THE FUTURE IS NOW
One Candle (also known as Candle TV)
ArtistNam June Paik
Cathode-ray tube television casing with additions in permanent oil marker, acrylic paint and live candle
35.56 × 40.64 × 40.64 cm
Collection of the Estate of Nam June Paik
Buddhism teaches the value of meditating on “no-thing-ness” as a way of reaching a state of enlightenment and awareness of one’s body in the present. Staring at a flickering candle flame—a light source like the moon and the TV screen—is a traditional meditation technique. The flame is also a symbol of the mutable and temporary nature of life and material values. This is true across many cultures, including Buddhism and Christianity: a shared cultural trope that speaks to many people beyond geographic boundaries. Paik made his first version of One Candle, also known as Candle TV, in 1975 and returned to this concept several times over his long career.