Racial Recalibration

Nam June Paik’s K-456

in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

Widely recognized as the first video artist, Nam June Paik’s artistic career from the 1960s onwards is often understood through his pioneering appropriation of technological developments such as the television and video. Paik foresaw not only the aesthetic potential of video, but also other emerging technologies, such as robotics. While his work in robotic art is less commonly analyzed, it sheds significant light on his position not only as a foremost artist of new media but also on discussions concerning his ethnic identity. This essay demonstrates how, in the 1964 creation of robot K-456 and tv Bra for Living Sculpture, the artist deployed the strategy of racial recalibration—a racial formation that occurs through aesthetic tinkering, hacking, and recreating with emergent technologies that re-wires racial knowledge of the Asian American as robot.

Racial Recalibration

Nam June Paik’s K-456

in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas

Sections

References

BerlantLaurent. “Citizenship.” Keywords for Cultural Studies Keywords. Edited by BurgettBruce and HendlerGlenn. 37–42. New York: New York University Press2007.

ChangAlexandra. Envisioning Diaspora: Asian American Visual Arts Collectives. New York: Timezone82009.

ChiuMelissa. “Ok, Let’s Go to Blimpies: Talking about Nam June Paik.” In Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot. Edited by ChiuMelissa and YunMichelle. 3545. New Haven: Yale University Press2014.

ChunWendy. “Race and/as Technology or How To Do Things To Race.” In Race After the Internet. Edited by NakamuraLisa and Chow-WhitePeter A.. 3857. New York: Routledge2011.

CollinsGlenCharlotte Moorman, 58, Is Dead; A Cellist in Avant-Garde Works.” New York Times 9 November 1991.

Decker-PhilipsEdith. Paik Video. New York: Barrytown; Station Hill Press2010.

DonovonThom. “A Grave In Exchange for the Commons: Black Commoning and the Resistance of the Object (with special reference to the work of Fred Moten).” Jacket 2 winter 2011http://jacket2.org/article/grave-exchange-commons#9.

EspirituYến Lê. Asian American Panethnicity: Bridging Institutions and Identities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press1992.

FanonFrantz. Black Skin White Masks. New York: Grove Press1967.

GoldbergKen. The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet. Cambridge: MIT Press1995.

HalberstamJack and LivingstonIra. Posthuman Bodies: Unnatural Acts: Theorizing the Performative. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press1995.

HallmarKara Kelley. Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists. Westport: Greenwood Press2007.

JohnHandardtand Nam June Paik. The Worlds of Nam June Paik. New York: Guggenheim Museum2000.

Handardt John ed. “Nam June Paik’s Videotapes.” Nam June Paik. 101–110. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art1982.

HaylesKatherine N.How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics Literature and Informatics. Chicago: University of Chicago1999.

HerzogenrathWulf. Nam June Paik Video Works 1963-88. London: Hayward Gallery1988.

HillDoug. “The Eccentric Genius Whose Time May Have Finally Come (Again).” The Atlantic 11 June 2014.

JeonJoseph. Racial Things Racial Forms: Objecthood in Avant-Garde Asian American Poetry. Iowa City: University Iowa Press2012.

KacEduardo. “Origin and Development of Robotic Art.” In NJP Reader #2 Ecological Thinking. Edited by Seongeun Kim. 139–165. Gyeonggi-do: Nam June Paik Art Center 2011.

KangMinsoo. Sublime Dreams of Living Machines: The Automaton in the European Imagination. Cambridge: Harvard University Press2011.

KimElaineMachidaMargo and MizotaSharon eds. Fresh Talk/Daring Gazes: Conversations on Asian American Art. Berkeley: UC Press2003.

LeeErika. At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era 1882–1943. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press2003.

LieJohn. Multiethnic Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press2004.

LoweLisa. Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. Durham: Duke University Press1996.

MachidaMargo. Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary. Durham: Duke University Press2009.

MartinSylvia. Video Art. Cologne: Taschen2006.

MotenFred. In The Break: The Aesthetics of The Black Radical Tradition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press2003.

NiuGreta. “Techno-Orientalism, Nanotechnology, Posthumans, and Post-Posthumans in Neal Stephenson’s and Linda Nagata’s Science Fiction.” The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 33 no. 4 (2008): 7396.

OmiMichael and WinantHoward. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s. New York: Routledge1986.

OnoYoko. “Foreword.” In Joan Rothfuss Topless Cellist: The Improbable Life of Charlotte Moorman. ix–xi. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press2014.

PaikNam June. Beuys Vox 1961–86. Seoul: Won Gallery and Hyundai Gallery1986.

—. “Brochure Notes for “tv as Creative Medium.” New York: Howard Wise Gallery1969.

——— “Eulogy for Gregory Battock.” Nam June Paik Archive. Smithsonian American Art Museum.

———. Nam June Paik: Video Works 1963–88. London: Hayward Gallery1988.

