You exit from this entrancing exhibition somewhat dazzled and discombobulated. I highly recommend this beautifully curated show about the legacy and art of the Korean American artist, but it takes time for this fairly bewildering array of technology and images, strobing screens and fluttering videos, lights and movement and action, strange grey boxes and documentation, to sink in. Nam June Paik (1932-2006) intended for his work to have that effect, of course. His pioneering art, which used televisions like canvasses, cathode rays like brushes, prophesied change and wrought it. His use of televisions, not only their screens, but his manipulation of their innards and electronics, their array and arrangements, makes for, in 2013, a retro-futuristic experience. This show celebrates the 50th anniversary of his first solo exhibition, in 1963.
Paik was something of a visionary and his words and ideas were as important as his art. He imagined an "electronic super highway" (this was in 1974) which is essentially the internet, and also a Video Common Market, an idea which very closely resembles YouTube. He wanted televisions to be tactile, to be multi-sensory. If not truly multi-sensory, this show is at least a feast for the eyes and ears. So there are experimental televisions, his own synthesizer, made in 1972, and numerous video sculptures. There are dozens of his works here. Electricity seems to infest the gallery. In the Georgian Gallery, his Global Groove from 1973 - an incandescent swirl of music, dance, video effects - is a groovy blast, while his sculpture, the Video Chandelier, from 1989, is a neat piece of attractive sci-fi design. The Fontainebleau video sculpture, encased in an antique frame is quite beautiful. The experimental televisions, Participation TV (where you can alter a little image with noises into pair of microphones), Nixon TV and Crown TV seem lifted from a set of black and white Doctor Who episodes. The TV Cello is loud and fractious. There is a lot going on here: noise, retina-scouring images, ideas and sculptural statements. It is all pretty thrilling.