(Title based on reply by elderly Texas lady to CBS poll of American attitudes toward a new medium in 1951: "TV is great because when you close your eyes it sounds like radio")

Why it happened: I have always loved the backside of tv sets more than the front side. I learned from a 1971 installation, Images from the Present Tense 1 (The Backward Television Set ) that the public loves the back,too: tho I placed it in a now defunct Soho gallery to protest the jailing of innocent friends, the visitors decided to sit on the floor inside a long, darkened room watching (and clearly loving) a backward TV set playing pure light reflections off the wall, to the tune of non-broadcast sound. worse (or better), big bulky old tv sets began to appear as trash on the streets over the next decade. I developed a profound sentimentality about them, even tho I often hated the content they displayed. when I was finally invited to do an installation by the Texans--in those days I was considered in New York a totally live performance video specialist--I leaped at the chance. most of all i hoped to turn the field around, as well as the medium. away from dazzling electronics to something more subliminal.

D.D., Jan. 18, 1999

TV is Great, Douglas Davis, 1985.

84 silent vintage television sets, painted black, covered with newsprint, and on tv-sound only radio with 30-feet earplug. 10' deep by 26' high. Engineered by Ted Viens. TV sets donated by Stanley Marsh III.