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.
Streaming above is Jud Yalkut’s documentation of Paik’s original program; Yalkut produced this version 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.