On Election Day, we’re thinking of Nam June Paik’s rendition of the American flag!
A flag is instantly recognizable on this 7-by-12-foot bank of 70 monitors, in which stars and stripes share air time with split-second news stills, rotating statues of Liberty, endless runs of ones and zeros (the binary language of computers), and a face that morphs through every U.S. president from Harry S. Truman to Bill Clinton.
Paik was an important pioneer in the development of video installation art. Trained in music theory, piano, and electronic music, Paik began his career as a performance artist and avant-garde musician. In the early 1960s he made his first “altered TVs” in which he manipulated television signals with magnets and used video feedback, synthesizers, and other technology to produce kaleidoscopic shapes and luminous colors.
Franz Ackermann, Going Uphill, 2013, oil on canvas, 260x566cm Gelitin, Flower Painting, 2010, plasticine on wood panel, 205x160 cm Nam June Paik, Electronic Superhighway, 1995, 51-channel video installation and neon [detail] Gerhard Richter, Tableau abstrait, 1992 Jon Rafman, Paul Klee Aztec Artefact, 2013, archival pigment print, 36x36 in Miriam Schapiro, Incognito, n.d. Nicola de Maria, Trionfo della Carita, 1987, oil, gouache, and enamel on canvas, 50x40 cm Jennifer Bartlett, House, Dots and Hatches, 1999, serigraph Takashi Murakami, Shangri-La Shangri-La Shangri-La, 2012-2016, lithograph on paper, 68x68 in Liz West, Your Colour Perception, 2015, installation of T8 fluorescent bulbs and cellulose gels in Castlefield Gallery, 5000 sq ft
For more notable artworks linked by a common theme, click here.