Monday, 6 September 2010

Good Morning, Mr Orwell

The video for Peter Gabriel & Laurie Anderson's Excellent Birds that I included in my previous post was one that I discovered a while back when searching through YouTube for footage of Anderson to post on facebook. I had been previously unaware of its existence, but perhaps this is because it was not created with MTV in mind, but rather was part of a satellite broadcast "installation" by video art pioneer Nam June Paik, Good Morning, Mr Orwell. Transmitted on 1st January 1984 (for obvious reasons) primarily between WNET TV in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, it was intended as a rebuttal to Orwell's vision, by showing that technological advance is no bad thing. Try telling that to a typical Daily Mail journalist (I'm sure the left-leaning Orwell would be dismayed to find his book become such fodder for those loons). Alongside Anderson and Gabriel, the broadcast featured live and recorded work from the likes of John Cage, Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg (with Arthur Russell on cello), Merce Cunningham, Oingo Boingo and The Thompson Twins.

Larger version can be found here.

Orwell's 1984 was of course even more explicitly acknowledged in 1984 with the release of the John Hurt/Richard Burton-starring film version of the book, complete with Eurythmics soundtrack.

No comments:

Post a Comment