..a work from 1973 called A New Design for TV Chair. In it, Paik appropriated an image from a 1940s popular-science magazine that depicts the home viewer of the future watching television. Television had already become a monopolistic industry that was a conduit for advertising, a "communication" industry that operated on a one-way street of information. But in A New Design for TV Chair, Paik posited his own questions to project an alternative future for television:
DO YOU KNOW...?
How soonTV-chair will be available in most museums? How soon artists will have their ownTV channels? How soon wall-to-wallTV for video art will be installed in most homes?
Paik envisioned a different television, a "global groove" of artists' expressions seen as part of an "electronic superhighway" that would be open and free to everyone.The multiple forms of video that Paik developed can be interpreted as an expression of an open medium able to flourish and grow through the imagination and participation of communities and individuals from around the world. Paik, along with many artists working as individuals and within collectives through the 1960s 14 and 1970s to create work for television as well as for alternative spaces, challenged the idea of television as a medium and domain exclusively controlled by a monopoly of broadcasters.
This piece, taken from Nam June Paik's website was written by John Hanhardt of the Guggenheim Museum. I think it's an apt description and I wonder if Nam June Paik would have been happy to see the recent videoblogging community and works becoming more popular on the internet.
Nam June Paik's studio http://www.paikstudios.com/index.html announced over the weekend:
"Nam June Paik passed away at his Miami home at 8:00pm EST on Sunday, January 29th, 2006. Funeral information to be announced."