"Television as we knew the medium since the 1950s may now have come to an end. Yet for the half-century to the early 2000s we understood television as a small-screen broadcast technology for domestic consumption within inflexible programme schedules. With that form fractured and fragmented into on-demand and streaming services, interactive option, social media integration, IPTV delivery and multiple screen consumption in an almost infinite plurality of settings, the television of today and tomorrow is hard to define and predict, let alone understand so as to build careers and business models.
At the conference we will see to offer some context for such a complex world, and consider how television was imagined at another moment of radical uncertainty, in the late 19th and early 20th century. Drawing on the methodology of the emerging practices of “media archaeology” the presentation explores and illustrates the earliest ideas and first instances of television. These include television as a telephone-delivered service to public viewing rooms and television as a large-format form for projection in cinemas. Television - but not as we came to know it."
JOHN WYVER is a writer and producer with the independent production company Illuminations. Since 1982 he has produced and directed an extensive range of documentaries and performance programmes about the arts and digital media. His productions have been honoured with a BAFTA Award, and International Emmy and a Peabody Award among others. Working since the mid-1990s with BT Research, BBC R&D and academic partners, he was a pioneer in integrating broadcasting and network media, and he continues these interests in the current 2-IMMERSE research project co-funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme.
He works with the Royal Shakespeare Company as Director, Screen Projections, and for the company he produces the RSC Live from Stratford-upon-Avon cinema broadcasts, as well as other theatre for the screen including the Donmar Warehouse Shakespeare Trilogy (2017) and the forthcoming Hamlet for BBC Two. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Westminster, where his research interests include the history of the arts on screen and television adaptation of theatre productions. He is the author of Vision On: Film, Television and the Arts in Britain (2007) and the forthcoming Screening the Royal Shakespeare Company: A Critical History.