Random Access

Nam June Paik conceived Random Access for his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal in June 1963. The work was presented in the basement and consisted of a large number of pieces of audio tape that–like an abstract picture–were attached to the wall in wild confusion. Visitors to the exhibition could run a separated audio head along the pieces of tape in the order and at the tempo they wanted, thus creating a kind of individual composition. More than almost any other work, Random Access demonstrates Paik’s avowed aim to disrupt the traditionally passive role of the recipient. The piece was meant to give the audience a freedom that was missing in conventional performance situations. As on a map, participants could determine musical positions and their temporal order, and thus become conductors of the events perceived.



This work is issued in following texts