Nam June Paik Archive at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced that it has acquired the archives of the preeminent electronic and video media artist, Nam June Paik.

Mr. Paik was born in Korea, lived in Japan and Germany, and relocated to the U.S. in 1964. He produced numerous conceptual artworks that incorporated electronic devices and phenomena, utilizing both sound and video.  Along with Shuya Abe, he created the first video synthesizing machine, which transformed the process of creating moving-image works. In many ways his early artwork prefigured the advent of the internet and global culture through the positioning of electronic media, including television, and recognized it as a conduit for intercultural communication. He is credited with first using the term “electronic superhighway.”

SAAM was awarded the entire Paik archives by the artist’s estate after it and other institutions submitted proposals. The archive contains a variety of materials that document Paik’s art and innovative perspective, both in terms of art and technology. It will serve as an important and significant resource for artists, curators, and scholars.

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