Getty Podcast: Nam June Paik – I Don’t Want to Be Over Whelmed by Glory

I am thrilled to have been invited to contribute to this Getty Podcast “Recording the Artists. Intimate Addresses,” on the topic of Nam June Paik and his letter to Tudor, with my fellow speakers Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Anna Deavere and our host and moderator Tess Taylor . Below you may find a brief description of the podcast, its transcript and a link to its online experience.

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In the mid-1960s, Nam June Paik is living in a run-down studio in SoHo, struggling to make ends meet. But even as he jokes about his ongoing battle against cockroaches, he is building his network, seeking out support for his artist friends, and always experimenting with form. Paik’s vibrant personality is on full display in a letter from this period to musician David Tudor. Partially typewritten, partially handwritten, and full of wild punctuation and inside jokes, the letter’s main purpose is to help find work for his friend, Japanese musician Takehisa Kosugi.

In this episode of Recording Artists: Intimate Addresses, you’ll meet the wildly charming artist whose theories on technology and our relationship to it remain eerily prescient today; the man who coined the phrase “electronic superhighway” and advocated for artists to be at the vanguard of using the newest tech; and the person who tirelessly looked out for his friends. Host Tess Taylor unpacks some of Paik’s best-known artworks and traces his evolving thinking about art and tech. Anna Deavere Smith reads the letter. Korean American artist Sueyeun Juliette Lee and art historian and conservator Hanna Hölling help you make sense of Paik’s networks—both personal and electronic—and his legacy.

Transcript available here.