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Stream Nam June Paik's "Video Commune" With Your Favorite Beatles Track

 Through October 3, 2021

Presented with Nam June Paik

 

Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut, Video Commune (Beatles Beginning to End), 1970, reedited 1992. 16 mm film transferred to video. Produced by WGBH-TV, Boston. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the Hakuta family.

 

Pick a song to accompany your stream

Let’s go back to August 1, 1970. Nam June Paik, then developing experimental television for WGBH-Boston, created a four-hour live broadcast titled Video Commune (Beatles Beginning to End). Working with his newly developed Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer, the visionary artist edited the color and shape of images as they aired to audiences, accompanied by music from The Beatles’ trove of recordings. Paik—ever the collaborator—even invited random passersby into the studio and let them remix video images. The result was a mesmerizing, improvised montage of distorted TV imagery soundtracked with music from one of the most popular bands of all time.

What you see in the video above is documentation of Paik’s original program, which artist Jud Yalkut produced by filming a TV screen on 16mm film. In keeping with the spirit of the original participatory live broadcast, Yalkut and Paik invited viewers to choose their own Beatles tracks to accompany this silent, roughly eight-minute version. Now, we invite you to do the same.