Nam June Paik

Wrap Around the World


Werk - Wrap Around the World
Artist / Artist group
Nam June Paik
Wrap Around the World
video, Analog video
Material / Technique
U-Matic, color, stereo
Dimensions / Duration
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

Along with Picasso and Duchamp, Nam June Paik is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. The pioneer of video art experimented with electronic manipulation using video synthesizers and created a new kind of electronic painting in his use of television images.

The 47-minute video »Wrap Around the World« was broadcast on the occasion of the 24th Olympic Games in Seoul and reached almost 50 million viewers. The collective media collage includes concert recordings of David Bowie, the Vienna Philharmonic, a Russian jazz band, and a Chinese pop group. There is also a football match played by elephants in Thailand, a samba dance and, in self-reference, Paik’s video sculpture »The More The Better« . The images, processed by the video synthesizer, tumble, rotate and deform. Moving color formations alternate with solarized figures, images overlap and dissolve.

In the aesthetics of its sequence – several scenes are indicated as a cut-out – this video collage is considered a precursor of the video clip.

Author: Jenny Starick

About the artist/s