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Nam June Paik, TV Fish
Date/ 1975(1997)
Artist(Credit Line)/ Nam june paik
Credit Line/ Courtesy of NAN JUNE PAIK ART CENTER
Material/ Video Installation
24 TV, 24 Fishes tanks, live fishes
3-channel video, color-silent
variable dimension


Twenty-four televisions are placed behind a row of twenty-four fish tanks. Live fishes swim around inside the fish tanks while a series of moving images are played on the TV monitors, such as dancing Merce Cunningham, swimming fishes in the sea, and a flying airplane in the sky. The superimposition of a fish tank and a television monitor exerts the effect of spatiotemporally combining a real fish with a video image of fish. In the overlaps of images, Cunningham is dancing with a fish; fishes are swimming in the sky; and an airplane is floating in the sea. The visual composition, in which a fish tank becomes a monitor and vice versa, lets viewers look at the video images from a new perspective and perceive the television monitor as a frame defining and constraining what is shown. Dealing with the relationship between realities and representations across the frame of screens, Paik often employed elements from nature. He contrasted ‘being true-to-life’ of television images enabled by technology on the one hand, and the ‘liveness’ of natural realities on the other, whereby he emphasized their coexistence and correspondence rather than bringing into relief their difference.
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Korea Open Government License
Korea Open Government License
Attribution (BY), Non-commercial (NC), No Derivative Works (ND)

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