Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer
Nam June Paik strived to move beyond manipulating the television that enabled two-way feedback, toward creating a machine that ultimately everyone could play with as if playing the piano. Following this aim from 1964, the Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer was produced in 1969 for the first time in collaboration with the Japanese engineer Shuya Abe. The synthesizer could receive external sources such as from the camera, and edit the color and shape of video images in real-time. The synthesizer was later used in Video Commune: Beatles from beginning to end, a live broadcast on WGBH in Boston in 1970, and Media Shuttle: Moscow/New York, which was broadcasted on WNET in New York in 1977. While no surviving editions of the Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer produced until the early 1970s worked properly today, the Nam June Paik Art Center worked with Abe in the “Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer Restoration Project” in 2011, restoring the synthesizer’s functionality.
Nam June Paik, Shuya Abe
2 CRT TV sets, 2 enamel coils, 2 CCTV cameras, 1 amplifier, 5 audio generators, control board