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«who was first?». As in other comparable cases of such astonishing synchronicity, it is more important to look at the differences and the common, time-related context. But there is a particular sense of competition between Paik and Vostell: they knew each other, and so it is perfectly possible that an idea was taken over in this case. I would just like to say this about the point here: there is no doubt that Paik was the first to show his TV works. He worked on them for about a year in advance, but then kept them hidden in his «secret studio,» so that no one could get ahead of him.[27] Vostell and Paik were aware of each other's similar ideas, and Paik refers to «Vostell's idea (Décollage television)» in 1963 in the leaflet accompanying the «Exposition of Music—Electronic Television.» But it remains difficult to assess how much Vostell had already developed ideas and sketches for TV pieces as early as 1958 or 1959, and above all how much he put these into practice.[28] He had definitely not published any references to his TV concepts before his visit to Paik's Wuppertal exhibition, which he easily could have done in the magazine «Dé-collage,»


which he published himself.[29]

In terms of content it is clear that Vostell's work with television is closely linked with his pictorial work, and that he did not undertake any sophisticated interventions into the sets' electronics, but just interfered with the TV image externally or by changing programs— and anyway according to his score he had thirteen stations at his disposal because of the larger range of channels available in the USA. In terms of strategy, it was certainly clever of Vostell to place his events in New York, right in the middle of the emerging 1960s art scene. Paik's Wuppertal exhibition reached a very limited public in comparison. Shortly after this Paik also moved to New York, where he started to work with video from 1965.[30] As well as having access to the latest technology, a decisive factor for him was that something that had already been done in Europe had to be repeated in the artistic metropolis of New York to attract the art world's attention.[31] Instead of using Debord's destructive strategy, as taken up by Vostell, Paik opted for extending Cage's receptive strategy to productive work with the medium.

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