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LAB HD is a three-year experiment by Voom HD Networks. It is the only channel in history devoted to video art and experimental film as a continuous flow of ambient television. While it is no longer broadcasting, the channel persists as Voom HD Lab, an outreach effort on the part of its parent company, and it continues to commission pieces from artists and filmmakers.
Voom launched as a DBS (direct broadcast satellite) service in the United States in October 2003. The service offered 21 channels of high-definition video focused on niche audiences. Most of the channels were conventional offerings, but one slot was reserved for an experimental channel called MOOV HD. The channel was produced by Concrete Pictures, a design and production house in Philadelphia founded by Jeff Boortz. The intent was to produce video art for public consumption. The branding of the channel was elegant, but the content was of uneven quality, and it was derided as "the screensaver channel."
Voom assigned Ali Hossaini to serve as executive producer of the channel. He began revamping the programming with high-profile productions, notably a series of "video portraits" directed by Robert Wilson and produced by Noah Khoshbin. New strands of programming were introduced, such as Tank TV and Micro TV. The former featured public aquariums and the latter photomicroscopy in high-definition. Concrete Pictures produced a program called Space, which stitched together footage from NASA into ambient video.
Efforts to transform the channel culminated on January 1, 2004, when it was relaunched as LAB HD, with the tagline, Experiments in High Definition. Hossaini hired filmmaker Lili Chin to manage a new Outreach Program that would put high-definition gear, including cameras and a post-production facility, into the hands of selected artists. Chin succeeded in attracted a range of talent from the orbit of Anthology Film Archives. LAB HD has deep connections to Anthology Film Archives, where Lili Chin curates film programs and Ali Hossaini serves on the Board of Advisors.During 2005 LAB HD productions thrived. Director Robert Wilson produced avant-garde video pieces with Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Jeanne Moreau, among others. Hossaini also collaborated with Sandra Antelo-Suarez of Trans Gallery on her project, Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, a rock and roll puppet show conceived by Dan Graham. Originally staged with live puppets at Miamia Basel, a video version of the show was directed by Tony Oursler for the 2006 Whitney Biennial. The Museum of the Moving Image put LAB HD on permanent exhibit as well.Unfortunately LAB HD did not meet the criteria to survive as a commercial channel. It had been conceived as an ambient channel, and, in his notes, Hossaini refers to Jerry Mander's book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television as a model for the channel. The channel was a continuous flow of non-narrative images and sounds, mostly music. It was meant to provoke reflection not distraction. This presented a weak value proposition from a marketing standpoint, and, on January 1, 2006, it was replaced by another innovative format, a video gaming channel that has garnered considerably more attention (outside the art world).
Voom HD Networks decided to keep the Outreach Program under the name Voom HD Lab, with Ali Hossaini as executive producer and Lili Chin as associate producer. Voom HD Lab has supported the work of numerous artists and filmmakers, many of whom had never worked in high-definition video. LAB productions appeared in numerous museums, film festivals and galleries.

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