Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
February 4–May 14, 2016
In September 2012, the American filmmaker and writer Benjamin Tiven visited the video archives of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) in Nairobi. KBC was the national television network from 1964 until 1989. Its collected video and film materials are historic but are not cataloged according to any official mandate for accuracy or completeness, and the collection is not open to the public. Much of its holdings are deteriorating or are in outmoded media formats that require equipment the station no longer has. Over the years, various governmental agencies have permanently withdrawn selections of footage to satisfy ulterior agendas. Despite the technical lapses and omissions, KBC’s archive represents an original effort by a state to fashion its image and to legitimate its power through control of visual mass media. Everyday Static Transmissions featured the film that emerged from Tiven’s visit, A Third Version of the Imaginary, and a suite of related photographs.