———. “Norbert Wiener and Marshall McLuhan: Communication Revolution” (1967). http://21stcenturywiener.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Norbert-Wiener-and-Marshall-Mcluhan_Communications-Revolution.pdf.

PoonIrene. Leading the Way: Asian American Artists of the Older Generation. Wenham, MA: Gordon College2001.

ShimakawaKaren. National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage. Durham: Duke University Press2002.

———. “The Things We Share: Ethnic Performativity and ‘Whatever Being.’” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 18 no. 2 (2004): 149160.

SmithArthur. Chinese Characteristics. New York: Simon2001.

SohnStephen. “Introduction: Alien/Asian: Imagining the Racialized Future.” The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 33 no. 4 (2008): 522.

SternFred. “Interview with Charlotte Moorman about Nam June Paik and The Originale.” YouTube video 9:51 excerpt from “Charlotte Morman and the New York Avant Garde” by Fred Stern filmed in 1980 under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts posted by Fred Stern 16 July 2015http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiejdOlgcde.

StoossToni and KelleinThomas. Nam June Paik: Video Time Video Space (Australian Council for Educational Leaders1993.

TakakiRonald. Iron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America. Oxford: Oxford University Press1979.

MagazineTime. “Rise of the Robots.” Time Magazine Special Issue 2013.

TribeMark and JanaReena. New Media Art. Los Angeles: Taschen2006.

ViolaBillRossDavid A.HydeLewis and SellarsPeter. Bill Viola. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art1997.

WeinerNobert. Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press1965.

WhitneyJames Amaziah. The Chinese and the Chinese Question. New York: Tibbals1888.

WilliamsRaymond. Television: Technology and the Cultural Form. London: Psychology Press2003.

WolfeCarey. What Is Posthumanism?Minneapolis: University of Minnesota2010.

YuHenry. Thinking Orientals: Migration Contact and Exoticism in Modern America. Oxford: Oxford University Press2001.

3

John Handardt and Nam June PaikThe Worlds of Nam June Paik (New York: Guggenheim Museum2000).

8

Karen ShimakawaNational Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage (Durham: Duke University Press2002) 3

9

Arthur SmithChinese Characteristics (New York: Simon2001) 108; James Amaziah Whitney The Chinese and the Chinese Question (New York: Tibbals 1888) 35; Erika Lee At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era 18821943 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press 2003) 3.

12

Nam June PailNam June Paik: Video Works 1963–88 (London: Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre1988) 29.

13

John LieMultiethnic Japan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press2004) 2.

16

Raymond WilliamsTelevision: Technology and the Cultural Form (London: Psychology Press2003) 135.

19

N. Katherine HaylesHow We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics Literature and Informatics (Chicago: University of Chicago1999) 3. Weiner was also a participant in the Macy’s Conferences which promoted cybernetics in a series of significant annual gatherings from 1942 to 1945 in New York City.

22

Sylvia MartinVideo Art (Cologne: Taschen2006) 9.

23

Edith Decker-PhilipsPaik Video (New York: Barrytown; Station Hill Press2010) 36.

24

Mark Tribe and Reena JanaNew Media Art (Los Angeles: Taschen2006) 19.

27

Margo MachidaUnsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary (Durham: Duke University Press2009) 29; Alexandra Chang Envisioning Diaspora: Asian American Visual Arts Collectives (New York: Timezone 8 2009) 5.

28

Ronald TakakiIron Cages: Race and Culture in 19th-Century America (Oxford: Oxford University Press1979) 199.

37

Yến Lê EspirituAsian American Panethnicity: Bridging Institutions and Identities (Philadelphia: Temple University Press1992) 176; Henry Yu Thinking Orientals: Migration Contact and Exoticism in Modern America (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2001) viii.

40

Michael Omi and Howard WinantRacial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1980s (New York: Routledge1986) 55.

41

Carey WolfeWhat Is Posthumanism? (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota2010) 90.

47

Wulf HerzogenrathNam June Paik Video Works 1963–88 (London: Hayward Gallery1988) 21.

50

HandardtThe Worlds of Nam June Paik93.

51

Frantz FanonBlack Skin White Masks (New York: Grove Press1967) 109.

52

Joseph JeonRacial Things Racial Forms: Objecthood in Avant-Garde Asian American Poetry. (Iowa City: University Iowa Press2012) xxxvii.

53

Fred MotenIn The Break: The Aesthetics Of The Black Radical Tradition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press2003) 24; Thom Donovon "A Grave In Exchange for the Commons: Black Commoning and the Resistance of the Object (with special reference to the work of Fred Moten)" Jacket 2 winter 2011 http://jacket2.org/article/grave-exchange-commons#9.

54

HandardtThe Worlds of Nam June Paik95.

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik with Robot K-456 at Paik’s Lispenard Street Studio, 1964.

  • View in gallery

    Kill Pop Art!! Robot-Opera Program, 1964. Folded leaflet; printed paper. 8 ½ × 11 in.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 13 13 9
Full Text Views 8 8 8
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0