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Moon is the Oldest TV
Date/ 1965-1976/2000
Artist(Credit Line)/ Nam June Paik
Classification/ Installation
Dimensions / Variable
Medium / 13 CRT TVs, video players, amplifier, speaker,
12-chanel video, color, silent / 1-channel video, color, sound

Paik enjoyed playing with time parameters in a spatial coordinate through video. In this work, he superimposes the moon, one of the oldest sources of light in the history of humanity, upon television. Twelve different stages of the moon from the crescent to the full moon are embodied by twelve televisions. When this video installation was first on show in Galeria Bonino, New York in 1965, the early model of vacuum-tube televisions was used. Paik produced different images that looked like the cycle of the moon, simply by inserting a magnet in the tubes and thereby interfering with electromagnetic signals of internal circuitry. After vacuum-tube televisions were discontinued, he videotaped moon shaped images and displayed on the monitors. Looking at the twelve phases of time, the viewer is invited to reflect on the depth and length of time, and ephemerality and eternity simultaneously. The title seems to allude to the fact that in those days where there was no television, people projected images and imagined stories while looking at the moon, the only natural satellite of Earth, which may be analogous to watching TV.
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Korea Open Government License
Korea Open Government License
Attribution (BY), Non-commercial (NC), No Derivative Works (ND)