Nam June Paik initially saw computers as an excellent medium for generating random patterns to simulate the semi-improvised nature of his Fluxus works. Though at times frustrating, Paik explored and stressed the absurdities of having to create this ‘chaos’ through a series of logical steps, as machines cannot use what we’d call common sense. In a text in 1974, Paik wrote that he wanted to make a piece expressing how ‘It rains in my computer as it rains in my heart’. In this piece, to express a very similar idea, Paik has chosen to write the statement by hand in watercolours on paper, expressing the emotions of technology in a human form.
Nam June Paik
It rains in my TV as it rains in my heart
Nam June Paik
Date of work
Original: Watercolour on paper 30.4 x 45 cm San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Gift of the Hakuta family © Estate of Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik (1932 – 2006) was a Korean-American artist, who lived and worked in Japan, Germany and the USA in a variety of media. Pioneering the use of video and TV in art, Paik’s artistic practice crossed disciplines, and has had a profound influence on contemporary art and culture. His robots created from television screens are some of his best-known pieces, with televisions and electronic imagery featuring as a key component in both his solo and collaborative works.