low-Res 480p, Edited Short) from Prince Varughese Thomas on Vimeo.