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Winner of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize 2018
■ 2018 백남준아트센터 국제예술상
Trevor Paglen Selected as the Winner of the Nam June Paik
Art Center Prize 2018

▶ Demonstrating his innovative and adventurous spirit in line with Nam June Paik, Trevor Paglen Wins the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize 2018.
▶ Trevor Paglen has firmly established his own creative world by combining science, contemporary art and journalism, by blurring their boundaries and by observing and interpreting the unfamiliar world surrounding us through a vast body of research. He will have his solo exhibition at Nam June Paik Art Center in the second half of 2019.
■Nam June Paik Art Center Prize 2018
◦ Hosts: GyeongGi Cultural Foundation and Nam June Paik Art Center
◦ Winner: Trevor Paglen
◦ Prize: 50,000,000 won

The jury of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize has selected Trevor Paglen (American artist born in 1974) as the winner of the 2018 Prize. Using diverse channels including media, photography and installation, Paglen has combined science, contemporary art and journalism to interpret Internet surveillance, politics, economy and cultural organizations’ invisible technopower. The jurors concluded that Paglen’s work meets their evaluation criteria in that he has explored what others hadn’t approached: new boundaries. The award ceremony of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize 2018 and his special talk will be held on November 30, 2018. The winner Trevor Paglen will be awarded with about 50 million won and have his exhibition at Nam June Paik Art Center in the second half of 2019.

After the announcement of the winner, Trevor Paglen said as follows:

“It’s an honor to be awarded the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize. Nam June Paik was an incredible visionary, an artist who taught us how to see a rapidly changing world, and an huge inspiration to me personally. To be recognized in relation to Nam June Paik is truly one of the greatest honors I can imagine.”

Launched in 2009 and awarded by the governor of GyeonGi-do Province, the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize was designed to discover artists who open new horizons for artistic fields and who experiment and innovate ceaselessly, just as Nam June Paik. In this context, the Prize has gone to artists and theorists who had inherited the spirit of Nam June Paik: combination of technology and art, exploration of new communication mediums, interactive communication with the audience, music and performance and diverse fields in the visual arts. The first Prize went to four artists (Seung-taeck Lee, Eun-me Ahn, Ceal Floyer and Robert Adrian X). The second one in 2010 was given to philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour. In 2012, the prize was awarded to artist Doug Aitken and in 2014, to Haroon Mirza. In 2016, Blast Theory won the prize.
■About the Winner
■ 2018 백남준아트센터 국제예술상
Trevor Paglen was born in the US in 1974. He studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and earned a doctor’s degree in geography at the University of California, Berkeley. As a media artist and geographer, he has worked on interpreting the invisible infrastructures of technopower, from drone operations to Internet surveillance. His works have been exhibited at the Van Abbemuseum (Netherlands), Frankfurt Art Association (Germany), Metropolitan Museum of Art (US), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (US) and Tate Modern (UK). He is also the author of five books about geography, national classified information, photography and the visual arts. In 2014, he won the pioneer prize awarded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

One of the Selection Committee members, Jin Suk Suh, director of Nam June Paik Art Center, introduced the artist as follows;

“From the photography to video and installation, Trevor Paglen has blurred artistic boundaries while focusing on structuring and interpreting what is invisible: politics, society, cultural surveillance and technopower. The artist has made himself visible by using and operating the concepts of drone and artificial intelligence in order to unveil what is invisible in our society. As a scholar who studied geography, he is also excellent at maintaining objective perspectives in science and geography and at suggesting a future vision. Rather than belonging to the nature of the mediums he uses, Paglen puts more emphasis on structuring and interpreting contemporary phenomena. His work makes use of diverse mediums, paying attention to what is unfamiliar in the world we live in. At the same time, it intentionally blurs the boundaries between social science technology, which carefully interprets such unfamiliarity, and numerous other academic disciplines. We commend the efforts and artistic spirit that he has demonstrated through his creative activities.”

※ The artist’s official website Visit the website

This is how the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize works. First of all, a nomination committee composed of ten members recommends ten nominees, with each member recommending one artist. Next, five jurors select one artist or team among the ten nominees. The nomination committee of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize 2018 was composed of the following members:

– Sung-won Kim (exhibition director at Asia Culture Center / professor at the plastic arts department of KAIST)
– Hae-ju Kim (Deputy director of Art Sonje Center)
– Tobias Berger, artistic director of Tai Kwun in Hong Kong)
– Alexie-Glass Kantor (director of Artspace in Australia)
– Mark Hansen (director of literary & cultural studies at Duke University in the US / media critic)
– Philipp Ziegler (chief curator at ZKM Center for Art and Media in Germany)
– Omar Kholief (independent curator / curator of the 14th Sharjah Biennial / critic)
– Hiromi Kurosawa (chief curator at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
– Curation team at Nam June Paik Art Center

They nominated ten artists in diverse fields: visual arts, performance, video, sound and video sculpture. The jury was composed of the following members:

– Hong-hee Kim (former director of Seoul Museum of Art)
– Jin-seok Seo (director of Nam June Paik Art Center)
– Jonathan Watkins (director of Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, UK)
– Mami Kataoka (head of the curation team at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan)
– Inke Arns (artistic director of Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund, Germany)
■ Major Works
■ 2018 백남준아트센터 국제예술상
Prototype for Non-Functional Satellite (Design 4, Build 4), 2013
Mixed media, 16 x 16 x 16
View of an installation test at a hanger in Nevada.
Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Altman Siegel, San Francisco

