“Paik wanted to build an anthropomorphic robot, because he was fascinated by the scientists’ discovery that the human brain had begun to grow after man stopped walking on all fours and had to figure out what to do with his two ‘free’ hands.”
– Wulf Herzogenrath, Hayward Gallery 1988 exhibition catalogue “Nam June Paik Video Works 1963-88”
Dieter Ronte – Nam June Paik’s Early Works in Vienna (1982). Originally printed the catalog of the Whitney Museum “Nam June Paik” show: Nam June Paik by Nam June Paik , John G. Hanhardt, Whitney Museum of American Art Staff, ISBN 0874270375 (0-87427-037-5), Hardcover, Whitney Museum of American Art (1982).
– Lies are Always More Exciting than the Truth – Nam June Paik’s Futuristic Traditionalism by Dr. Thomas Kellein.
Hans Günter Golinski:
Susanne Rennert – I liked it
The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.James Baldwin
Prometheus Brings Fire to Mankind
Alvin Boyarsky, Chicago à la Carte: The City as Energy System
Special issue of Architectural Design, December 1970
The concept of the city as organism emerged during the 1960s as a response to the increasingly complex interconnections of technology, communication, and history. One exceptional project in this vein was the British architect Alvin Boyarsky’s Chicago à la Carte. Boyarsky drew on an archive of historical postcards, newspaper clippings, and printed ephemera to trace a hidden history of Chicago’s built environment as an “energy system.” This idea was represented on the cover by a striking postcard image of a vivisection of State Street in the Loop, showing subway tunnels, sidewalks, El tracks, and skyscrapers in what Boyarsky described as “the tumultuous, active, mobile, and everywhere dynamic centre of a vast distribution system.” On other pages, Boyarsky showed images of Chicago’s newly built skyscrapers with newspaper clippings of recent political protests to juxtapose the city’s reaction to recent political protests against the disciplinary tradition of modern architecture in Chicago.
I have a certain disgust for the contemporary academic situation. The existing institutions, while acting as repositories for fantastic resources–people, equipment, money, and experience–they also have various harms, such as the isolation of the institution and of the people within. Besides, the difficulty of making any expense that has not been previously budgeted, makes impossible, or too costly, to propose something for the day after; something you might have thought of the day before. This kind of angst came during my period in Chicago, just after 1968, when I received a travel grant. At that moment, it seemed clear that the academic institutions in society were about to transform; somewhat they did–what is unclear to me is to what effect. At that moment, around 1969-1970 architecture schools in France, for instance, revealed that the Beaux-Arts system had disintegrated, and they were all starting newly without any tradition. In Italy the situation was even worse, were Universities had been opened up for everybody who wanted to come; for instance, now (1976), the school of architecture in Rome has around 20000 students, Florence 7000 or 8000, Turin has over 2000 students, and architecture diplomas have become liberal-arts degrees. Some schools in Germany or Switzerland, while being highly organized and well founded, have the same malaise that it is noticeable in the United States; that people turn up in academic quarrels and become isolated from each other, waiting for the outside world–whatever that might be. In Vienna, a lot of activity, noise, and ideas were being provocated, similarly in Japan. In retrospect, what I tried at that moment was to set up an institution, the International Institute of Design, which would offer a platform for people to talk, to come into a sort of a marketplace for ideas, and for a brief period of time (six weeks). Possibly, through the contacts they make, and through the information it would be there available, and the problems they would be introduced to; those coming would probably have enough material for some time to work on, and operate with outside their own practice or academic institution. What was also required was a mixing of problems; of very local problems, with those typical for many countries of the world at any one time. For instance, the issue of the redundancy along waterfronts and international harbours of the cities, which is a conversation which is equally truth for Rotterdam, as it was for New York or Chicago, Liverpool or London, would be able to develop some comparatives and conversations. Or problems regarding developing countries. This was essentially anti-institutional, anti-academic, it was an attempt to find a possible substitute for everyone’s education. All those people, like West-coast Americans that were trying to drop out and develop an alternative society; or those in the arts avant garde movements, might be given a platform to raise this issues and might be given the opportunity to meet each other. This institution would be self-financed, costing practically nothing, which could seem some kind of dream, but it actually worked; it is how utopian socialist European institutions are organized. In the anglo-saxon countries, Britain or the United States, it was possible to get funds for architects to finance not the institution, but the modest fee of the former, so people could come. It was also possible to use, shamelessly, the resources of the city, which I did in London: the ACA, the Bartlett, the AA would provide their facilities, libraries, rooms, typewriters. It was actually possible to move in, for six weeks, several hundred people and use unused situations in the city: all that became the modus operandi. It was also possible to get funds to do research projects.
Above all, it was not a novel idea, but the novelty was that it worked fabulously well, and when I was invited in 1971 to pick up the chairmanship at the AA, I had to make a very difficult decision. The institution at that moment was supported by 30 countries, with almost 90 sponsors, built up with tradition and style, and it was getting ready to become something more
There is nowhere we are getting to and so no one that can hold us back.
1976 Ford Bronco
The most dangerous phrase in the language is – we’ve always done it this way.Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
Neke Carson, Man-Moon Fountain, 1968
ALEPH, Stroboscopic Crystal Waterfall Environment, 1968
Hans Rucker Laurids, Zamp and Pinter with Environment Transformern (Flyhead, Viewatomizer and Drizzler) 1968. Photo: Gert Winkler. Haus-Rucker-Co
Jacques Cousteau, The Silent World (1964)
A narrator should not supply interpretations of his work; otherwise he would have not written a novel, which is a machine for generating interpretations.Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
Jacques Cousteau’s dog, “Scaphandrier”