Transmission Tower is a laser work by Nam June Paik, which was shown at the exhibition Nam June Paik: Transmission held at the Rockefeller Center, New York, from June 26th to September 2nd, 2002. Produced in collaboration with the laser expert and creative technician Norman Ballard, this work is a 33-foot-tall authentic transmission tower whose rungs flash with vivid neon lights and a trio of red, green, and blue laser beams from the top. During the exhibition, the lasers were reflected over the surfaces of nearby buildings, which created a spectacle. Paik was interested in laser technology since the mid-1960s, which could make a revolutionary change to the transmission of information, and in the 2000s, the artist produced several site-specific installations using the laser. In the exhibition at the Rockefeller Center, Transmission Tower was flanked by sixteen classic automobiles, which was part of Paik’s 32 Cars for the 20th Century: Play Mozart’s Requiem Quietly (1997). Each car was painted in silver, stripped of its engine, and filled with defunct audio-visual equipment, playing Mozart’s Requiem in a subdued tone.
Nam June Paik