The Regal Star Project:
Initiated by Waldo Bien, the Regal Star Project began in January 1983 in the ship of that name, the Regal Star, moored in the harbour of Amsterdam, where Bien went daily, entered the hull, and began his self reflecting ritual of shaving.
The project culminated in a public, world-wide, televised, ritual performance with Joseph Beuys at the Centre Pompidou on the first of January 1984. This live media event, “Bonjour Mr. Orwell”, had been orchestrated by Nam June Paik.
Beuys had intended to come to Amsterdam but proposed Paris to the artist to make their work more publicly available. One of the earliest global art events, it remains a memorable collaboration between the artists Bien and Beuys, the full details of which are only now coming to light, and presented for the first time as a completed work at the Venice Biennale 2007, DIFESA DELLA NATURA, 100 Days Permanent F.I.U. Conference, organized by Lucrezia De Domizio Durini.
P. Healy. F.I.U. Amsterdam.
More Information: Footnote on Regal Star, by Patrick Healy.
Good Morning Mr. Orwell:
Nam June Paik
1984, 38 min, color, sound
Good Morning Mr.Orwell is an edited version of Paik's first international satellite "installation," which was held on New Year's Day 1984. Paik's transcultural satellite extravaganzas link different countries, spaces, and times in often chaotic but entertaining collages of art and pop culture, the avant-garde and television. Good Morning Mr.Orwell, which Paik saw as a rebuttal to Orwell's dystopian vision of 1984, linked France, Germany and the U.S. The event featured vibrant performances by John Cage, Yves Montand, Joseph Beuys, Waldo Bien, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Merce Cunningham, Peter Gabriel and Allen Ginsberg, among many others. Paik coordinated the event and designed the TV graphics that connected the various live and pre-recorded segments. This project can be seen as a development of Paik's thinking on the potential of satellite communication, as proposed in A Conversation, and realized with his typical pastiche of art, entertainment, and crosscultural juxtapositions.
Conceived and coordinated by Nam June Paik. Executive Producer: Carol Brandenburg. Partial Post-Production: Nam June Paik, Paul Garrin. Post-Production: Broadway Video, Post Perfect. WNET, New York; FR3, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; WDR Westdeutsche Fernsehen. Editor of single-channel version: Skip Blumberg.