Nam June Paik & TV Lab: License to Create

Nam June Paik & TV Lab: License to Create

Nam June Paik sitting in TV Chair (1968/1976) in “Nam June Paik Werke, 1946–1976
Nam June Paik sitting in TV Chair (1968/1976) in “Nam June Paik Werke, 1946–1976: Music, Fluxus, Video,” 1976. Photo © Friedrich Rosenstiel, Cologne.

Preview screening:

Nam June Paik & TV Lab: License to Create

Dir. Howard Weinberg | 2014 | USA

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. TV LAB also supported documentary makers 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. TV LAB encouraged writers, directors, choreographers, and animators to experiment and innovate.

Artists explored television as an art form: they established a global video art movement and influenced the beginnings of MTV. Novice journalists with portable video cameras gained intimate access to events: they revolutionized television documentary content, affected the look of TV drama, and foreshadowed reality television.

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.

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

Event Details

22 October 2014
6:30pm - 8:30pm

725 Park Avenue (at East 70th Street), New York, NY

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.