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Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV

by Amanda Kim
United States, 2023, 109’
Presented at the 16th edition of Lo schermo dell’arte, 2023
Photography by Nelson Walker
Editing by Taryn Gould
Voice over Steven Yeun
Producers: Jennifer Stockman, David Koh, Amanda Kim, Amy Hobby, Jesse Wann, Mariko Munro
vo: English, German, Korean; st: Italian
Considered the father of video art, Nam June Paik (Seoul 1932 – Miami 2006), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, created new forms of expression and communication during the television boom. The film traces his life. Born in Japanese-occupied Korea, he trained as a classical musician before moving to Germany in the 1950s, where he met composer John Cage. In a divided Europe, Paik joined the Fluxus movement, with Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys and Jonas Mekas. In 1964, he moved to New York, where he collaborated with cellist Charlotte Moorman. Through rare archive footage, the documentary recounts interviews and excerpts from works and Paik’s incessant experimentation with technology: from the use of the first TV monitors to the creation of anthropomorphic robots and portable video cameras. Paik’s writings (voice-over by actor Steven Yeun) underline this artist’s belief in the need to make his art accessible through television programs broadcast simultaneously all over the world and the future with astonishing clairvoyance.
Amanda Kim is a Tokyo-raised, Korean American director and producer. A former creative director at Vice Media, she led U.S. video direction for i-D, Creators, and Garage magazine.
Selected Filmography
Three Deaths (2020); A-Z of Music (2017)