Nam June Paik - TV Cello, 1971, video tubes, TV chassis, plexiglass boxes, electronics, wiring, wood base, fan, stool, photograph, dimensions variable
"Since the early 1960s, Nam June Paik has explored the potential of television as an art object and an expressive medium. TV Cello is one of several objects Paik designed to be used by the late avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman (1933-1991). The three televisions in this work originally displayed three images: a direct feed of the immediate performance, a video collage of other cellists, and an intercepted broadcast television feed. As Moorman played this one-stringed cello with a regulation bow, she also created a series of electronic sounds, transforming the television into a musical instrument. When TV Cello was acquired by the Walker Art Center in 1992, Paik created new video images for the piece by combining existing footage of Moorman with excerpts from his video work Global Groove (1973)." [Walker Art Center]
Infiltration-Homogen for Grand Piano is one of my favorite artworks. Beuys covered a Bechstein piano entirely with felt and two crosses of red material. This work was installed at Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris in 1966. Here is Beuys’ statement taken from Transformer, a documentary film directed by John Halpern in 1979:
"The sound of the piano trapped inside the felt skin. In the normal sense a piano is an instrument used to produce sound. When not in use it is in silent, but still has a sound potential. Here, no sound is possible and the piano is condemned to silence.
The relationship to the human position is marked by the two red crosses signifying emergency, the danger that threatens if we stay silent and fail to make the next evolutionary step.
Such an object is intended as a stimulus for discussion, and in no way it is it to be taken as an aesthetic product.”