SPIN Spotlight: Media Pollution and the Lost Art of CRTs

 

SPIN: Tell us about how the three of you work together… What are your specialties?

For the sake of categories, this is what we officially say

BRIAN: Technical Direction

DAN: Creative Director & Filmmaker

VERONICA: Art Direction & Design

But in reality there’s basically overlap everywhere. You can’t make this happen if you don’t have a backup.  That’s probably why our team works so well together.  We all have specialties but at the same time we are all video artists and business owners.

 

SPIN: When and where did the three of you superheroes meet?

BRIAN: Or as superhero tales more often lean: We met in a steaming, neon- lit back alley. While trying to save another TV from an untimely demise, Brian was absorbed into the Tube of a TV.  Veronica stuck a screwdriver into the flyback, while Dan attached a wire 36 stories up on top of the channel 64 Antenna, waiting for the precise moment for lighting to strike, ejecting Brian into the dumpster, but permanently electrifying the 3 in the process.  After 6 weeks of intensive alchemy, we’ve never been the same.  Only known side effect is that we get 10x reception when we hold antennas.

DAN: Met both Veronica and Brian through my first installation POLLUTION. Seems even more fitting now that the company is Media Pollution and we are all connected through the POLLUTION installation. I built this 20×20, 100 CRT Wall in a warehouse in downtown los angeles. Brian was starting an electronics repair company on the same street, it was perfect. Veronica and I connected via Alexis of 3teeth after we shot together. She flew in from Miami to meet with me.

VERONICA: I was in town for FYF (RIP) & I had to come check out this MASSIVE wall of TVs. Video nerds gotta stick together.

 

SPIN: What’s the meaning behind the name Media Pollution and when did the company officially start?

BRIAN: Lately it has transformed into an F.U. to the media landscape.  Is there anything good on TV anymore? It’s also really just a reminder of how much crap is created, discarded and unfortunately wasted. Even though its a drop in the bucket, we’re using art to prevent/delay pollution.

DAN: Officially I got the LLC in 2015 but mainly as a way to insure myself while building POLLUTION video installation. After moving to the Brewery Artist Lofts in 2017 is when Brian and I finally came together and were like, yeah we both are hoarders of nostalgic electronics and really started pushing the idea behind the reality that what we were doing had opportunity to grow.

VERONICA: I was making a gigantic 170+ TV Pyramid for Rolling Loud under my artist alias MOKIBABY and brought the boys on to conquer that beast then we just kept collabing,  now I’m HBIC and the unholy trinity is complete.

 

 

SPIN: What makes CRT TV’s so magical and different from today’s TV’s?

BRIAN: Its not really a 1 or 0 (on or off) Its truly an analog process that happens much faster than almost any type tv today.  It literally beams electrons onto a phosphorus glass so fast your eyes read it as one big image even though it’s basically just 1 line at a time.

DAN: The CRT is an object of nostalgia and a window to any world through media

VERONICA: I mean just look at some sexy sets from the 50’s- 80’s. They make you just melt. It’s like fine architecture. Hell,  I’ll take a cute 90’s Prison TV too.

 

SPIN: What’s the process like finding and restoring CRT TV’s? Tell us about that journey.

BRIAN: 5 years ago you could go around to any block in LA and probably grab a TV for free.  Those days are basically gone and now we’re more focused on finding extremely unique ones or replacements for the recently deceased.  It’s definitely an obsession and takes up at least a few minutes of each morning checking the common sales platforms.  Usually we just want it to turn on and show a picture(without much distortion)  Once we get it, it gets blown out and vacuumed.  Every control/switch gets cleaned and then we run some general test patterns thru it.  7/10 times we then replace some components that commonly fail.  Mainly capacitors.  SOME units don’t need that type of work just yet, but someday they will, so for the most part its preventative maintenance.

DAN: I bring them to Brian 🙂

VERONICA: Honestly Brian is the Wizard of this outfit. He can make anything work.

 

SPIN: Are CRT TV’s getting harder to find? Where is the best place to still find them?

