A New Design for TV Chair

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A New Design for TV Chair
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Nam June Paik, A New Design for TV Chair (1973, silkscreen print)

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Nam June Paik, Dance is not jumping, Literature is not book – installation view
(1987/8, Gallery Shilla Collection)


《A New Design for TV Chair》, Nam June Paik’s silkscreen print produced in 1973, depicts the image often featured in popular science magazines in the 1940s showing a future where every household would possess a television. When Paik produced this print, TV had already been widely spread and TV networks had been monopolized, broadcasting programs and advertisements unilaterally. Although Paik had a utopian vision that the development of media technology could help human beings with communication and imagination, he tried to stand up against the one-way communication of the TV network system. Seeking alternatives to unidirectional TV, he raised questions:

“Do you know…?

How soon TV-Chair will be available in most museums? How soon artist will have their own TV channels? How soon wall to wall TV for video-art will be installed in most homes?”

Paik made a series of work that combines a television with a chair from 1968 in which, as suggested in this print, a television became a chair to sit on, or he put a monitor beneath a chair so that spectators could not see the screen, or he attached a small television to a chair so that they constitute a whole new piece of furniture. In so doing, Paik let spectators perceive the physical and electronic dimensions of TV.

In , a new exhibition presented by the Nam June Paik Art Center, a special room is dedicated to the ideas behind this silkscreen, where Paik’s TV-attached chairs, video chandelier, closed-circuit clock, and some of his videos come to form a 21st-century museum environment. Visitors will be led to think about how relevant the mediascape Paik.

Mediascape, a pas de Nam June Paik