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>> John Hanhardt and Caitlin Jones: curators of "Global Groove 2004"

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CK: The Internet and cable TV promise 24-hour access, but it's also a facade, something's still not quite reciprocated.

CJ: Within those confines, Paik found ways to navigate through that corporate structure, what he calls "Video Land." He managed to make Global Groove out of that and prove his point. A new generation of video, Internet artists, from 010101 to jodi.org, and video and game artists are finding creative ways through that as well. Alex Galloway and others as part of the Radical Software Group, developed a work called Carnivour based on FBI software that monitored network activity by searching for keywords over the Internet. RSG took it out of the FBI surveillance context and released it to the internet community at large for people to use in an art context. They are using control systems in the same spirit that Paik used broadcast television in the 60s.

JH: These artists are activists, thinkers, and inventors breaking these interlocking controls. Paik was part of a community of artists who intervened into cable and television and developed new ways of working. Contemporary artists look back at Paik's example and are inspired, and Paik in turns values this new generation.

CK: What was your process of collecting and sorting the archival imagery for the catalogues? Was there a massive database?

CJ: Jon Ippolito, the Guggenheim's Associate Curator of Media Arts, created a massive database of images for The Worlds of Nam June Paik with the help of Steven Vitiello formerly of Electronic Arts Intermix . It was an involved process. For both catalogues, all images were from Nam June's single-channel video works, made accessible through Electronic Arts Intermix. Many of the black and white images in the Everson catalogue were taken by Peter Moore , made available by the estate of Peter Moore and VAGA.

CK: John, when did you first meet Paik and what were the circumstances?

JH: I first met Paik in the early 70s. At the time I was working at the Museum of Modern Art, in the film department, and then, in the early 70s, I established the film collection at the Walker Art Center. After that I went to the Whitney to develop a film program and expanded it to include video. During this time Paik and I spent a lot of time together in his studio talking about his work and the work of other artists. Paik felt that the medium was so important as an art form - it wasn't only about himself, and it was that generous spirit that made him so loved.

CK: In 1974, WNET/Channel 13 in New York broadcast Nam June Paik's Global Groove. You've said that " Global Groove transformed the broadcast studio into an experimental venue for dancers, musicians, and performance artists." How is that sense of the experiment experienced both in the Deutsche Guggenheim exhibition in Berlin and the new catalogue?


Merce by Merce by Paik: video-still

JH: The Deutsche Guggenheim installation will give you access to an extraordinary visual experience. 65 projection cubes from the video wall which was previously part of the Samsung Center for Art Media have been transformed into three units or clusters, so as you enter into the space you see one cluster, then another, and then at the far end of the gallery a large wall is constructed with these video cubes. The artisthas re-edited to create and fashion a dialogue between three of his tapes: Global Groove, Merce by Merce by Paik, and Suite 212, and 9/23/69 Experiment with David Atwood. These pieces give you an extraordinary experience. The experience ranges from a full image that covers the entire matrix of images to individual details, all choreographed and synthesized to create a dynamic visual dialogue through these pieces, these units, and into the space itself. Surrounding this is Paik's installation One Candle (Candle Projection), where a candle is projected onto the wall and ceiling, playfully integrated with Cunningham dancing, John Cage and with Charlotte Moorman celebrating avant-garde culture.

CK: You've written that in Paik's view, "Television is not simply a historical remnant of industry and consumer capitalism, nor is it electronic furniture or a compromised form of one-way distribution." What's Paik's take on television's transformation or lack of transformation now?

JH: Paik has always seen the radical potential of television through public access and cable. Still new possibilities exist in telecasting and distribution realized through streaming media

CK: Technological advances have happened for mass culture, but the transformation is still in process culturally.

CJ: I work on the preservation of media technology. In the case of Paik and others, the plasma screens have changed, but the content is the same. The change in the televisions carries ramifications for Paik's sculptural works. A lot of the things he does with television and image processing and manipulation can't be done on the new televisions. It happened because of the old technology, so that's just another element in that forward movement.

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