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Binghamton Letter: Nam June Paik at ETC

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2022, (51), pp.137-156
  • DOI : 10.17057/kahoma.2022..51.006
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : April 27, 2022
  • Accepted : May 28, 2022
  • Published : June 30, 2022

Bookyung Son 1

1State University of New York at Binghamton

Accredited

ABSTRACT

By examining Paik’s work in cooperation with Experimental Television Center (ETC) in the early 1970s, this study explores the close bond between Paik’s work and the television viewers specific to the dominant media situation at the time. ETC, as an alternative media center, was established in 1969 by Ralph Hocking, and played a pivotal role in the early history of American video art during the 1970s. The Center’s primary purpose was to provide technical support for video artists. It also led to collaborations between artists and technicians through their residence program. For Paik, the Center was a technical outpost for his works in the early 1970s. A large portion of his work was in fact created at the Center. As well illustrated in his essay “Binghamton Letter” (1972), Paik’s thoughts on conventions of communication in video art became more organized during the same period. Both the works produced for broadcasting and notes he wrote at the time show that those activities largely have to do with his interest in the structure of communication in both watching television and video image. In that sense, his work and idea on the changing experience of video art at the time can be better examined in light of the cultural techniques, including viewer’s mental skills, aptitude, and habits accumulated among individuals of specific cultural backgrounds.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.