Tag Archive | TV Set

Modern Art Monday Presents: Nam June Paik, Magnet TV

Magnet TV
Photos By Gail

Magnet TV (1965) is an early example of Nam June Paik’s “Prepared Televisions,” works in which he altered the television’s image or its physical casing. This work consists of a seventeen-inch, black and white set with an industrial-size magnet resting on top of it. The magnetic field interferes with the television’s reception of electronic signals, distorting the picture into an abstract form that changes when the magnet is moved.

Magnet TV

Paik’s radical action undermines the seemingly inviolable power of broadcast television by transforming the TV set into sculpture, one whose moving image is created by chance, and can be manipulated at will. Through his alteration of the television image, Paik challenged the notion of the art object as a self-contained entity and established a process of instant feedback, whereby the viewer’s actions have a direct effect on the form and meaning of the work.

Photographed in The Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: GE Color Television Set, Model 21C134 (Circa 1960)

GE Color Television 21C134 1960

The unusual detail in this set, the GE Model 21C134 (1960) shows how television manufacturers tried to differentiate their products while selling essentially the same thing. The controls have been moved to the top, while the oversize wheels and large handle make the set easy to move. The color scheme suggests that the set was intended for an informal basement or “rumpus room” setting.

GE Color Television 21C134 1960

Photographed in the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria Queens, NY.