Media Shuttle: Moscow/New York

Dimitri Devyatkin and Nam June Paik.
1978, 28:11 min, b&w and color, sound

"What would happen if the people of New York and Moscow had a kind of citizen's band television, could see and talk with each other via satellite? The idea of a 'Media Shuttle' evoked this science fiction fantasy." So begins Media Shuttle: Moscow/New York, in which Devyatkin and Paik create a transcultural time capsule with their distinctive interpretations of two cities and two cultures in the 1970s. This global groove opens with excerpts from Paik's The Selling of New York, a kinetic, image-processed tour of Manhattan that is intercut with comic scenarios and commercials appropriated from Japanese television. Devyatkin then offers a verite documentary view of Moscow, from cultural activities to everyday life. These scenes are interrupted and juxtaposed with Paik's colorized, synthesized footage of New York. The tape ends with a young Siberian artist who listens to the Voice of America in his village. Using only his mouth, he mimics the instruments of Henry Mancini's orchestra. The young man's oddly affecting rendition of The Shadow of Your Smile is perhaps the final word on the international language of popular culture in a media-dominated world.

With Excerpts from Works by: Bill Gwin, Shigeko Kubota, Douglas Davis. Grateful Acknowledgements to: Deborah Van Moser, Josef Goldin, John Johnson, Ed Emshwiller, Jeni Engel. Synapse: Henry Baker, Tom Klemesrud, Carl Geiger, Nexus, Electronic Arts Intermix, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wise, Steve Rutt, Foundation for Education in Human Relations, Guggenhein Foundation Title: Phillip Morton, Tom Defanti. Supervising Engineer/ Videotape Editor: John J. Godfrey. Production Manager: Darlene Mastro. Associate Director: Terry Benson. Production Assistant: Ruth Bonomo. Associate Producers: Carol Brandenburg, Ann Woodward. Producers: Russell Connors, David Loxton.


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