The world recently lost a visionary artist in Nam June
Paik (http://www.paikstudios.com), a man who literally
transformed the video media landscape. His work as the
inventor of video art and composer of electronic music,
video sculptor, and other culturally disruptive
innovations , inspired artists around the world to seek
expression through new media technologies.
Originally working within the music medium, Paik
explored the outer edges of musical art by combining
traditional piano playing with outrageous physical
activities, often including the audience in his
Paik, working with engineer Shuya Abe at WGBH in Boston
in 1969, is credited with creating the first video
synthesizer ever used in broadcast TV. His efforts to
push the edge of video technology continually led to
advances in the medium.
By immersing himself in a medium that had captured the
attention of the mainstream, he was able to bring
eclectic and radical art into the center of society. His
work forced people to look at the world in new and
exciting ways, and as the “godfather of video art,” he
engendered new ideas and uses for video as a means of
Paik’s stated goal was "not how to make another
scientific toy, but how to humanize the technology and
the electronic medium."
John Cage, an artist who both influenced Paik and was in
turn influenced by him, once wrote that Paik's "work,
conversation, performance and daily doings never cease
to by turn amaze, delight, shock and even terrify me."
Fortunately for the world, Nam June Paik’s work and
influence live on, and we can continue to celebrate a
man who changed his world.