Broadcast Stars

Before YouTube starlets began using the internet to peddle their personalities, before British back-talkers redefined self esteem for millions of Idol-izing spectators, somewhere around the era of the notorious Gong Show, a group of New Yorkers produced a cable access TV program called Stairway to Stardom. The 1980s talent show featured a rotating cast reminiscent of Warhol's factory stars and is believed to have been an influence on the very popular Star Search program. Twenty-five years later, artist-curators, Mitch Friedman and Ryan Junell have scavenged the show's archives and produced a best-of reel to be screened at Brooklyn venue Monkeytown in an evening that will feature special guests and other surprises, Saturday August 26th. The organizers call it 'a must-see for anyone fascinated with notions of fame and archival footage' but it's also an opportunity to recontextualize the tradition of using popular broadcast media to craft an identity and communicate with a wider audience. As the televisual gets pushed out by the computer monitor, direct your nostalgia here. - James Petrie