American Masters – Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV traces the life and work of the avant-garde artist best known as the father of video art. Narrated by Oscar® nominee Steven Yeun.
Avant-garde artist Nam June Paik saw a future in which “everybody will have his own TV channel.” With the advent of social media and the rise of platforms like YouTube and TikTok, Paik’s vision of the future looks startlingly like the present. American Masters – Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV illuminates Paik’s creative evolution, as Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun reads from Paik’s own writings.
American Masters – Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV premieres on Tuesday, May 16 at 9 p.m. on PBS, pbs.org/americanmasters and the PBS App in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Paik is widely regarded as “The George Washington of Video Art,” a pillar of the American avant-garde in the 20th century and the coiner of the phrase “Electronic Superhighway,” and is considered one of the most influential artists of Korean descent. American Masters – Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV charts Paik’s life from his childhood in Japan-occupied Korea and formative education in Germany, to his ascent in the New York art scene and beyond.
Paik also believed in making his art accessible and championed that effort through his work on public television, serving as artist-in-residence for WNET/Thirteen’s TV Lab. Through that role, he created boundary-pushing works that broadcast throughout the 1970s.
American Masters – Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV premiered to acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2023. It has since had a theatrical run spanning several major cities within the U.S, and has screened at notable film and arts venues including Film Forum and the Museum of Modern Art.