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Nam June Paik, TV Cello (1971)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
"[TV Cello is] the first real innovation in cello design since 1600."--Charlotte Moorman

Since the early 1960s, Nam June Paik has explored the potential of television as an art object and an expressive medium. TV Cello is one of several objects Paik designed to be used by the late avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman (1933-1991). The three televisions in this work originally displayed three images: a direct feed of the immediate performance, a video collage of other cellists, and an intercepted broadcast television feed. As Moorman played this one-stringed cello with a regulation bow, she also created a series of electronic sounds, transforming the television into a musical instrument. When TV Cello was acquired by the Walker Art Center in 1992, Paik created new video images for the piece by combining existing footage of Moorman with excerpts from his video work Global Groove (1973).

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Type: Commentary, object label
Source: Label text for Nam June Paik, TV Cello (1971), from the exhibition Selections from the Permanent Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, December 8, 1996 to April 4, 1999.
Rights: Copyright 1998 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009