Nam June Paik, “TV Clock,” 1963/1989.  Twenty-four fixed-image color television monitors mounted on twenty-four pedestals.  SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Grace Jones Richardson Trust, Lillian and Jon B.  Lovelace, Leatrice and Eli Luria and the Luria Foundation, Zora and Les Charles and the Cheeryble Foundation, Wendy and Elliot Friedman, and Lord and Lady Ridley-Tree.

Nam June Paik: TV Clock

Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1130 State Street
Santa Barbara, California

Korean-born, American artist Nam June Paik (1932–2006) blazed a trail with video art that remains influential to this day. Paik’s TV Clock, one of SBMA’s most important media art works, is on view for the first time in nearly a decade. TV Clock consists of 24 color televisions mounted upright on pedestals that are arranged in a gentle arc and displayed in a darkened space. Paik created each electronic image by manipulating the television to compress its red, green, and blue color into a single line against a black background. Called a "fixed-image television" by Paik, each TV does not involve a videotape, disc, or computer chip but an image the artist created by ingenious manipulation of electronic elements. Read in sequence, each static line tumbles into the next to form a dynamic yet elegantly spare rhythm that resembles a universally recognized way to measure time. A crucial work in Paik’s long career, TV Clock offers audiences the chance to experience the art and thought of one of the 20th century’s most innovative and enduringly vital artists.

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