Developed in collaboration with airplane engineers, the non-functional satellite is a small and light piece. This work can expand to a larger, highly reflective structure. Once one of the objects is put into a low Earth orbit, it generates a visible piece in the night sky. After the sunset, the object shines like a bright and slowly moving star. It can be observed on earth before dawn. This work also invites us to reflect on “art for art” in the context of “aerospace engineering for space aeronautics.” Recognized as an artist working on “experimental geography”, Paglen is inspired by critical geography regarding the production of the space in order to give body to experimental artistic creation.
■ 2018 백남준아트센터 국제예술상
They Watch the Moon, 2010
C-print, 36 x 48 inches, 91.4 x 121.9 cm
Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Altman Siegel, San Francisco

Taken in a deep forest in West Virginia, US, this picture is the result of long exposure under the full moon at the National Radio Quiet Zone. In this zone belonging to a vast area in Maryland, radio transmission is strictly limited and Internet connection is unavailable. The work is summarized as a phenomenon called “moonbounce,” a type of global classes and positions. It shows how signals remotely measuring radio waves arrive, how they escape from the space to hit the moon and how they are reflected back to the earth. This work records the experiments that threaten human rights with big surveillance systems or the operating systems that are hidden in government projects. Never hesitating to collaborate with scientists as a human rights activist, the artist always carries out ambitious multimedia projects.
■ 2018 백남준아트센터 국제예술상
Autonomy Cube, 2015
Plexiglas box with computer components
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches, 40 x 40 x 40 cm
Courtesy of the artist, Metro Pictures, New York, and Altman Siegel, San Francisco

The Autonomy Cube was designed to be exhibited at museums, galleries and public spaces. The work is intended to be both “shown” and “used.” With a number of computers providing Internet connection, anyone has access to this Internet network in any place where the Autonomy Cube is installed. However, this work doesn’t offer the Internet connection you use every day. Using the Tor network, it destroys other voluntary network servers and its service helps the design of anonymous data. What will happen if science and art meet each other? Inspired by this question and a time capsule, this work seriously asks us about the phenomenon of the cultural and material communication that was broken in the late 20th century and early 21st century and about communication in the future space.
History of the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize
First Prize (2009)

■ Winners: Seung-taeck Lee, Eun-me Ahn, Ceal Foyer and Robert Adrian X
■ Jurors
▷ Jurors for International Artists
Hank Bull (director of Centre A in Vancouver)
Do-ryeon Jeong (assistant curator at the Museum of Modern Art)
Udo Kittelmann (director of the Old National Gallery in Berlin)
Tetsuo Kogawa (artist / professor at Ryutsu Keizai University)
Barbara Vanderlinden (independent curator)

▷ Jurors for Korean Artists
Jeong Hwa Choi (artist / director of Heart Visual Development Institute)
Mi-kyung Kim (professor at the college of fine arts at Kangnam University)
Geun-jun Lim (art & design critic)
Seong-min Hong (artist / professor at the college of plastic arts of Kaywon University of Art & Design)
Young-cheol Lee (director of Nam June Paik Art Center)

Second Prize (2010)

■ Winner: Bruno Latour (professor at Sciences Po)
■ Jurors
Xavier Douroux (director of le Consortium)
Anne-Marie Duguet (professor at Pantheon-Sorbonne University)
Wulf Herzogenrath (director of Kunsthalle Bremen)
Wan-kyung Seong (professor at Inha University / former director of the Gwangju Biennale)

Third Prize (2012)

■ Winner: Doug Aitken
■ Jurors
▷ Nomination Committee
Stephanie Rosenthal (chief curator at Hayward Gallery)
Tobias Berger (curator at M+)
Suk-kyung Lee (curator at Tate Liverpool)
Ji-suk Baek (director of Atelier Hermès)
Sung-hee Kim (director of FestivalBo:m)

▷ Jurors
Tae-hee Kang (professor at Korea National University of Arts)
Ra-young Hong (vice-director of Leeum)
Bart De Baere (director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp)

Fourth Prize (2014)

■ Winner: Haroon Mirza
■ Jury
▷ Nomination Committee
Kazunao Abe (curator / artistic director of Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media)
David Joselit (art historian / critic / professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York)
Jang-eon Kim (curator / head of curation team 2 at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul)
Hyun-seok Seo (artist / professor at the communication graduate school of Yonsei University)
Kyunghwa Ahn (curator / head of the curation team at Nam June Paik Art Center)

▷ Jurors
Mike Stubbs (director of FACT)
Nobuo Nakamura (director of CCA Kitakyushu)
Seon-jeong Kim (deputy director of Art Sonje Center)
Gyu-cheol Ahn (artist / professor at Korea National University of Arts)
Man-woo Park (director of Nam June Paik Art Center)

Fifth Prize (2016)

■ Winner: Blast Theory
■ Jury
▷ Nomination Committee
Fumihiko Sumitomo (director of Arts Maebashi)
Catherine Wood (senior curator in charge of performances at Tate Modern in the UK)
Rudolf Frieling (curator in charge of media art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
Young-jun Lee (professor at the convergence arts department at Kaywon University of Art & Design)
Kyunghwa Ahn (curator / head of the curation team at Nam June Paik Art Center)

▷ Jurors
Jin-seok Seo (director of Nam June Paik Art Center)
Bartomeu Marí Ribas (director of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art)
Jeffrey Shaw (Dean of the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong)
Nicolas de Oliveira (director in charge of research and special projects at Montabonel & Partners)
So-young Roh (director of Art Center Nabi)
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