Nam June Paik was a notable video artist who helped ushered in the new development of electronic technology. Paik transformed literal representation of moving images to expressive elements. Formally trained in music and performance, Paik approached TV as an artistic tool to work around time-based art.
“I think I understand time better than the video artist who came from painting-sculpture. Music is the manipulation of time. All music forms have different structures and buildup. As painters understand abstract space, I understand abstract time.”
In the late 1960s, Charlotte Moorman, a cellist, performance artist, an produce of the New York Avant-Garde Festivals is a significant collaborator with Paik.
TV Bra For Living Sculpture by Nam June Paik, 1969
In TV Bra For Living Sculpture, he is moving the TV from traditional setting into wearable technology. The hypnotic quality of the glitchy images immerses the audience. The “male gaze” in feminist theory is challenged when looking at the female body to fixate in a non-sexual manner. A woman’s body perceived as a “living sculpture”, instead of instant objectification.
In many instance, Paik’s “human” element and its intersection with art and technology is frequented. TV Cello is one other.
TV Cello by Nam June Paik, 1961
Paik created the form of a cello using monitors for which Charlotte Moorman, performs with. Moorman drew the bow, causing the images on the monitors to change.
“Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.”
Both works of art by Nam June Paik distinctly accentuates his desire to humanise the TV, or rather the TV and an extension of Moorman’s body. Paik envisions technology as an artistic tool that liberates expression and transforms the world. His visual and conceptual influence has extended to today’s contemporary art practice.
Garrett Landry, 2010. Nam June Paik: Electronic Expression. Retrieved from m:
Carla Hanza, 2001. International Sculpture Center: Publisher of Sculpture Magazine, 20(5). Retrieved from: