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My Jubilee is Unverhemnt.1977
World history teaches us that even if we can’t win the game we can change the rules.1992
Yellow peril, c’est moi!1962
I like Mongolia, and their people are still conserving the things that we used to have 3,000 years ago even though they split from us then. I also like Confucius and Lao-Tzu, and the Neolithic era as well. What I find as we track closer to the present time are some shabby junks that are not worth thinking about in depth.
Nam June Paik (from Yongok Kim, Theory on painting of Shi Tao), 2001
The more I work with TV, the more I think of the Neolithic.
DNA is not racism,1988
My experimental TV is the first ART(?), in which the "perfect crime" is possible.
<Afterlude to the Exposition of Experimental Television>, 1964
As collage technic replaced oil-paint, the cathode ray tube will replace the canvas.
"Paik/Abe Synthesizer", Videa ‘n Videology (1959-1973), 1974
Do you believe that video art is destined to see large growth?
I am confident. Marcel Duchamp has done everything except video. He made a large door for entrance and a tiny door for exit. This door is the video. It’s through this door that, you can get out of Marcel Duchamp! (Laughs)
Marcel Duchamp Did Not Think About Video”(interview with Irmeline Lebeer, 1974), Du Cheval a Christo, 1993
This will enable us to shape the TV screen canvas
as precisely as Leonardo
as freely as Picasso
as colorfully as Renoir
as profoundly as Mondrian
as violently as Pollock and
as lyrically as Jasper Johns.
“Paik/Abe Synthesizer", Videa ‘n Videology (1959-1973), 1974
The eternity-cult is the longest disease of mankind. 1965
Essentially, art is fraud; fooling them and getting fooled. The autocratic dictator fools the public, and therefore being an artist is being a trickster who tricks the dictator, the trickster fooling another trickster, a very cunning one. 1984
If Modern art is a high-leveled fraud, video is a fraud of the five-dimensional world. 1986
To what extent is part of life either directed production or fraud, no one can gauge it. Truth is the truth of masquerade.
Dance, November 1986
Q: There are the extension of Faust series in your exhibition works, and I received the impression that they somewhat resembled stained glass art of the western European temples. How do you see my interpretation? Nam June Paik: It is correct. I was very disappointed seeing the level of art and music on the scene. The real stance of the post-renaissance seemed so wretched. But as I entered some of the grand temples, I was rather intimidated. It might have been because of the typical gothic way of space management, but it was the mystique stained glass that caught my eyes. The notable characteristic of it is that it allows the light through unlike the normal pictures on the wall. The light is no longer reflected off, but exists visibly beyond the border. And due to the light outside, it offers the information. That’s why I was fond of it, and I decided to apply the idea on my own art.
Nam June Paik (from Yongok Kim, Theory on painting of Shi Tao, 2001)
I hated morning, and still do.
Shamanism is the queen of the night,
a shivering banquet of late autumn.
in Paris, June 5th, 1992
Newton’s physics is the mechanics of power and the unconciliatory two-party system, in which the strong win over the weak. But in the 1920’s a German genius put a tiny third-party (grid) between theses two mighty poles (cathode and anode) in a vacuum tube, thus enabling the weak to win over the strong for the first time in human history. It might be a Buddhistic ‘third way,’ but anyway this German inventes tled to cyb enetics, which came to the y tld in the last war to shoot down German planes from the English sky.
Cybernated Art, 1965
Now let me talk about Zen, although I avoid it usually, not to become the salesman of “OUR” culture like Daisetsu Suzuki, because the cultural patriotism is more harmful than the political patriotism, because the former is the disguised one, and especially the self-propaganda of Zen (the doctrine of the self-abandonment) must be the stupid suicide of Zen.
Zen is anti-avant-garde, anti-frontier spirit, anti-Kennedy,. Zen is responsible for Asian poverty. How can I justify ZEN, without justifying Asian poverty??
Afterlude to Exposition of Music, 1964
Is it happiness? Perhaps….
Is it betrayal? Perhaps….
Is it careerism? Perhaps….
Is it cowardice? Perhaps….
Let us return to our own August 15th.
The 20th anniversary of the Independence is imminent.
Sohm Archive, Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, 1965