Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good Morning, Mr Orwell




Thirty years ago today (January 1, 1984 - sic), video-pioneer Nam June Paik conceived of  and presented "Good Morning Mr Orwell", a unique and unprecedented  international live satellite hook-up, linking up the studios of WNET, New York with the Pompidou Center in Paris (as well as hooking up with broadcasters in Germany and in his own home country, South Korea). Allen and Peter Orlovsky (along with Steven Taylor and  Arthur Russell) were an integral part of the program, which also featured contributions from John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Joseph Beuys, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Charlotte Moorman, The Thompson Twins and Oingo Bongo. George Plimpton appeared as master of ceremonies.
Peter's contribution is suitably bizarre in that it was introduced with a technical conceit that never actually materialized (the "space yodel"? - where, what happened to the "space yodel?!). We also, prior to that, catch a glimpse of John Cage, stroking dried cactus plants with a feather, making careful and delicate music. Peter performs enthusiastically on banjo (a hearty version of "Feeding Them Raspberries To Grow", Allen gleefully singing along.
    
The entire  show (including Allen's memorable performance of "Do The Meditation") may currently be viewed here.

11 comments:

  1. i saw this by accident when it aired 1/1/84. changed my life, literally.

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    1. It changed my life too. It aired in Brazil from tape exactly one year later on 1/1/85. I recorded it on my VCR and for many years this served for me as a reference of new artists to look for. This was the first time I heard of Oingo Boingo, Joseph Beuys, Philip Glass and the fist time I saw the faces of many people I loved like John Cage. It announced a future of worldwide community that truly came to pass. I am so happy to find it here.

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  2. I like it. hard to read & hear some though. What does Big Brother's badge say? "Big Brother Watching"?

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  3. I also saw this live. It made a huge impression on my young mind, at the time. It seemed so amazing that they could link up all these locations in a simulcast. It was an extremely ambitious project - and very Avant Garde! It all seems kind of quaint, now. I still love it, though!

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  4. Wooo, i`ve always want to see thiss. thanks!
    its posible to download it?, i`m from argentina and i would like to do the subtitles in spanish. any idea??

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    1. i can come up with a copy of you still need one:

      omen8productions@gmail.com

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  5. Wow, I watched that live, and always held it up as a standard for what was technically the best international art performance of its time. Thanks for keeping this video up and alive, it meant a lot to me at the time and it opened my eyes to real creativity.

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  6. where can i download this complete version of the project??

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    1. see reply to above comment

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  7. I don't have any leads on that, or even where you can purchase it. Wish it was more widely available.

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  8. The above posts, as you'll see from the dates, are from an earlier posting of this/about this - Happy (as first post of 2014) to bring it back, bring it to folks' attention again - Enjoy!

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