Nam June Paik & TV Lab: License to Create


Preview screening:

Nam June Paik & TV Lab: License to Create

Dir. Howard Weinberg | 2014 | USA | 95 min.

Before YouTube, reality TV, and the Internet, artists and filmmakers pushed the boundaries of television at the TV LAB — an experimental division of Channel 13/WNET public television from 1972-1984. Supported initially by the Rockefeller Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts at the urging of Nam June Paik, who wanted a place for artists to create new imagery on television, the TV LAB boasted a blue-screen ChromaKey studio, video synthesizers, and a digital time base corrector. It allowed artists to put their hands on the latest equipment to create what became the new global phenomenon of video art, which influenced the beginnings of MTV. TV LAB also supported documentary makers and journalists who used new PortaPak video cameras and recorders to revolutionize storytelling by going behind the scenes to capture spontaneous action that network television had ignored, which affected the look of TV drama, and foreshadowed reality television. Writers, directors, choreographers, and animators were all encouraged to experiment and innovate on this platform.

This feature-length documentary shows how the TV LAB at Thirteen/WNET, New York changed the way we see television and the world and explores the key role of Nam June Paik in its founding.

Q&A with filmmaker moderated by La Frances Hui, Asia Society Film Curator.

Watch the Q&A on video here


About the filmmaker:

Howard Weinberg, commissioned by Nam June Paik, produced and directed “Topless Cellist" Charlotte Moorman, a documentary profile of Paik’s collaborator and muse, impresario and performance artist. During the TV LAB era, from 1973-80, Weinberg produced for Bill Moyers’ Journal, Assignment America with Studs Terkel; was Founding Producer of The MacNeil/Lehrer Report; and Executive Producer of The Dick Cavett Show. He later produced for Sunday Morning and Sixty Minutes at CBS; and was Executive Producer of Listening to America with Bill Moyers at PBS. His independent public television productions include New York in Song, net.LEARNING, and Sid at 90. Recent credits: The Unraveling of a Candidate for New York Times Television & The Discovery Channel; Ethics in Sports: A CBS News Religion Special. He is President of the New York Film/Video Council, the oldest non-profit organization promoting independent film in the United States, and has taught documentary film and television journalism at NYU, Dartmouth, and Columbia.

Presented in conjunction with the Asia Society Museum exhibition Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot, on view September 5, 2013 through January 4, 2015.

Note: Museum hours extend until 6:30pm. Complimentary museum admission on the same day for ticket holders.  

This program is supported in part by the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.

Event Details

Wed 22 Oct 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
725 Park Avenue (at East 70th Street), New York, NY
Buy Tickets
Free admission. Click on "Buy Tickets" button to pre-register. Registered tickets not picked up by 6:20 pm on the day of event will be forfeited. Note: Museum hours extend until 6:30 pm. Complimentary museum admission on the same day for ticket holders.
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