OMG I’m on .TV is post-analog Pirate TV station broadcasting in NYC filling the void left behind after the digital transition. It addresses the evolution of media, fan based culture, copyrights, and discussions on bandwidth allocation. It broadcasts a loose narrative of user generated web content to old analog televisions from a Linux based web scraper. On OMG TV, there is no fast forward button or other videos to distract you. OMG TV embraces an old format, a dismissed frequency band, and remix culture to create television station representation of todays culture where the user is king.
On June 12th, 2009 analog television transmitters across the US went black. This rendered generations of older televisions useless and left open a frequency range still accessible to most people. This presented an opportunity to explore new methods of curating TV content, media consumption, and distribution in contrast with the new digital HDTV era. In particular, with the wealth of user-generated content on the web and the rapid nature of web surfing, there exists a potential to explore these fields in a static manner, rather then interactive to further challenge the content dictated by media conglomerates.
OMG TV is an analog VHF transmitter that broadcasts video content pre-programmed from the web sources. Through a web interface, users can select content to be shown the following day through various web scraping and tagging methods. In an abstract sense, this website will act as media aggregator, where people submit content tags that create loose narrative connections between otherwise dissimilar videos. An example is a show that gathers all of the most commented videos on YouTube with the tag “mowing the lawn”, and creates a bizarre and fascinating narrative about lawn mowers and the culture of videos surrounding this “genre”. In addition, the platform will be open for others to add their own scripts to scrape content, or manually curate hour-long shows. This format can also lend itself to various forms of interpretation beyond video and explore it as a new format in-of-itself.
The station ran for the period of 45 days and then went black to finalize the death of analog bandwidth in the US. In the process of creating, managing, and documenting the rise and closure of the station, parallels were drawn between the current state of content on the web and low-fi nature of analog TV, the evolution of media and fan based culture, copyright issues involved in user created content and piracy, and discussions on bandwidth allocation, particularly VHF & UHF frequency which have been sold to AT&T and Verizon.
The TV station continues to grow and transform as more content is scraped and modified. Though the station is no longer on the air in New York City it has moved to other locations where the transition is still in progress such as Canada. In February 2010 it will be broadcasting itʼs commentary on remix culture during the Vancouver Olympics in a neighborhood that has be marginalized and adversely effected by the re-zoning and development surrounding the Olympics. It will provide a stark alternative to the hyper media coverage surrounding the Olympics to a disenfranchised population that is the second poorest neighborhood in Canada.