"The Legacy of NamJune Paik in the Post-Digital Era" at Shin Gallery brings together the multi-channel audio installation Fourteen degrees of separation by artist Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos along with Nam June Paik's Big Shoulder (1998).
Fourteen degrees of separation re-actualizes the oral tradition of Greek and Roman Antiquity and connects this old practice with new behaviors emerged from the contemporary technologies and Internet revolution.
Surrounding Paik's iconic robot sculpture, are seven small speakers that broadcast the sound of a deep male voice narrating seven texts. Each text was obtained by translating 14 consecutive times on Bing Translate the first verses of Homer’s Odyssey from a language randomly selected to another; it was then turned into sound using a text-to-speech software.
As the translations progress, the leading lines of the Greek epic text evolve into surrealist poems, slowly disconnecting themselves from the links that bond them to the verses of Homer. The final result embodies seven strings of 14 consecutive translations that all start from the original text of the Odyssey and progressively grow and differentiate from one another as they independently travel online through vernacular differences and cultural relativities.
Faithful to Nam June Paik's approach and use of technologies, Fourteen degrees of separation appropriated and remixes existing cultural elements thru softwares and algorithms.
"The Legacy of Nam June Paik in the Post-Digital Era" seeks to commemorate the artist’s contributions and hopes to reignite a new dialogue of critically examining the effects of digital media in our post-modern society.