WEEK SIX: Legacy Video

Who is the practitioner (what is their name?) and when were they practicing?
Nam June Paik was a Korean American artist famously known as one of the first few artists to experiment with video art. Heavily influenced by the Neo-Dada art movement, also known as Fluxus, Paik made his artistic debut in 1963 with his public exhibition entitled ‘Exposition of Music Electronic Television’. Throughout his active years, Paik contributed to the art community with an array of thought provoking and innovative pieces that combined videography and expression of art. He passed away at the age of 73 in 2006.

What is the title of the video you have chosen to analyse?
The title of the video is entitled ‘Global Groove’. It is an electronic collage of sound and images that draws heavy inspiration from the Neo-Dada art movement with all the popular imagery and modern; well considered to be modern materials at the time.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UXwhIQsYXY

“This is a glimpse of a video landscape of tomorrow when you will be able to switch on any TV station on the earth and TV guides will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.”

With the video you are examining when was it produced (date)?
Global Groove was produced in the year 1973

How was the video authored?
The video was authored using the Paik/Abe Synthesiser; the first video synthesizer that “allows artist to paint electronic pictures. Paik envisioned it as a video piano at which the artist could play and compose the new music of today” (High, Hocking and Jimenez, 2014). Global Groove provides a stream-of-consciousness style montage that captures the likes of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Allen Ginsberg and the Living Theatre dancing around amongst colorized beams of light to the song ‘Devil with a Blue Dress On’ by Mitch Ryder. The ironic juxtapositions and often random jump cuts were deliberately left in by Paik as he believed that there was no such thing as mistakes and became a social commentary on the proliferation of broadcast television and content. This directly correlates with Kate Horsfield’s argument about early forms of video art being of “low quality, grainy and shaky footage” which allows a sense of “authenticity that challenged the presumed objectivity of broadcast television” (Horsfield, 2006).

How was the video published?
Global Groove was produced and initially published by TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen. It was a time where creatives were able to “produce alternative media content for communicating countercultural ideas outside the restrictions of mainstream channels” (Horsfield, 2006).

How was the video distributed?
Since the initial distribution, Global Groove has been on display for public viewing throughout several notable museums such as The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, Mueseo Nacional Centro De Arte and so forth. In addition to this, excerpts of the Global Groove and detailed explanations of the video and concept are made available through YouTube.


  • High, K., Hocking, S. and Jimenez, M. (2014). The emergence of video processing tools. Bristol, England: Intellect Ltd
  • Horsfield, Kate. Busting the Tube: A Brief History of Video Art. Video Data Bank, School of Art Institute of Chicago, 2006, pp. 1–9, http://www.vdb.org/content/busting-tube-brief-history-video-art.
  • Paik, Nam June. “Global Groove”, 1963, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UXwhIQsYXY