Nam June Paik

The Korean-American artist, Nam June Paik is known to be the founder of video art. During the time when videos were starting to be a part of our daily lives, Paik took it to the next step. He participated in media arts history with his transformation of an electronic moving image into an artist’s medium. The moving image has become the center of our visual culture and many artists have expanded their work because of him.

Paik is well known for his use of the word “super highway” when applied to telecommunications. His actual work the “Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii” in 1995 was placed in the Lincoln Gallery of the  Smithsonion American Art Museum to depict our (American) obsession with TV, moving objects, and bright shiny things. A lot of Paik’s work orbited the world as many artists chose to follow his lead and expand on his work.

Paik also spent a lot of time making robots using TV sets, which I found to be very interesting. This to me was one of the more unique factors of his work and the picture below seemed very representational of what his work began with.

This Robot made from TV sets is a minimal example of Paik’s work, but it circulates his criticism of our daily obsessions and it shows that we as humans allow objects such as TV sets to make us act like robots. His work attempted to demonstrate the various ways in which video art can be depicted and interpreted. This opened the gates for other artists to make their own interpretations of work using any video form that they wanted.