Shop > Monographs


We are in Open Circuits

Nam June Paik
Sternberg Press
22 × 29 cm
429 pp
Arts Writing

Essays, project plans, and correspondence from across Nam Jun Paik’s career, much of it previously out of print or unpublished.

Nam June Paik (1932–2006) is a pivotal figure in the history of modern art. Arguably the most important video artist of all time, and certainly among the most influential and prolific, Paik was a legendary innovator who transformed the electronic moving image into an artist’s medium. He wrote incessantly—corresponding with friends, composing performance scores, making production notes for television projects, drafting plans for video installations, writing essays and articles. Celebrated for his visionary development of new artistic tools and for his pioneering work in video and television, Paik often wrote to sharpen his thinking and hone his ideas. He used the typewriter to fashion sentences that broke apart and reassembled themselves as he wrote, producing both poetic texts and aesthetic objects on the page. This first extensive collection of Paik’s writings includes many previously unpublished and out-of-print texts.

Drawing on materials from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Nam June Paik Archive and from a range of international publications, We Are in Open Circuits offers important but long-unavailable essays, including “Global Groove and Video Common Market”; unpublished writings on such topics as his creative partnership with the cellist Charlotte Moorman and the role of public television; a substantial part of his compilation “Scrutable Chinese”; and detailed plans for some of his groundbreaking broadcast works, including the trio Good Morning, Mr. Orwell (1984), Bye Bye Kipling (1986), and Wrap Around the World (1988). It also includes nearly 150 pages that reproduce Paik’s original typed and handwritten pages, letting readers see his writing in various stages of inspiration and execution.


Related Items

  1. Rachel Corbett, Rainer Ganahl, and Liam Gillick: Manhattan Marxism
  2. Afterimage Vol. 42 No. 3
  3. Jesse Birch and Will Holder: The Mill
  4. Juliane Bischoff and Kate Newby: I can’t nail the days down
  5. Chris Kraus: Where Art Belongs
  6. Judy Radul: This Is Television
  7. Never Mind the Pollocks, Here’s The Histrionics
  8. Jennifer Liese: Social Medium: Artists Writing 2000-2015
  9. Andrea Fraser: 2016 in Museums, Money, and Politics
  10. I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette
  11. Hito Steyerl: The Wretched of the Screen
  12. October Magazine Issue 151
  13. October Magazine
  14. October Magazine Issue 153
  15. October Magazine Issue 149
  16. Angie Keefer: Second Thoughts
  17. Forget Me Not
  18. Nic Wilson: Still Life With Dying Flowers
  19. October 148
  20. October 145: Summer 2013
  21. OCTOBER 146 - Winter 2014
  22. Pascal Gielen: Spaces for Criticism
  23. Art or Sound
  24. Hamish Fulton: Walking Transformation
  25. Michael Snow: October 114
  26. The Meal
  27. Jonas Staal: Propaganda Art in the 21st Century
  28. Amanda Boetzkes: Plastic Capitalism
  29. Charles Atlas
  30. October Magazine Issue 154
  31. Maria Lind, Michele Masucci, and Joanna Warsza: Red Love
  32. Michael Snow - Sequences
  33. Grant Arnold and Dana Claxton: Dana Claxton
  34. Mieke Bal: Exhibition-ism: Temporal Togetherness
  35. Kevin Schmidt
  36. Jean Arnaud, Hubert Damisch, Thierry de Duve, Andrée Hayum, Annette Michelson, Michael Snow, Amy Taubin, Malcolm Turvey, and Kenneth White: October Files: Michael Snow
  37. jadda tsui: forest, spring flower
  38. Althea Thauberger: The State of the Situation
  39. Jean Gagnon: Pornography in the Urban World