The Korea Herald


Paik Nam-june’s first NFT-based artwork offered by Christie’s

By Park Yuna

Published : May 28, 2021 - 20:01

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“Global Groove (Opening),” an NFT-based work by Paik Nam-june (Christie’s Korea) “Global Groove (Opening),” an NFT-based work by Paik Nam-june (Christie’s Korea)

Video art pioneer Paik Nam-june’s well-known video work, “Global Groove” was turned into an NFT-based artwork for the first time and put up for auction online at Christie’s, the global art auction house, Tuesday.

The online auction, “Proof of Sovereignty,” runs through June 3 in collaboration with Lady PheOnix, a curator of contemporary digital art.

NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are a unique form of cryptocurrency that is becoming popular when selling digital assets. Each NFT is unique and acts as a digital certificate attesting to a work’s authenticity.

The NFT-based “Global Groove (Opening)” shows the first 38 seconds of the artist’s famous video work “Global Groove” from 1973. The original video runs 28 minutes and conveys Paik’s philosophy about how art combined with technology can foster global interaction.

“This is a glimpse of a video landscape of tomorrow,” says the narrator of the work. “When you will be able to switch to any TV station on the Earth, and TV Guides will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.”

Ken Hakuta, executor of the artist’s estate, wrote this about the NFT-based work: “In his lifetime, video artists didn’t have a place in the traditional gallery world. I believe that Paik would have relished the opportunity to make and sell work outside of the traditional collectible space.

“I am excited to bring his visionary work back to the forefront of the cultural conversation -- as a celebration of his legacy and inspiration for a new generation.”

Born in 1932, Paik proved that art and technology could coexist in harmony at a time when people were unfamiliar with the convergence of the two fields.

Meanwhile, the online auction brings together the work of other artists who experimented with the blockchain technology, including Marguerite deCourcelle, Joshua Davis, Henny Holzer and Urs Fischer.

By Park Yuna (