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.


  1. 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!

  2. 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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