The arrival of digital television marked the end of television static. Wim Janssen explores this phenomenon of black and white noise. Not the image itself, but the way it is reconstructed and materialised is the most important part of this fascinating installation. Television static or noise is not just an abstract image, it’s also a figurative one. It is in fact an artifact of technology, a physical phenomenon and unwanted by-product. It is recognizable as what it is, static, but also has a certain iconic meaning.

Janssen tries to imitate static by means of an apparently slow and inefficient process. He cuts polarization filter into small rectangles of one cm, in random orientations, like large pixels. These little squares are fixed between two large rectangular pieces of plexiglass. At first sight, the screen looks like a slightly darkened window. But in front of this screen stands a slowly rotating disc, also made of polarization filter. When the screen is seen through this disc, it changes into a semi-transparent field of video noise.