Nam June Paik




Korean musician and composer Nam June Paik (b. 1932 Seoul, Korea – d. 2006 Florida, USA) made his mark as the most prominent video pioneer by creating the first public video screening in October 1965 in New York; Paik played back video images recorded with the first video camera - the portable Portapak camera by Sony. He then helped launch video as a new format (video tape and video sculpture) in the art and museum contexts, and he repeatedly claimed to be the ‘first’ to use video, to electromagnetically dissolve the electronic image (Demagnetizer, 1965), to develop a video synthesizer (Paik-Abe-Synthesizer (1969), and to launch the live satellite transmission of the opening of Documenta 6, 1977 from Germany. The Paik-Abe Synthesizer (technically developed by Shuya Abe) is an instrument that Paik primarily used to decompose television images. He created an electronic collage of manipulated electronic impulses with recorded television material and abstract imagery generated through feedback. The overriding aesthetic principle in Paik’s work is the decomposition and deconstruction of visual materials. On January 29, 2006, Paik passed away in Miami, Florida.