The Nam June Paik Art Center proudly announces the launch of its lecture and discussions series with The Gift of Nam June Paik 1, a seminar commemorating the closing of its inaugural festival NOW JUMP. The Gift of Nam June Paik 1 gathers specialists from various fields to celebrate Nam June Paik’s creativity and expand discussions on his work. As a concluding journey of the NOW JUMP Festival, the seminar ambitions to sketch a landscape where neglected aspects of Paik’s practice can be considered and supported.
Reactivating and actualizing the memory of the nomad characteristic of Paik’s life, the different speakers’ presentations and areas of expertise echo the boundless terrain of Paik’s practice suggesting that being a pioneer of video art was only a single station within a much larger journey. What topics and perspectives can be imagined within contemporary social and political contexts when departing from this extended territory for Paik’s practice?
The first two sessions of the seminar are intended to promote shifts in presumptions and activate discourses on Paik that extend beyond established myths. In the morning of February 4, Bazon Brock addresses the socio-political contexts of post war Germany in relation to artistic practice, possibly situating the historical meeting of Paik and television within a larger framework. Midori Yamamura follows these arguments with a presentation on the new ontology that threaded through Japan, the United States and Europe in the period following World War II in relation to Paik and the formative Fluxus movement. In the afternoon, Kim Suki examines the cultural context of Korea under Japanese colonization during the 1930s and 1940s and Mary Bauermeister offers testimonial of her close relationship with Paik during his stay in Germany. Further enhancing this focus on Paik’s early years, and the transgressions in his way of thinking that place him in between East and West, Kim Jin Sok delves into the philosophical frameworks of the communities and societies influential to Paik’s practice.
On February 5, the main themes are performativity and the notion of time, and nomadism. Lee Young Chul shares his exhibition-making experience and the dialogue it established with Paik’s philosophy for the creation of the Now Jump Festival. Hannah Higgins discusses experience and Fluxus, while architect/poet Haam Seong-Ho considers the notion of time and experience in Zen Buddhism. The concluding session concentrates on nomadism and how Paik continuously jumped from place to place, both geographically and chronologically. The notion of nomadic life is examined through anthropological, socio-political and futurological references by Yi-Jinkyung and Cho Hyun-il. Their presentations aim to imagine, through Paik’s practice, the potential social structures, territories, and political terrains it may inspire.