Jon Kessler

  • Nam June Paik, TV Garden, 1974, single-channel video, live plants, and monitors. Installation view, Documenta 6, Kassel, 1977.

    Nam June Paik

    I FIRST SAW Nam June Paik’s work in 1977 at Documenta 6 in Kassel. Twenty years old, with two years of art school under my belt, I was hitchhiking through Europe when I came upon the art world’s temporary Emerald City. The exhibition was dominated by Joseph Beuys, whose Honeypump in the Workplace, 1974–77, snaked through the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, and who had programmed one hundred days of Free International University events. Paik’s contribution was TV Garden, 1974. It was a sprawling installation that looked like an electric, three-dimensional Henri Rousseau—the glow of thirty televisions