In Paik’s hands, the cathode-ray tube is a canvas. Televisions are tractable surfaces littered and alive with indeterminate electrons: a way to connect a heterogeneous planet.
‘One Candle / Candle TV’, first made in 1975, flickers with an ironic interplay between nature and technology: where we expect to see a spectral representation made from light, instead we find the real lit wick and wax. But, as seen within the wider context of Paik’s practise, the work extends beyond irony into a sincere proposition: it can be viewed (just like a TV program) as a unit of time, and can be used for meditation or however else the viewer sees fit. In this sense, Paik’s candle is strangely prescient of mindfulness apps and the countless Buddhist sanghas who have taken to the web.