Single-channel digitized video from Beta tape (color, sound)
Dimensions: Running time 28:30 min.
Originally acquired with funds provided by the New York State Council on the Arts
Digitally remastered video acquired through the Jarett F. Wait, Class of 1980, and Younghee Kim-Wait Endowment for Korean Arts, 2011
Object Number: 74.046.005 a
Called the father of video art, Korean-born artist Nam June Paik studied music and aesthetics in Tokyo and then traveled to Germany, where he met John Cage and became part of the avant-garde music scene and the Fluxus movement. He moved to New York City in the mid-1960s. One of Paik’s driving interests throughout his work stemmed from a desire to humanize technology and electronic media.
Global Groove, a collaboration with cameraman and supervising engineer John J. Godfrey, is an early broadcast video first shown by WNET-TV in 1974. Layered like a collage, the work juxtaposes Japanese Pepsi commercials, traditional Korean dancers, and artists’ voices (John Cage, Allen Ginsberg, and Karlheinz Stockhausen). The Julliard-trained cellist Charlotte Moorman plays the “TV Cello,” and Paik himself is seen in footage of his work TV-Bra for Living Sculpture (1969), where Moorman’s body became a site for Paik-designed TV monitors which she would wear and interact with during performances.
The video begins with this statement: “This is a glimpse of the video landscape of tomorrow, when you will be able to switch to any TV station on the earth, and TV Guide will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.”
The Museum’s time-based art collection includes early pioneers of the medium such as Paik, Stephen Beck, and Peter Campus. Over the last twenty years, the collection has grown to include contemporary works by artists such as Christian Marclay, Lucy Gunning, Janet Biggs, Francis Alÿs, Pipilotti Rist, and Amy Jenkins. (“Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson," curated by Stephanie Wiles and presented at the Johnson Museum January 27–July 22, 2018)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.