Vito Acconci b. 1940
Turn-On (1974)
1974, 21:52 min, color, sound

Turn-On is one of Acconci's most charged and dramatic exercises, a tense and dynamic confrontation with the viewer. The back of Acconci's head is seen in tight close-up. He hums to himself, first lyrically, then aggressively, violently. Suddenly he wheels around to face the camera, his face filling the screen in extreme close-up, squinting at the viewer and speaking breathlessly: "Now! I have to face you now. Reveal myself ... But you can't take it yet. I have to wait." He turns and continues to hum, repeating this cycle again and again. Each time he faces the camera, the intensity increases. He addresses aspects of his art through his relation to the viewer, confronting the autobiographical within the context of his art-making: "I can talk about her, but maybe you've heard me talk too much about women." Eventually he rejects his own art-making strategies: "I've been too abstract, now I can be concrete, no more galleries, no more museums. It's me. I have no conviction anymore. I can't find any reason to do art." Ultimately, he insists, "I'm waiting for you ... not to be there." -- EAI


This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.