Trevor Paglen Wins 2018 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize

Mixed media, 16 x 16 x 16

Trevor Paglen, Prototype for Non-Functional Satellite (Design 4, Build 4), 2013.


American artist Trevor Paglen has won the 2018 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize, which comes with ₩50,000,000 (about $45,000). The prize is awarded every two years by the Yongin, South Korea–based institution, to an artist who blurs the lines between art, technology, communication, and performance.

Paglen’s work involves visual art, science, and investigative journalism, and examines the role of technology in culture, touching on everything from surveillance to the politics of space. In 2013, he created a mixed-media, non-functional satellite, Prototype for Non-Functional Satellite (Design 4, Build 4), 2013, with the help of aerospace engineers, and he’s currently readying a satellite sculpture called Orbital Reflector (2018), which will soon be put into orbit.

The prize includes a solo exhibition at the Nam June Paik Art Center in late 2019. The award ceremony will include a talk from the artist, taking place on November 30, 2018. Previous winners have included Blast Theory (2016), Haroon Mirza (2014), and Doug Aitken (2012).

In a statement, Paglen said, “It’s an honor to be awarded the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize.” He added, “Nam June Paik was an incredible visionary, an artist who taught us how to see a rapidly changing world, and an huge inspiration to me personally. To be recognized in relation to Nam June Paik is truly one of the greatest honors I can imagine.”

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