David Hall (1937-2014) was a British video art pioneer, TV interventionist, installation artist, sculptor and filmmaker. He studied at Leicester College of Art and at the RCA, London, and in the 1960s worked as a sculptor, taking part in the early minimalist exhibition Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum, New York in 1966. He was a founder of the Artist Placement Group, a pioneering artists' organization in 1966, and by the beginning of the 1970s, he had turned to video as an art medium. Hall's work as an artist, writer, curator and teacher, contributed to the establishment of video as a significant genre in the visual arts. In 1976, he initiated and was a founder of the artists' organization London Video Arts. Over some forty years Hall exhibited single screen and installation work internationally, including at Documenta, Kassel; Tate, London; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the National Museum Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; and the Museum of Modern Art Vienna.
In A Directory of British Film & Video Artists, Michael O'Prey wrote that 'David Hall's contribution to British video art is unparalleled... A founding member of the video art movement here in the early 1970s, he was an influential activist on behalf of the infant art form..'.
Hall's This is a Television Receiver was first transmitted in 1976 after being commissioned by BBC TV as the unannounced opening work for their Arena video art programme. Richard Baker, a well known newsreader of the period, is seen describing 'the essential paradoxes of the real and imagined functions of the TV set on which he appears. The second shot is taken optically off a monitor, the third copied from the second, and so on, until there is a complete degeneration of both sound and image, removing the newsreader from his position of authority...' (Tamara Krikorian, Art Monthly). Mark Wilcox wrote in the catalogue for the Arts Council programme Deconstruct, Subverting Television in 1984, that 'this figure of authority is reduced to what, in essence, he is - a series of pulsating patterns of light on the surface of a glass screen. In this way, paradoxically, the verbal statement is realised by its own disintegration, along with that of the image...'.