What's up with Google's Logo?
Today, July 20th, if you look at Google’s website, you will see a picture of the Google logo made out of old TVs and radios and other electrical equipment.
Google’s logo changes frequently, and often changes to commemorate specific events on specific days. Christmas usually has a Christmas themed logo, and Halloween will have a Halloween logo. Most of these logos are all designed by Dennis Hwang, a Korean-American graphic artist (I learned this thanks to information from reader Elaine in Canada).
(Edit: Mike Dutton from Google tells me that Dennis Hwang now does other things besides making the logos, and the logos are made by 5 artists on the Doodle team. So Mike, did YOU create this one?)
Not knowing what this logo was, I clicked it to find that it lead to all kinds of information about a Korean-Hong Konger-Japanese-German-American artist, Nam June Paik. (Okay, he’s really just a Korean-American, but he’s lived in so many places in his life, that simply calling him a Korean-American might not do justice to him.)
Who was Nam June Paik?
Well, he was certainly a well traveled person. He was born in Seoul during the Japanese occupation. When He was 18, to escape the Korean War, his family moved to Japan. There, Paik attended the University of Tokyo, where he studied music. After graduating, he moved to Germany to further study music, but there he became aware of a new art medium, electronic art. In 1964 he moved to New York and his work came to fruition.
His art usually combined video, sound, and the physical shape. His sculptures are then more than just those in the classical sense, but also including several kinds of electronic devices, such as video players and television.
Probably his most famous work is his 1995 sculpture, “Electronic Superhighway” which is on permanent display in the Lincoln gallery of the Smithsonian. It is a critique of American culture, showing that too much emphasis is placed on the television and celebrities, as well as shiny things that have no real purpose.
Why did Google make a logo inspired by his work?
Mr. Paik was born on July 20th, 1932. Today is July 20th. Someone in Google wants to pay tribute to him.