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Video out of performance art. Nam June Paik (American, b. Seoul, Korea, 1932 - 2006) Zen for Head , Fluxus performance, 1962. Nam June Paik , 1961 Fluxus Festival of New Music, Weisbaden, German.

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Shigeko Kubota (American b. Japan, 1937) performing her Vagina Painting,taken July 4th, 1965, New York City during Perpetual Fluxus Festival (paint brush attached to crotch)

marshall mcluhan understanding media first published in 1964
Marshall McLuhanUnderstanding Media, first published in 1964

The period after World War-II in the US is considered

the last and final birth of television.  The explosion of

sets into the American marketplace occurred in



Paik (left) began interfering with television imagesin the early 1960s; (right) TV Magnet, 1965“Some day artists will work with capacitors, resistors and semi-conductors as they work today with brushes, violins and junk.” Paik

Paik, (left) TV Bra for Living Sculpture, 1969; (right) Opera Sextroniquewith Charlotte Moorman (US 1931-1991), 1969

(left) Mooreman, Paik, Joseph Beuys, Fluxus Action, 1966; (left) with Yoko Ono and John Lennon (1971); (right, below) Moorman performing Paik'sConcerto for TV Cello and Videotapes (1971) at Galeria Bonino, New York, November 23, 1971;


Nam June Paik, Global Groove, 1974; Paik in studio of WGBH, which broadcast Global Groove

'This is a glimpse of a video landscape of tomorrow when

you will be able to switch on any TV station on the earth and

TV guides will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.'

- Paik


Paik, Video Fish, 1975, Three channel video installation with aquariums, water, 45 live Japanese fish, Pompidou Center (Paris) collection, 7 of 15 monitors


Video Flag, (1985-1996)70 video monitors, 4 laser disc players, computer, timers, electrical devices, wood and metal housing on rubber wheels, 94 3/8 x 139 3/4 x 47 3/4 in.


Nam June Paik in collaboration with Norman Ballard, Paul Garrin, David Hartnett, and Stephen Vitiello, Modulation in Sync, 2000. Three-channel video and stereo sound installation with 100 monitors, seven projectors, two lasers, water, mirrors, projection screens, and metal structure, variable dimensions


Laurie Anderson (US b. 1947)

Duets on Ice, performance in

New York City and Genoa, Italy, 1973-4, playing Bach while wearing ice skates embedded in ice. When ice melted the performance ended.

Compare Edouard Manet

The Old Musician, 1862, artist

as wanderer, ragpicker, outcast


Laurie Anderson, performance-multimedia spectacle, United States Part II, 1980Single from the performance recording, “O Superman” hit #2 on the UK pop charts.The Orpheum, New York; (right) album covers United States I-IV, 1984


Anderson, United States Part I, 980, Orpheum TheaterMultiple disjunctive narratives. Voice through the harmonizer shifts from “voice of authority (deep, masculine) to female (her own). The woman repeatedly asks “Hello, excuse me, can you tell me where I am?” The response is “You can read the signs.”

anderson s united states part i opens with her modified voice of authority reading
Anderson’s United States Part I opens with her modified voice-of-authority reading:

A certain American religious sect has been looking at conditions of the world during the Flood. According to their calculations, during the Flood the winds, tides and currents were in an overall southeasterly direction. This would mean that in order for Noah's Ark to have ended up on Mount Ararat, it would have to have started out several thousand miles to the west. This would then locate pre-Flood civilization somewhere in the area of Upstate New York, and the Garden of Eden roughly in New York City.

Now, in order to get from one place to another, something must move. No one in New York remembers moving, and there are no traces of Biblical history in the Upstate New York area. So we are led to the only available conclusion in this time warp, and that is that the Ark has simply not left yet.


(below right) Poster from Anderson’s The End of the Moon, 2005, BAM performance(top) at NASA as the agency’s first artist-in-residence, 2004


Video performance: Bruce Nauman,Stamping in the Studio, 1968, 60 minutes (excerpt, 5 minutes)From: Rewind: Video Art and Alternative Media in the United States 1968-1980Media N 6494.V53 S97 1995Program 2: “Investigations of the Phenomenal World: Space, Sound, and Light”


Video performance: 1977Martha Rosler, Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained38 minutes“I did my best to interrupt voyeurism by having a long shot – a stationary shot that fatigues the viewer and diminishes aspects of the character’s presence on the screen. It becomes boring to look at something without camera mobility and without reaction shots. (Rosler, 1981)From: Rewind: Video Art and Alternative Media in the United States 1968-1980Media N 6494.V53 S97 1995Program 4: Gendered Confrontations


Video performance: 1978Nam June Paik, Merce by Merce by Paik28 minutesA tribute to choreographer Merce Cunningham and artist Marcel DuchampVideo was choreographed for 2-D monitor screen by Cunningham. Audio includes voices of John Cage and Jasper Johns. Part 2 is by Paik and Shigeko Kubota and includes montage-interview with Marcel Duchamp and meeting between Cunningham and Leo Castelli. “I think I understand time better than the video artists who came from painting-sculpture. Music is the manipulation of time. All music forms have different structures and buildup. As painters understand abstract space, I understand abstract time. Nam June Paik, 1974From: Rewind: Video Art and Alternative Media in the United States 1968-1980Media N 6494.V53 S97 1995Program 5: Performance of Video-Imaging Tools