Nam June Paik - Radio Man
Nam June Paik
Video sculpture: 2 radio cabinets, 3 radios, 2 plasma screens with built-in DVD-player, African wooden mask, felt hat and acrylic, 2 DVDs. Approx. 194 x 75 x 55 cm. Signed and dated 'Paik 87'. - Minor traces of age. The original tube televisions have been replaced by plasma screens with built-in DVD-drive.
In Radio Man both video works Good Morning Mr. Orwell and Bye Bye Kipling are bound together in one sculpture. These works express essential aspects of Nam June Paik's work. The technical alienation is generated by mixing single picture sequences which are compressed in a rapid sequence. The temporally and spatially separate events are bound together and stand symbolically for their mediality. With Radio Man the artist is reporting on his early attempt to work with international satelite installations. Paik's contribution to the simultaneous networking of separately occuring incidences shows a revolutionary approach linking avant-garde art and popular culture. He made use of the possibility of live broadcasting, thereby reflecting media communication and its cultural networking.
The artworks are presented together as sculpture, which, similar to Paik's family of robots, suggest the human anatomy. Life in the media age was a central theme for the artist who also studied philosophy alongside musicology and art history. ''Paik's use of technology as a creative medium maintains a celebratory but experimental character throughout his whole artistic career, whilst never losing a certain impression of 'wonder', childlike innocence and curiosity. This was an art meta technology which explored the systems of registration of the user in the device, and examined how such registration began to be organised historically. By visualising the structure of the materials used and changing their function, Paik contradicted the fetishising of art and technology in bourgeois society, and utilised them as a medium for cultural and philosophical reflections and for a transformation of their own essence.'' (Sook-Kyung Lee, Videa 'n' Videology, Offene Kommunikation, in: Susanne Rennert et.al. (ed.), Nam Jun Paik, exhib.cat. Museum Kunst Palast Düsseldorf 2010 et.al. Ostfildern 2010, p. 34)
Directly from the artist; Private collection, Switzerland