“Image as Place”: The Phenomenal Screen in Kit Galloway & Sherrie Rabinowitz’s Satellite Arts 1977


  • Kris Paulsen


This paper examines the phenomenal effects of Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz’s 1977 satellite artwork, Satellite Arts 1977. Most accounts of live feedback video works from the 1970s stress the “narcissism” of the encounter with one’s own body on the screen. This essay, however, argues that while Satellite Arts does collapse the distinction between self and other, it does not result in the narcissism Rosalind Krauss claims is inherent to video. Satellite Arts, instead, models a version of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s “chiasm,” and diagrams what phenomenological experience might be like when mediated through a television screen. In doing so, Galloway and Rabinowitz hypothesize an ethics of engagement with others in mediated environments. Through their interventions in time, space, and place Galloway and Rabinowitz model what it might be like to be simultaneously real and virtual, self and other, subject and object, seer and seen, here and there, now and then.