The art of video is another matter. Global Groove 1973/2012 celebrates this art form by paying homage to its first major practitioner, Nam June Paik (1932–2006), and offering an overview of current examples of the genre by an international sampling of artists, some of whom are working under very difficult political constraints.
This presentation features Paik’s seminal 1973 video, Global Groove, as a jumping-off point from which to explore current trends in international video art. A characteristically fast-paced barrage of images and sounds, Global Groove was, at the time, Paik’s prophetic statement about the future ubiquity of video. “This is a glimpse of a video landscape of tomorrow, when you will be able to switch to any TV station on the earth and TV Guides will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book,” he said. His kinetically edited single-channel video anticipated the “video cities” we now inhabit (New York, Shanghai, Seoul), where video screens as high as buildings engulf entire city centers.
What Paik was not necessarily predicting was the rapid rise of video as an artistic medium. As video cameras and digital editing equipment have become ever more accessible, starting in the 1990s, video has been adopted by artists worldwide. This exhibition is a tribute to that international phenomenon featuring artists from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the United States. Global Groove highlights multiple artistic approaches to the medium, from low-tech to highly cinematic, personal, and diaristic to intensely political and challenging.
Global Groove is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.