Trylon Communications  - February 2006
       

Inspiration At Rest

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 performances.

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 expression.

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.