Throughout the 20th Century, the robot figure was a popular symbol in art, literature and film for communicating the threat that technology posed to humanity and to the direction advanced computerisation was placing us on. Paik's interest certainly was in part, due to the increasing overlap between human and computer, a trajectory that posed the question over whether the overlap would eventually render humans futile in favour of an entirely computerised society. Paik's fascination with robots and production of multiple, different sculptures in their image, led to his solo exhibition Becoming Robot in New York, 2014-2015.
We can view Paik's fascination with Robots in his art as an extension of his interest in the blurring of lines between technology and fine art more generally throughout his career. Considered the 'father of video art', his groundbreaking use of video technology rendered past distinctions between science, fine art, and popular culture arbitrary as he forged out a new visual language. Paik's interest in exploring the human condition through the lens of technology and science has created a far-reaching legacy that may be seen in broad recognition of new media art and the growing numbers of subsequent generations of artists, who now use various forms of technology in their work.
Mixed metal multiple with lightbulb, 1990, signed in black ink, dated, numbered from the edition of 91 unique works, published by Edition Mönchehaus-Museum, Goslar, Germany, height: 55 cm. (21 ½ in.)
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