Friday, 20 January 2012

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik participated in the Neo-Dada art movement, known as Fluxus, which was inspired by the composer John Cage and his use of everyday sounds and noises in his music.
Neo-Dada - is a label applied primarily to audio and visual art that has similarities in method to earlier Dada artwork. It is the foundation of Fluxus, Pop Art and Nouveau realisme. Neo-Dada is exemplified by its use of modern materials, popular imagery and absurdist contrast. It also obviously denies traditional concepts of aesthetics.
'TV Buddha/A Sentimental Diary' - Nam June Paik - 1995
Fluxus - a name taken from a Latin word meaning "to flow"—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is sometimes described as intermedia.
The work of Nam June Paik is renowned for transforming video into an artist’s medium and demonstrates the dramatic technological change that has shaped our society in recent years. He is a pioneer of video and media art which helped these genres attain recognition through his innovative, neo-Dadaist use of technology, experimentation and performance.
'Video Fish' - Nam June Paik - 1979
Paik was an inquisitive artist; he employed art as a projection screen for the constant questioning of social, political, technological and economic processes & manipulated television images became the foundation for his video art. He made his big debut at an exhibition known as Exposition of Music-Electronic Television, in which he scattered televisions everywhere and used magnets to alter or distort their images.
'Aunt & Uncle - Nam June Paik - 1986
What makes Paik’s art so relevant and appropriate to our time is the spirit and ideal of Paik’s art that have brought the language of avant-gardism to the ambivalent landscape of contemporary culture. Truly experimental, yet embracing the pinnacles of everyday life, Paik embodied the paradoxical nature of artistic creation in the postindustrial, consumerist and information-based society.
'Route 66' - Nam June Paik - 1993
'One Candle' - Nam June Paik - 1989
Paik’s art served as an alternative technology closely bound to nature and its principles. Paik appears to have concentrated on the effect of electronic and digital manipulations that resembled the attributes of nature ‘my experimental TV is not always interesting but not always uninteresting. Like nature, which is beautiful, not because it changes beautifully, but simply because it changes’ - Nam June Paik.
Works such as Zen for TV and TV Chair, which show how Paik's interest in manipulating the physical and electronic nature of television sets developed and changed. With several TV Buddha works, we are showing how Paik juxtaposed the contrasting ideas like West and East, the spiritual and the technological in such a simply yet strong format.
'Zen for TV' - 1963 & 'TV Cello' - 1971 - Nam June Paik
Works like Zen for TV demonstrated his interest in the television as a physical medium for making art, rather than simply as a means for presenting art. The television had originally been damaged on the way to the exhibition and, when switched on, displayed only a thin horizontal line. Paik presented it turned on its side, declaring the title an 'artistic interaction' with the element of chance, chance being central to Zen Buddhism and increasingly to Paik's practice.
'Mercury' - Nam June Paik - 1991
Larger scale works like Video Fish and TV Garden represent his interest in the harmony between the technological and the natural, using real fish and live plants alongside video imagery. His humanist approach to technology is also evident in the series of Family of Robot. Made of vintage TV casings and old monitors, these robot sculptures look humorous and friendly rather than cyborg-like or mechanical.
The collection of eighteen televisions is called TV Clock. Paik used the eighteen television sets to show the hours of the day. Each television has hands that show the division of the clock face into twelve daytime hours and twelve nighttime hours. Paik's message is the fact of measuring time with a static measurement tool. The ability to measure time is a great accomplishment because time is a natural phenomenon. By using the televisions to show time, it shows the worlds changing ways of measuring this phenomenon.

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