“…To Avoid the Waste of a Cultural Revolution”: Engineers & Artists in the Long 1960s

14 Apr 2016
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Patrick McCray
Professor in the Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara

In the mid-1960s, an art & technology movement burst forth across the U.S. and Europe. It was catalyzed by corporate support, media exposure, a curious public, and – most of all – the enthusiastic participation of artists and engineers. Examples included: the New York-based group Experiments in Art and Technology which brought artists and engineers together; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art enlistment of engineers and blue-chip companies for collaborations with star artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol; and the creation in Paris by engineer-turned-artist Frank Malina of Leonardo, a new international journal where artists and scientists could explore the interface between art and science.

This talk explore this sudden blossoming of enthusiasm for art & technology and its subsequent and rather sudden retreat. While not ignoring the artists, I wish to restore the engineers and scientists to the foreground. I wish to recover the history of the engineers who contributed time, technical expertise, and aesthetic input to their artist colleagues. Following this thread through to the present day, I argue that today’s proliferation of academic and commercial  art/design/technology/innovation centers is a legacy of a foundation set down by artists and engineers in the 1960s.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  CSTMS

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