John Cage, Fluxus and the Musicality of Nam June Paik

  • Olga Ballengee
Keywords: Avant-garde, video art, performance art, music-as-action, Fluxus


In this paper, I offer an analysis of the performance art of Nam June Paik that suggests his works, especially those from the 1960s, are essentially “musical” when viewed through the influence of John Cage’s notion of music-as-action. In Paik’s work aural, visual, and theatrical elements are integrated such that performance becomes a unifying and meaning-generating force. I conclude by suggesting that Cage’s influence set the tone for Paik’s expansion into the experiments with television and video that would occupy him for the remainder of his career.

Author Biography

Olga Ballengee

Olga Ballengee—independent scholar, ethnomusicologist, Maryland, USA


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