Random Access, Exposition of Music — Electronic Television, Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal
Manfred Montwé took a picture of Random Access, one of the works featured in Nam June Paik’s first solo show, Exposition of Music — Electronic Television held at Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal, in March 1963. In the gallery’s basement, a motor-driven cardboard roller ran on two knee-height props. Fragments of magnetic tapes unwound from a spool were attached to a 50cm-wide segment of fabric moving on the roller like a conveyor belt. Tape fragments were also attached to the wall between two sets of fabric conveyor belts, like a city map. Visitors with a metal tape-head separated from playback equipment could scrape the point they wanted to listen to. One could hear various sounds depending on the speed and direction of scraping, which resembled distorted electronic music. Instead of listening to the sound sequentially played by a machine, visitors moved their bodies to listen to sound at a randomly selected spot; therefore, the work was called Random Access. The photograph shows Peter Brötzmann demonstrating this work.
black & white photograph on baryta paper