Tis the season to be a consumer. Dreams of digital gadgets and new appliances unfurl in front of our eyes in a seemingly endless parade of models and prices. Amidst this dizzying array of choices, there is something satisfying about having one's options limited. This is the logic behind 56k TV - Bastard Channel, a quasi television channel based on the web. Produced by Xcult.org, who have been organizing online art collaborations since 1995, 56k TV features programs that reformat television genres to fit the formal and conceptual structures of net art, such as a notably low bandwidth. The result is a play-list that ranges widely in style, genre and speed, and available only on a restricted schedule. The programs include a text-based, mystery miniseries by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, a news show narrated by a TV Bot created by Marc Lee, and a talk show titled 'New From the Dead' in which dead loved ones are conjured back from beyond the grave to commune with a studio audience. Take respite from the freedom to be a rampant holiday consumer, and catch 56k's promising first season while you still can. - Lauren Cornell
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by Johnny Magdaleno on Jul 15th, 2014