Concrete TV, is a Public-access television cable TV show in New York City that currently airs on Channel 67 public-access in Manhattan, combining violence, sex, pornography, new video, old video in a video art collage set to music. This half hour program is produced by Ron Rocheleau, known as Concrete Ron. It is shown Friday nights at 1:30 AM. Episodes are heavily thematically based in 1980s video, hearkening back to the early MTV days, in a mash-up art style.
HIGH TIMES, July 1996:
When my brain starts to feel alarmingly saturated, I switch to public access. Concrete TV-an improbably hysterical, liberating, delirious, irreverent, intelligent, and hypnotic juxtaposition of film clips set to equally random and fun music-unites the familiar with the obscure to produce a referential narrative that both skewers and celebrates pop culture. For those of you with a special affection for cult films and bubblegum music, welcome to nirvana.
ROLLING STONE, August 22, 1996:
If you love channel surfing but are tired of having to actually change channels, have we got the show for you...
Trolling through 100 movies a month for visuals and action sequences that interest him ("My tape-rental bills can get pretty steep," he says) [Ron] Rocheleau creates roller-coaster video collages, completely changing the original impact of any given image...
In the tradition of dada and surrealism, Concrete TV turns popular art inside out and forces it to give up the secrets about the culture that spawned it. There are also lots of cool car crashes.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE, March 10, 1997:
"I see myself as a kind of Dr. Frankenstein trying to make super-television shows--hyperkinetic eye candy for a presweetened generation, a 'Best of' from our worst nightmares," says Ron Rocheleau...
A complete television addict, Rocheleau spends between eight to twelve hours a day in front of the set and devotees whatever time remains to refining his 30-minute episodes (culling images from as many as 300 videos)...
"An artwork is never done," he says, paraphrasing Picasso. "You just have to let go of it or fuck it up. The process is similar to doing surgery on your own child."
BLACK BOOK, Summer 1997:
For Ron Rocheleau, the decision to reject television was easy. Despite being named by Rolling Stones as having 1996's best show, which stimulated overtures from the likes of NBC, Brandon Tartikoff, a handful of agents, indie producers and yes, MTV, Rocheleau found his popular MNN show Concrete TV impossible to broadcast outside the First Amendment-framed venue of public access...
Concrete TV, on its best nights, is not only a poor man's commentary on contemporary American culture; it is a stimulus riot act which leaves you feeling exhausted and a wee bit dirty. To a network, the idea of acquiring rights to the mountains of trademarked sounds and images used each episode by Rocheleau is a five-alarm headache. "By the time you pay all the royalties [the show] would be in the hole."
Concrete Ron describes himself as "perhaps the greatest video editor of all time", and anyone who's ever caught Concrete TV on Manhattan public access television over the last decade or so probably wouldn't argue: a typical episode incorporates vintage porn movies, 80s aerobics videos, car crash footage, Hong Kong shoot-em-ups, old commercials, beefcake reels, pro wrestling smackdowns, cheesy B-movie moments, sex education films, random explosions, wet t-shirt contests, and plenty of "raw emotion, euphoria, physical collision, glee, fantasy, despair, and discomfort" in one noisy, violent, sexy, and brilliantly edited pop culture/infoporn mashup...
It’s clear that Rocheleau has an interest in rap and hip-hop, which makes sense because his work similarly borrows from existing media and repurposes it in an exploration of form and content; also because a commentary on bravado underlies his entire oeuvre. He has worked largely outside the academic mainstream of collage and found-footage artists; his stuff is just too much fun for some folks to take it seriously. He’s been building this project for twenty years, and his investment is further proven by the fact that he works in an obsolete medium. He likes (gasp) VHS; he converts all media to tape before cutting it. It’d be a lot easier for him to work digitally, with software editing programs like Pro Tools, but that would defeat the purpose of the exercise, or at least diminish its relevance.
The physical properties of the media inform his choice of subject, the immediate-orgasm nature of 1980s obsessions. His DVD transfers have all the charm and aesthetic quirks of VHS, the original home video format, warts and all. It’s part of the joke. He’s interested in the relationship between gratification and the next stimulus, a worm’s-eye-view Dadaist political philosopher working in the media of ephemera. It’s extremely personal work, and thereby as inclusive as any honesty. Spending time in Rocheleau’s world is like getting caught coveting someone else’s reflection, or discovering your worst enemy’s fetish and finding yourself kind of turned on.
As many of you know, theres a Faviorte Link in the RockStar Webpage to "Concrete T.V."
Concrete T.V. is like random episodes of different stuff, from clips of CHIPS to Foot Fetish Porn to the Terminator and other Action Films and TV Shows...really weird, and seems to be weird music Like Videos and stuff. DOnt know how to describe it but watch it, and like all of em have scenes where they show porn and bombard you with women sucking on another womens toes and licking their feet (Im not complaining though )...dont ask me why. But my question is..."W T F RockStar?"
TIME OUT NEW YORK, November 7-14, 2002:
Ron Rocheleau's quick-edit montage of car crashes, motorcycle crashes, and kung-fu fights is a favorite in bars, because it doesn't need sound to be completely understood.