Nam June Paik’s playful, imperfect and often
ambiguous use of cybernetics has left an
important legacy for contemporary media art.
Paik’s works demonstrate that it is essential to
temper aesthetics with ethics in order to question
the utopian dreams of the very materials
electronic artists work with. Paik’s works also
suggest a new way to think about the machine in
art. This paper focuses on the impacts of
communication and control in the machine (and
subsequently the network) in Paik’s Robot K-
456 and suggests a reconceptualization of Paik’s
cybernetic machine as a machinic process
enmeshed in communication systems.