|Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.|
Paik, Nam June; Yalkut, Jud
«Video Commune: Beatles from beginning to end - An experiment for television»
Together with the electronics expert Shuya Abe, Paik developed between 1969 and 1970 a video synthesizer allowing the colours and shapes from different images to be mixed and manipulated. Paik saw in this innovation a major step making video an artistic medium: «This will enable us to shape the TV screen canvas as precisely as Leonardo, as freely as Picasso, as colorfully as Renoir, as profoundly as Mondrian, as violently as Pollock and as lyrically as Jasper Johns.» (Edith Decker, Paik Video, S. 152.) Posterity was not the immediate concern, however, the instrument being intended for use in live performances with a function comparable to the audio synthesizer’s for concerts. According to Paik, the video synthesizer had 'to be played in real time – like a piano. From a purely artistic viewpoint that is highly interesting – a truly new thing that has no precedent. You simply play and then see the effect.' (Nam June Paik, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln 1976, S. 133.)
The video synthesizer was first used in the four-hour live broadcast 'Video Commune' transmitted by WGBH in 1970. Pictures mixed live from completed videotapes and camera images were shown to the accompaniment of Beatles music. The studio crew was joined by passers-by Paik invited into the studio from the street.