The Korean-born Nam June Paik (1932-2006) played a seminal role in the evolution of video art. A member of the Fluxus avant-garde art movement, Paik employed performance art to transform music composition. His first one-artist exhibition in Germany in 1963 included his innovative prepared televisions and interactive audio pieces. After moving to the United States in 1964 Paik incorporated the newly developed video porta-pak into his artmaking, fashioning over the decades a remarkable range of artworks from sculptures that employed televisions to large-scale installations. The artist's development of the Paik-Abe Video Synthesizer in the late 1960's contributed to creating a new visual language through the electronic medium of video. In addition to his sculptures and installations, Paik created a brilliant series of videotapes and productions for television.
This programl surveys his video sculptures and installations and will feature a selection of Nam June Paik's major videotapes including Videotape Study #3 (1967-69), Beatles Electroniques (1966-69), Electronic Moon No. 2 (1969), Electronic Fables (1965-71), Analogue Assemblage (2000) and Global Groove. This legendary videotape from 1973 opens with the prophetic statement: "This is a glimpse of a video landscape of tomorrow, when you will be able to switch to any TV station on earth and TV Guide will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book."
Nam June Paik (1932-2006) was the first to fully realize the artistic merits of video and television. His mixed-media projects have redefined our perception of the temporal image in contemporary art. Paik began by studying music composition in Korea, and later at the University of Tokyo. In 1956, he moved to Germany, where he met composer John Cage and George Maciunas, the founder of the radical art movement Fluxus, which Paik was invited to join. His first solo exhibition at Galerie Parnasse in 1963, Exposition of Music-Electronic Television, featured Paik's prepared televisions and interactive video works. With these first steps began an astonishing effusion of ideas that formed the basis for his tremendous Guggenheim retrospective The Worlds of Nam June Paik almost four decades later. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Paik worked as a teacher and an activist. For many of his video sequences and projects for television, he collaborated with friends Laurie Anderson, Joseph Beuys, David Bowie, Cage, and Merce Cunningham.