NAM JUNE PAIK IS VERY hot with the popular press, but has few sales. Entertaining he is, but this is only an enticement into a web of multilevel meanings woven from communications theories, avant-garde music and visual art, Zen riddles, and Duchampian puns. Born in Korea in 1932, after a brief sojourn in Hong Kong Paik went to Japan, where he first saw commercial television. He lived in Japan from 1950 to 1956, earning a degree in esthetics and writing a thesis on Arnold Schönberg; he then traveled to Cairo and Calcutta before settling, temporarily, in Germany. He recognized the persuasiveness of entertainment television and, after meeting John Cage in 1958 (a meeting he terms pivotal), grafted TV’s populist stance to his own eclectic, avant-garde iconoclasms. Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany; esthetics, Schönberg, Cage: this is a fabric unlike that of any other contemporary artist,

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