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    Beuys Voice

    by Nam June Paik


Nam June Paik

South Korean, active U.S.,

Beuys Voice

Two channel color video on laser discs, antique
television cabinets, felt, mixed media sculpture, 1990
Toledo Museum of Art, 2015

Korean-American artist Nam June Paik is often hailed as
the “father” of new media art and is renowned for his
early exploration into the overlap between music, video,
performance and emerging technology. With a career
spanning more than four decades, Paik created a body of
work that foresaw the technological revolution of the late
20th century and drew attention to technology’s increasing
omnipresence in our daily lives.

Demonstrating Paik’s signature humor and playfulness,
Beuys Voice is significant in two respects: it is an iconic
example of Paik’s “robot portraits”, and it also stands as
a commemorating homage to avant-garde performance
artist Joseph Beuys (German, 1921–1986), a close friend
and important influence in Paik’s development as a young
artist. The “robot” includes video images of Beuys and
objects that refer to motifs common in his art.