At A Glance
84 color video monitors, mounted in three overhead metal beams, offer a dazzling swirl of images
Each monitor plays one of two programs, alternating so that no two adjacent monitors show the same image
Vines planted at the base are intended to create a harmony of nature and technology
Nuam June Paik’s television sculptures and video installations have been shown in public spaces and museums worldwide
At the courtyard entrance to One Franklin Town, 84 color video monitors, mounted in three overhead metal beams, offer a dazzling swirl of images. Half of the the monitors present a program of Philadelphia scenes – including buildings, historical sites, and sculptures in the city – mixed with a multitude of colorful, changing shapes. Simultaneously, the other monitors play a program of fish, flower, and bird images, geometric shapes, airplanes, spaceships, nebulae, all constantly merging and changing, The two programs alternate so that no two adjacent monitors show the same image.
With a touch of humor, Paik decorated the rear access panels of the beams with styled diagrams of circuit boards.
The three beams housing the monitors rest on 24 open metal columns, at the foot of which wisteria wines have been planted. The intent, says artist Nam June Paik, is to create a harmony of nature and technology. The flickering images may also suggest the fleeting nature of time, and this theme is reinforced by shapes like sundials or clocks placed on the beams directly above the vertical columns. With a touch of humor, Paik decorated the rear access panels of the beams with styled diagrams of circuit boards.
Paik was born in South Korea and educated in Tokyo and Germany. He worked with electronic music before he began to concentrate on the television sculptures and video installations that have been shown in public spaces and museums worldwide. Video Arbor was commissioned as part of the Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art program.
Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).
Please note that this work of art is only turned on at night. For more information about Video Arbor viewing times, contact the property owner.