[ISEA2017] Paper: Byeongwon Ha — Interactive Art Based on Musical Genealogy: Nam June Paik’s Random Access


Keywords: Interactive Art, Nam June Paik, Random Access, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage

Random Access (1963) is one of the earliest interactive art pieces, which incorporates an electronic interface in art. Compared to Paik’s fame in video art, his originality in interactive art was hardly examined in the history of new media art. This paper explores Random Access as a pioneering project in interactive art. Paik was educated in West Germany from 1956 to 1963. Based on his academia in the center of music, Paik published several music articles for Korean and Japanese readers as a foreign correspondent. According to his articles about progressive music in Europe, Paik was inspired by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Schaeffer and John Cage when he started to create his own interactive project. His specific articles about these experimental composers reveal that Random Access shows a long-time development of a diligent academic artist. As a history of interactive art, this study traces Paik’s unprecedented creation, which made a significant transition from music to interactive art.

  • Byeongwon Ha studied in the Film, Television and Multimedia department at SungKyunKwan University, Seoul, South Korea. After receiving his BFA, he created interactive media, experimental films, and video art in the graduate study of Media Art at Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. He earned an MFA degree in Digital Media from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI, USA, and won the thesis project award. Now he is writing a dissertation about Nam June Paik’s interactive art in the Media, Art & Text Program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, USA. He participated in Art. CHI II workshop in CHI2016 in San Jose, California, USA. He presented several papers about interactive art at the International Symposium on Electronic Art: ISEA2014 in Dubai, ISEA2015 in Vancouver, and ISEA2016 in Hong Kong. He also exhibited an interactive piece in
    SIGGRAPH Asia 2012 in Singapore.

Full text (PDF) p. 453-460