Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut, ‘Video-Film Concert’, 1966/1972, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut, ‘Video-Film Concert’, 1966/1972, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)

This restored collection of rare early collaborative works by Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut is historically significant as well as remarkably prescient. Recorded between 1967 and 1972, these "video-films" reveal insights into the evolution of Paik's work in video, performance and installation, and are among the earliest explorations of the interfacing of film and video. They are marked by a playful, irreverent sense of improvisation and experimentation. Richly inventive and ironic, these experiments form a link between Paik's performance and sculptural works of the 1950s and early 1960s and the celebrated video works and installations of later years.
These seminal collections include early examples of mass media appropriation, deconstruction and manipulation as cultural and political critique. For example, Video Tape Study No.3 is a direct media intervention, in which Paik distorts and manipulates footage from news conferences by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and New York Mayor Lindsey. In a witty performative gesture, Paik briefly asserts his presence by waggling his finger at the screen.
Waiting for Commercials — a hilarious compendium of Japanese TV commercials from the 1970s — is an early example of Paik's use of appropriated television imagery as pop cultural artifact. Beatles Electronique reveals his engagement with manipulation of pop icons. Several pieces, including Electronic Fables, are examples of Paik's early experiments with electronic image manipulation, prior to his invention of the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer. This piece also makes use of anecdotes by John Cage, who was a major influence as well as a collaborator of Paik.
Video Tape Study No. 3: Sound: David Behrman & Kenneth Lerner. Beatles Electroniques: Sound: Kenneth Lerner. Electronic Moon No. 2: Sound: Debussy.

Image rights: Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)

About Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut

Starting in 1966, the two pioneering media artists Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut began to collaborate on a series of video-based works in which images and sounds had been electronically distorted; these video-films were early examples of appropriating and manipulating mass media footage as a form of cultural criticism. Their source material included clips from Beatles concerts, television commercials, news footage, and a conference featuring President Lyndon B. Johnson. Their approach was based largely in improvisation and experimentation, with undertones of humor and irony. Paik said that this newfound medium “will enable us to shape the TV screen canvas as precisely as Leonardo, as freely as Picasso, as colorfully as Renoir.”