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Addictive TV: Habitual Visuals

Pioneering digital rights organizations like Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are probably drooling over the possibilities that have opened up thanks to the work of audio/visual artists like Addictive TV. Light years beyond the gallery realm of masters like Bill Viola, this British collective's collages do more than question typical art concepts-they're on the vanguard of changing copyright laws and ideas of media ownership. But despite the bootlegged nature of their work, Addictive TV is finding exposure and acceptance in the most unlikely of places-the corporate world. Their brilliant clip, Rapture Riders-a mash-up of the videos for Blondie's "Rapture" and The Doors' "Riders on the Storm"-was directed exclusively for EMI.

Melding elements of graphic design with a sound designer's sensibility and a taste for eye-catching celluloid booty, these mixmasters and musicians create something otherworldly and all-encompassing from behind their Kraftwerk-style wall of synth- and video-modules. And don't think for a second that their art must remain locked away in a gallery; they've also crafted clips for club kings and queens like Matthew Dear, Derrick Carter, and Ellen Allien.

Addictive TV ups the ante at a time when the networks and large production companies are highly litigious. Yet the BBC has opened their archives to the stalwart TV terrorists, inviting them to judge an amateur video-mixing contest, Superstar VJs, and suggesting that, in the world of artistic ownership, things are about to change.

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