Séance for Nam June Paik

Sat 23 Feb 2008
A screening/performance event presenting new works channelling the ‘father of video art’
curated by Daniel Agnihotri-Clark

8pm, SOFA Gallery Basement, Christchurch Arts Centre.
$15/10, free entry with Tending Networks registration

“I use technology in order to hate it more properly”
Nam June Paik

Screening
Disasteradio
Naomi Lamb
Emil McAvoy & Damian Stewart
Bronwyn Holloway-Smith
Nathan Thompson
Dell McLeod

Performance
Andrew Clifford
Morgan Barnard
Dan Untitled

Nam June Paik is widely regarded as the father of video art.  Innovative digital artworks by  Aotearoa/New Zealanders will be presented in a new project: to channel (and negotiate with) the spirit of the late Korean artist’s practice. Séance for Nam June Paik provides the opportunity for Aotearoa/New Zealand (affiliated) digital media artists to examine and respond to the legacy and currency of Paik’s influential career. A peer-reviewed selection of new artworks will be presented – as a series of faux séances for the Korean artist.  Works will include video, audio, robotics and network-based pieces.

While Paik’s work was largely analogue, his pioneering use of technology in art practice has had an immense impact upon contemporary digital practices. Séance for Nam June Paik roughly coincides with the one year anniversary of the Korean artist’s death (on 29 Jan 2006). This anniversary is a timely opportunity to reflect upon and respond to Paik’s influential practice.  The project will naturally highlight the broader context of the 1960s Fluxus movement, and it’s relevance to contemporary practice.

Paik’s œuvre addresses a broad cluster of concerns which sustained considerable currency in the 1960s (and beyond).  The aim of this project is to test the relevance and influence of these ideas amongst Aotearoa/New Zealand affiliated artists who are practicing now.  How do today’s digital artists dialogue with and respond to Paik’s ideas?  How do they find their own original voice, and progress past the ambitious energy of his practice?