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Nam June Paik
at UC Irvine, Beall Center, Irvine, California
Recommendation by Jeannie R. Lee

For a man considered to be one of the world’s first video artists (an astounding concept for today’s youtube generation), Nam June Paik’s name still seems to flit outside the main canon of art history. But strolling through Paik’s succinct show of five pieces dated from 1963 to 2001 a couple of explanations for this come to mind. First, he was a pioneer in a field that has changed so rapidly that it seems inconceivable that today’s video capacity cell phones could have evolved from the then ubiquitous television box. Two, Paik’s sense of humor has a large dose of sheer goofiness. But that all aside, it is humbling to ponder some the earliest and still vital intersections between musical composition, video experimentation, and visual poetry.

Published courtesy of ArtScene ©2009

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