BRIAN: Oh yeah for sure, we’re in LA so there’s a vast population here that still has garages and storage units with em, but it’s nowhere near as easy and cheap as it was 5 years ago.  There’s no one best place these days, you have to look at every single marketplace all the time.

DAN: Still scooping 1 up curbside every six months though!

VERONICA: The way people dig for records and tracks we scour the sources constantly looking for those unicorns you just can’t find anymore. Luckily people send me pics and gift them to me all the time as well <3 Thanks y’all!

 

SPIN: What are some of the craziest / most challenging projects Media Pollution has worked on?

BRIAN: The pyramid was crazy, especially because 175+ TVs plugged in together on a steel structure cause really weird electrical grounding issues.  Furthermore there was NO WAY we were gonna run 175 unique cables so that was our first attempt at running TV transmitters, in general it worked great tho.  It also got really annoying near the end because we didn’t have enough TVs of the right size to fill all the gaps.  So we were making runs out to the desert and the OC just to get a TV we knew would fit well.

DAN: Rolling Loud Pyramid

VERONICA: The Pyramid was pretty intense lol. Also making sure it was weather proof on top of everything. I had my amazing friend make a custom green transparent vinyl raincoat. It was sickening! Thank You Mindy L’Amour!

 

 

Photo Credit: Ross Feighery

 

SPIN: What do clients get from Media Pollution that they won’t get from other collectives/agencies?

BRIAN: I think what it comes down to is we have spent the last 5 years solving all the challenges that come along with making old stuff do cool things. Mapping, cuing, beat sync, structure, style, etc.  Anything you want them to do, we can do.  Now we’ve expanded the world so it’s really a whole world.  You want the 90s, you want the 50s, whatever, you don’t need to go around to a bunch of prop houses hoping that the gear you got works.  Everything works here and it comes with years of experience to back it.

DAN: Turnkey Nostalgic Experiences

VERONICA: Our clients fall in love with us and know that when they are working with us we will always bring great energy and go above and beyond to make sure they’re happy. We are all also just so crazy creative and problem solve like pros.

 

SPIN: What does the future look like for Media Pollution? Do you see yourselves expanding into different creative endeavors and/or locations?

BRIAN: We’re really going all in on the ERA vibes, really making sure that we have functional iconic tech and the accessories to match it from all eras.  Then we can continue to bring you into our world or bring it to yours, whether it’s an event, festival, film, or photo.  We just want to keep this stuff alive as long as possible and use it to make fun, functional moments.

DAN: Media Pollution is on the rise to be a Video Production Company and we are already looking to expand from our current location to an even bigger facility.

VERONICA: World Domination. HACK THE PLANET.

 

SPIN: OK… now for the music… What are the last 3 tracks you each listened to?

BRIAN: Oh man, I just restored some Altec A7 speakers for the studio, so I was listening to soooo much testing em out, Radiohead-National Anthem, Fleetwood Mac-Albatross, Miles Davis – Live evil

DAN: 3teeth, Moon Channel, Royal & the Serpent, Flying Hair

VERONICA: FUCK IT UP – Basside, Lujon – Henry Mancini, Insomnia – Curses

 

SPIN: How do you determine who you work with? …and how can people get ahold of you?

BRIAN:  I don’t know if we actually really ever determine anything…  But yeah generally as long as you’re down to earth, we’re down…  We’re still finalizing the details, but we’ll also have a grant based program, where a few times a year we have opportunities for students to come do film or photoshoots for free in our studio.  Keep an eye out for that later this spring.

DAN: Whats great about Media Pollution is it spans from the birth of the Television and into the future so even though what we do is niche it can flex from one end of the spectrum like cyberpunk and then to the other side like 1950s telecast.

VERONICA: Our client list is so diverse I really think what makes us cool is we are open to working with most people. Hit us up!

 

Check out Media Pollution on Facebook, Instagram @mediapollutiom or our official site www.mediapollution.tv

 

IMPACT

you may like

Scroll to Top