Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik was a Korean-born American artist born in 1932 and died in 2006. He was widely considered to be the first video artist and is credited with the first useage of the term “super highway” in talking about telecommunications. He was trained as a classic pianist but his family had to flee Korea during the Korean war. He moved and lived in a variety of countries including Japan and Germany before moving to New York.

He uses everyday sounds and noises in his music. His “Exposition of Music-Electronic Television” uses televisions strew about with magnet used to alter or distort their images.

The work Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, is on permanent display in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is an example of cultural criticism as it convey the4 obsession with television, moving images, and “shiny things.”

I find his work to be intriging, visually and auditorily stimulating, and contructed to make an impact on the viewer/listener. The magnitude of the projects is impressive, when you realize the complexity of setting up the electronics, monitors, etc… “Lost Spunik” is a huge bank of TV monitors with colored patterns pulsing across it in patterns and rhythms. Numerous other examples make the viewer in awe of the work that went into the displays and installations. Take a look below!


Electronic Moon # 2



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