Critical Writing Index

The Touch through time:: Raoul Hausmann, Nam June Paik and the Transmission Tehnologies of the Avant-Garde

by Ina Blom

Leonardo, June 2001, v. 34, no. 3, pp. 209-215

This essay outlines the historiographic implications of the strange convergence between

Berlin Dadaist Raoul Hausmann’s Optophon (1920–1936)—a “synaesthetic” instrument designed to transform sound signals into light signals and vice versa—and Nam June Paik’s pioneering 1960s television work. Hausmann articulated a new, “televisual” form of presence, which also implied a new form of tele-tactility. As his notion of tactility returns in Paik’s work, the Optophon might be construed as the historical origin of the

genre called “video art.”

ITEM 2001.135 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

OptophonRaoul Hausmann

Video CommuneNam June Paik

Video CommunieJud Yalkut