Emergency Broadcast Network is the name of a visionary multimedia performance group that took its name from the ‘Emergency Broadcast System’. The founders were Rhode Island School of Design graduates Joshua Pearson, Gardner Post and Brian Kane (author of the Vujak VJ software). The EBN Live Team also included DJ Ron O’Donnell and video artist/technologist Greg Deocampo.

EBN, while formed back in 1992, proved to be ahead of their time with their innovative approach in creating what has now become know in the music industry as “video scratching”

Their modus operandi was to take cable television broadcasts and remix them with a funky beat, often having the lyrics ‘sung’ not by a singer but by half-second sound clips from TV spliced together.

Among their videos are Electronic Behavior Control System (click link for video), from their 1995 album Telecommunication Breakdown (produced by Jack Dangers, which mocks the way television controls our lives. For example, the lyric “electronic behavior control system” would be created with a clip of Ross Perot saying “electronic”, followed by a clip of George H. W. Bush saying “behavior”, then Ted Koppel saying “control”, and finally a clip of someone else saying “system”.

Another was a cover of We Will Rock You (click link for video) by Queen, except that it was a remix of clips of George H. W. Bush making announcements about the Gulf War who was singing “We Will Rock You” instead of the immortal Freddie Mercury and company.

Bono of U2 took notice of their work and hired them to provide visuals for their Zoo TV Tour. EBN’s video work featured prominently into the show, and their “We Will Rock You” cover was played at the beginning of each show. EBN also produced visuals for The Edge’s performance of “Numb” on the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. In addition to the visuals, audio from those clips were featured in the live performance to create rhythmic effects.

Brian Kane has since worked a number of times with British AV artists Addictive TV on many of their projects, both live and recorded - including Mixmasters and at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Greg Deocampo continues his video remixes independently today, using footage from the 2003 invasion of Iraq (which he refers to as Gulf War II).

EBN has been a huge influence on other “infotainment” artists like RX of thepartyparty.com, and many more.

Edited by Thundar on 17 Feb 2007, 06:36

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