MEDIA BURN by ANT FARM (1975)
“Original version of Ant Farm’s classic video art piece examining and satirizing the media, particularly the impact of television. On July 4, Independence Day, 1975, what a TV newscaster described as a “media circus” assembles at San Francisco’s Cow Palace Stadium. A pyramid of television sets are stacked, doused with kerosene, and set ablaze. Then a modified 1959 Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz, piloted by two drivers who are guided only by a video monitor between their bucket seats, smashes through the pyramid destroying the TV sets.
Preceding the event are clips from various TV news broadcasts that covered it (many of the TV reporters make the comment that they “didn’t get it”). The tape includes interviews with invited guests, a speech given by Doug Hall as President John F. Kennedy explaining the message of Media Burn, the dramatic unveiling of the Phantom Dream Car, several sequences of the car smashing through the TV sets, and its triumphant return from the end of the Cow Palace parking lot.”