To Whom It May Concern: Nam June Paik’s Wobbulator and Playful Identity


  • Emile Devereaux


Following Nam June Paik’s lead, at times this scholarly analysis takes the form of a letter, intertwining personal voices with an investigation of media technologies. The practices of Nam June Paik are seen as a negotiation between the materiality of media and an articulation of identity. Reproductions of Paik’s letters inform written records about his early interactive video technologies such as the Wobbulator built in 1972, technologies that invite us to mix
our voices with his. Paik’s playful approach to identity is reflected not only by his experimental warping and global transmission of familiar cultural forms such as dance, but also through
his light-hearted comments reflecting his position as a nomadic artist. The techniques Paik left behind continue these light-hearted cultural negotiations, as demonstrated both by Emile Devereaux’s visual practices and e-mail correspondence surrounding work exhibited at the Fondo Nacional de las Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina.