Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik was a Korean-American artist who was one of the founding creators of digital media art as we know it today. Paik's work was a blend of science, art, and technology. He was notoriously recognized for his usage of television sets and integrating them into his installations. One of his most famous pieces, "Electronic Superhighway" (displayed below) is an example of how he used television to depict the influence media has on American culture.

Another famous work that Paik constructed was "TV Buddha." (below) This particularly stands out to me because the idea sort of crosses over an ancient Oriental religious figure and Western media, almost as if to create a statement that demonstrates that the media is also just as much as a powerful force. It is transcending and melding together a rich historic past and a materialistic, ever-consuming future. 

Overall, I think Paik's work is fascinating, as it shows the sheer power of the media and how it can shape our beliefs, attitudes, even our own cultures. As one of the artists who lay the foundation for digital art, Paik offers a lot of insight as to how different mediums can be crossed over and constructed to present a powerful statement about our media.