The Touch Through Time: Raoul Hausmann, Nam June Paik and the Transmission Technologies of the Avantgarde

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Intermedia Art in the Digital Age

Presentation Title:

  • The Touch Through Time: Raoul Hausmann, Nam June Paik and the Transmission Technologies of the Avantgarde

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • The paper discusses the interchange between technology and historiography in Berlin Dadaist Raoul Hausmann s Optophon (1920), a synaesthetic instrument designed to transform sound signals into light signals and vice versa. Hausmann s invention was part of his attempt to formulate a new mode of perceptual presence, which involved both a particular notion of tele-visuality and a new interruptive form of tactility which could perhaps be described as the construction of a transactional synthesis beyond the realm of the corporeal. Hausmann s renewed focus on electronics in the 1960 s highlights the historiographic implications of this construction. The Optophon could on the one hand be seen as a rudimentary piece of groundwork which supported the technological consciousness from which new electronic-related art, such as Nam June Paik s new television art, was emerging. This was, notably, an art predicated in the telematic and the immersive. On the other hand, Hausmann s 1960 s elaboration on the theme made it increasingly clear that his investment in the telematic was destined to produce an interruption at the site where such art-historical legacies were constituted.

     

    Full text (PDF) p. 124-125

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