Technical Difficulties

I explore the history of the "technical difficulties" signs broadcast during outages, end of day, and color & resolution correction on the different television stations. In the past, television signals where turned off at the end of the day; today, however, the only pause or break from an endless stream of information comes when something breaks. Through this exploration, I subvert what is considered an annoyance to the viewer and loss of airtime for the station and transformed it into a nostalgic and desirable image, and a reminder that a break from the media can be a welcome one.

Images on four monitors slowly transition between different "technical difficulties" screens, such as noise, static, color bars, and resolution calibration. The duration of each is no longer than three minutes.

2003 Installation

The original 2003 version was designed for and displayed at The Cable Center and is now part of their digital art collection. It used six widescreen monitors installed into the walls of their second-floor lobby. I arranged the sequence of videos with the four technical difficulties signs on the first four screens, on the fifth screen the question: "What do you do when your only pause comes when there is a technical difficulty?", and on the sixth [which was behind the secretary] only title credits.


  • Denver's Digital Artists, Potential Cloud Formations @ Denver West. 7/2005
  • Technical Difficulties, Solo Exhibit at The Denver Cable Center 5/2003


  • The Denver Cable Center