Surrogate (1995) - Garnet Hertz

Duration: 7 minutes
Format: VHS

Influenced by Nam June Paik's "The Moon is the Oldest Television" (1965-67) this timelapsed video explores the modern attraction to TV as a primal human hunger for light. Somewhat like gazing at the moon or catching a glimpse of the sun, this project uses a television set as a surrogate experience that links us with this primal desire. Just as the glowing heavanly bodies were once used to orient one's position, the modern glow of TV offers a similar experience - providing the individual with a basis to orient one's self within current events, culture, and capitalism.


we know that humans seek food

a lot of life is spent in this process



we can say that seeking food is instinctive in all humans


    a hunger that is biological

even babies know how to do it within their limits

    mother's milk

    rubber nipple

if light is also food, then might we seek it as plants do

    human photosynthesis

is this why we gaze at fire

    campfires and fireplaces

is this why we used to gaze at the moon and the stars

    moon cycles used to measure time

    the stars used to give orientation and direction

is this why we stay up late watching television

    seeking direction and orientation

    connecting to the world


Garnet Hertz (1995) -