ARTS104 Blog

Nam June Paik

I think the most interesting part to Nam June Paik is his drive to explore what he could do with new technology. He is able to turn what would be an ordinary piece of technology into anything he wanted. at first I didn’t really know who he was but the first thing that shows up is his Electronic Super Highway. This piece of work is where he uses 51 closed circuit TVs, each representing a different state in the US and he incorporates neon tubing to outline each state. I immediately realized that I saw this in person at the Smithsonian. I thought this work was incredible not only because of the size of it but the colors that the neon gives off. I stood there for a good 10-15 minutes taking in as many of the individual states closed circuit televisions. And I was just amazed at how he was able to get all of this footage for each of the TVs.

American Art Museum's photo

American Art Museum’s photo

The photo I took while at the American Art Museum

The photo I took while at the American Art Museum

So I’m not really sure how to write these posts quite yet, so I’m going to talk about another piece of Paik’s. Then I will talk about his style as well. Another work that I was intrigued by his work Venus.

This one is interesting because of the movement. Of course with videos, there is movement but just with this picture. Paik set up this work in such a way that even though the video is the main portion of the work, the layout supplements that movement when the video is off.

I think a lot of Paik’s work involves movement. And its interesting to look at each component. There is the technological aspect which allows him to be innovative. His works were original in that aspect. And he was able to adapt his techniques with other pieces of technology. And I think that is such a different approach to art. That alone was one way Paik was able to bring out his artwork in a different way.

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