Nam June Paik
Considered the father of video art, Nam June Paik pioneered the use of televisual electronic media in art. An integral member of the Fluxus movement alongside John Cage and George Macunias, Paik sought new modes of artistic expression and cultural exchange in his music, performances, and media works. Paik recognized the TV as more than a content delivery mechanism in works such as Zen for TV, a broken television broadcasting only a horizontal line across the screen. He created numerous robots composed of television sets, produced a synthesizer that allowed him and others to manipulate electronic imagery in real-time, and made the first video collages with found imagery. Coining the term “the electronic superhighway,” he imagined a world in which human beings near and far would be connected through radio waves and television broadcast channels—in many ways predicting the internet. Paik explored the widening reach of media in his large-scale video installations that display an assault of flickering of images and masterpieces like Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, a groundbreaking live performance broadcast on television in five countries on January 1, 1989, which offered a utopian answer to Orwell’s bleak predictions for the future in his classic novel 1984.