Nam June Paik / Charlotte Moorman – TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969)

Brassiere for Living Sculpture (Charlotte Moorman) is one sharp example to humanize electronics … and technology. By using TV as bra… the most intimate belonging of human being, we will demonstrate the human use of technology, and also stimulate viewers, NOT for something mean, by stimulate their phantasy [sic] to look for the new, imaginative, and humanistic ways of using our technology. —Nam June Paik, 1969

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The piece consists of a pair of three-inch television screens mounted in plexiglass cubes which are strapped over the breasts of the cellist. The televisions display oscillations created from signals from a pickup on the cello. This shows direct relationship and impact between the Human and the Technology, which is the major key to his point on Humanizing Technology.

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Before I read into the details of his performance, I was thinking this is another piece that embodies female sexuality and desire as the performance piece. Well, perhaps, one of the best way to capture attention and input strong impression on people is to use the female body as the protagonist and this may be the Paik’s intention too.

As I research,  I realize his true intention and truly admire his vision of the use of technology in future.

Although TV today has somewhat been replace by computers, however, it is still something that is not detachable from every households. TV Bra for Living Sculpture is one of Paik’s first experiments that embodied his foresight towards the rapid progress of technology. I think by distorting the already accomplished image of television, and transforming it to an intimate object, the women’s bra, he succeeded to attract viewer’s attention to present a television as an object of contemplation.

As an artist, I believe it is important for us to deliver our own vision of what the future will become in order for people to anticipate the future positive (or even negative) possibilities.

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