Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Nam June Paik 1932-2006

Nam June Paik has passed away.

Associated Press writes:
"The Korean-born Paik, who also coined the term "Electronic Super Highway" years before the information superhighway was invented, died Sunday night (29th of January) of natural causes at his Miami apartment. (...) Paik made his artistic debut in Wiesbaden, West Germany, in 1963 with a solo art exhibition titled "Exposition of Music-Electronic Television." He scattered 12 television sets throughout the exhibit space and used them to create unexpected effects in the images being received. Later exhibits included the use of magnets to manipulate or alter the image on TV sets and create patterns of light."

It was some 2-3 years ago when we saw a collection of his legendary film and video works here in Helsinki. The works presented in this Charm of Sound concert was selected by JO Mallander from his private collection. Some of the presented works JOM received from Paik himself. JOM started to collaborate with NJP ca. 35 years ago and he wrote about NJP's video art in Finnish papers already in the early-70s... And yes, there was NJP's work 'TV cello: Finnish Dream' (1991) in the Kiasma's exhibition 3 years ago...

Concerning NJP's film work, there is even a film 'Merce and Marcel' that NJP directed in 1978, where he used live material recorded in 1964 from Merce Cunningham Dance Company's Helsinki performance. The musicians who played in this dance performance at Svenska Teatern, were John Cage & David Tudor.

Before his breakthrough NJP studied (traditional) music. But after inspired by composer John Cage's use of everyday sounds, in late-50s, he started to compose electronic music. Sub Rosa published a collection of his tape pieces ('Works 1958-1979') in 2002.

In my own record collection one of my rarities is three-sided double-LP where NJP plays piano with Joseph Beuys. The piece on the album is titled 'In Memoriam George Maciunas'. Maciunas died at the age of 47, so JB and NJP inverted the numbers and performed 74 minute long concert. They stopped the concert after the alarm-clock started to ring after 74 minutes. Now we are dealing with the same numbers again. Perhaps someone should organize 47 minute long concert for NJP...

More about Nam June Paik's life and work:



Post a Comment

<< Home