T.H.: There is an aspect of visual communication in the work of Moholy-Nagy that was also very important for another pioneer of the new media and an image-to-image-conversation. I am thinking about Nam June Paik. You spoke with him in 1988 about the relationship of art and technology. [5] What was your relationship with Nam June Paik and his works of video art and telecommunication?

E.K.: Given the role that telecommunications has had in shaping society since the telegraph it is only natural that artists would be interested in it. The train was a means of communication in the sense it could make food or an object created in California available in New York. Something that existed in one place now could exist in another place. That’s communication, like a sound from Paris that can be heard in New York. I understand communication as more than an exchange of signs.

T.H.: So again, it was rather a certain attitude in which Nam June Paik worked, that probably interested you?

E.K.: In a sense, Moholy, Nam June, myself, and other artists all have the same understanding that new communication media reshape social relations and enable the very physical reality of the world to come into being. Moholy had radio. Paik had television. Today you have other things: smartphones, all kinds of mobile devices, Twitter, and Facebook that continuously modify forms of intersubjectivity. The problem has been an issue since telegraphy has been part of culture. Different artists of different times have addressed that same issue according to the time they live in and the world they want to build.

T.H.: I would like to question this, even if I understand your argumentation concerning that issue. But after all, these different artists in their different times have always worked and made decisions in very different ways. We can analyze their works. History can show their works in retrospective exhibitions. We can have our opinions about their aesthetics. But since artists like Moholy-Nagy and Nam June Paik were not the only artists of their time, not the only artists reacting on the issues of their time, we need to talk about finding a critical perspective.

E.K.: Each artist has his or her own universe, and a critical perspective may be subtly present even if it’s not the theme, the topic of the work. Art is too important to be reduced to a vehicle for propaganda, even progressive propaganda.

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