Channels, 2013

Susan Hiller (born 1940, USA) has spent the past six decades questioning belief systems and the production of meaning. Since first making innovative use of audio and visual technology in the early 1980s, her ground-breaking installations, multi-screen video and audio works have achieved international recognition.

The raw material for her monumental bank of 104 analogue television screens, entitled Channels, is a collection of audio accounts and oscilloscope recordings of people who have experienced death and returned to tell the tale. These vivid stories in many different languages constitute a remarkable contemporary archive, whether the accounts are regarded as metaphors, misconceptions, myths, delusions or truths. The work, first exhibited at Matt’s Gallery in London, considers how such anomalous, near-death experiences might cause interference within our modern belief systems and influence collective cultural life.