Nam June Paik
South Korean, 1932 - 2006
Nineteen televisions, wood framework, bell, book covers, wood school desk, three DVDs and three DVD players
127 x 106 x 79 in. (322.6 x 269.2 x 200.7 cm)
Gift of Barney A. Ebsworth in honor of Sam and Mary Cooke, 1997 (8763.1)
The Korean-born American artist Nam June Paik, was a pioneer of video and new-media art, appropriating video from commercial television in 1963 for his work as an artist and musician. His manner of incorporating multiple television sets, often stacked together, evolved from his early performances as a Fluxus artist. Fluxus was a Neo-Dada movement that grew out of the milieu of counter culture and anti-war movements in the 1950s and 60s. Warez Academy takes the form of the iconic American one-room schoolhouse. Through images of George H. W. Bush, the acronym AIDS, and others related to scenes of conflict, nuclear biology, and genetics that flash across the multiple television screens, Paik comments on the saturation of media in contemporary culture and the potentially nefarious, Orwellian consequences it might bring. Their totality is perceived on a subliminal level suggesting the subversion of traditional pedagogy by media and technology.