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WGBH «The Medium Is the Medium»
WGBH, «The Medium Is the Medium», 1969

WGBH «The Medium Is the Medium»WGBH «The Medium Is the Medium»WGBH «The Medium Is the Medium»WGBH «The Medium Is the Medium»
Boston | United States | 30' | Participants: David Atwood, Fred Barzyk, Allan Kaprow, Alvin Lucier, Nam June Paik, David Silver, Gus Solomons Jr. | Edition / Production: David Atwood, Fred Barzyk (WGBH New Television Workshop), Public Broadcasting Laboratory (PBL)

«The Medium Is the Medium»

Six artists—Aldo Tambellini, Thomas Tadlock, Allan Kaprow, James Seawright, Otto Piene, Nam June Paik— were invited to work with television technicians for the creation of «The Medium Is the Medium.» Aldo Tambellini's work «Black» features images from slides, films, and television monitors and the responses of children. The work, which is black-and-white, opens with abstract circular designs and moves into street scenes and images of children's faces. At one point the children are heard discussing blackness and racial identity. Thomas Tadlock's «Architron» makes use of an ‹electronic optic machine› of his own invention, which creates kaleidoscope-like patterns of color and light. Allan Kaprow's ‹telehappening› «Hello,» makes use of multiple monitors to help people in various locations throughout Boston make contact with one another. «Hello?» they call out, searching for familiar faces amid a jumble of monitors. WGBH producers David Atwood and Fred Barzyk are seen along with Allan Kaprow, Alvin Lucier, Nam June Paik, David Silver, Gus Solomons, Jr. and others. In James Seawright's «Capriccio» two dancers depicted in negative and positive images overlap in an array of colors. In Otto Piene's «Electronic Light Ballet» a young woman is levitated with hot-air balloons against a backdrop of feedback and colorful designs. In Nam June Paik's «Electronic Opera #1,» a topless dancer and three hippies have their images manipulated and distorted, saturated with additional color. Richard Nixon and other well-known figures are twisted up. Voiceovers issue commands to the audience: «This is participation TV.» Paik instructs the viewers to close and open their eyes at certain intervals. Just when it appears the work is about to start over again from the beginning, the voice implores viewers, «Turn off your TV set.»

(source: WHGB Boston Website)