Nam June Paik, John J. Godfrey

Global Groove


Werk - Global Groove
Artist / Artist group
Nam June Paik, John J. Godfrey
Global Groove
video, Analog video
Material / Technique
U-Matic, color, stereo
Dimensions / Duration
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

At the beginning of the 1970s, video art pioneer Nam June Paik often used documentary footage, which he deconstructed with the help of slow motion or fast motion, fast editing frequency, asynchrony of image and sound, and color formations and cross-fades created with the video synthesizer.

The half-hour video »Global Groove« is considered a classic of such a video collage and a model for other collaged works by Paik. In rapid rhythm, 22 sequences follow, representing a highly heterogeneous mixture of optical and acoustic elements from different cultures and epochs. The image sequences are often linked by moving color formations from the synthesizer, which visualizes acoustic impulses. The speed and diverse technical image processing make it impossible to concentrate on individual sequences, and Paik thus deliberately deprives them of making a statement. The video collage dissolves contrasts such as classical–modern, East–West, and high culture–mass culture. Paik visualizes a global communication network and thus refers to Marshall McLuhan’s media theory of the "Global Village" (»The Gutenberg Galaxy«, 1962): a modern world networked by new electronic media.

Author: Jenny Starick