Nam June Paik Art Center presents The Consultant: Paik’s Papers 1968–1979 from October 13, 2022 to March 26, 2023. This exhibition is a special show commemorating the 90th anniversary of Paik’s birth, takes the artist’s reports as its starting point. Rather than emphasizing his individual achievements and the aesthetic context for his video art, it considers Paik as a “policymaker” based on reports that he wrote in English between 1968 and 1979.
Compared with his achievements focusing for a lifetime on the medium of video art, relatively little is known of how Paik investigated the raisons d’e^tre for social infrastructure and art and suggested new avenues for them. As it examines his work through the lens of Paik’s papers, the exhibition urges the viewer to see Paik in a new light, while showing how the realization of his artistic vision was underpinned not only by institutional support from the government, but also by collaboration with and support from private foundations, patronage funds, public schools, laboratories, broadcasters and art institutions.
The exhibition’s aims lie in taking a detour from the historic highway of regarding Paik as the “father of video art” and seeing him in a different light on a different sort of path.leaving behind the crossroads of preexisting knowledge and experience to find new opportunities for liberation. Exploring Nam June Paik as an analyst, a media consultant, and an agent of change for social infrastructure and technology during the social transitional period of the 1960s is a way of uncovering new tasks that have heretofore received little attention in studies of the artist, while also creating new points of contact with his works of electronic art. As we stand amid a different kind of digital shift and social change today, Paik’s media consulting is a work that is still in progress.