I am excited to learn that you plan to share some recent inventions by
Canadian artists and their collaborators. It is reassuring that their
work will have a better chance of not falling into the historical gap
with your keeping an eye on them.
With so many well-known people involved in "9 Evenings: Theatre and
Engineering" and Experiments in Art and Technology, it is hard to
believe that the work and group has not become a more common thread in
narratives about the period.
Would you be kind enough to describe some of the primary factors that
you have discovered that have influenced their not being being
properly documented and how this might relate to certain potentially
transgressive practices, such as artists as inventors?
Also, what is a fact or two that has been commonly misunderstood and
repeated about "9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering" and Experiments
in Art and Technology? Documenting them in this online discussion
could go a long way in correcting them.
On 3/1/09, Sylvie Lacerte <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hello all,
> Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to Robert Thill for having
> invited me as a discussant for this month's theme Artists as Inventors. It
> is a great honor for me to to know I will be sharing ideas with Yasminers
> for this upcoming March discussion, which promises to be of great interest.
> As one, of now, few historiographers of the seminal series of performances
> «9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering», (New York, 1966), which eventually
> led to the creation of EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology) under the
> tutelage of Billy Klüver, Robert Rauschenberg, Fred Waldhauer and Robert
> Whitman, I've had the privilege to meet with Billy Klüver and Julie Martin
> on a few occasions and spend some fascinating moments with them, while doing
> my research.
> One of the upshots of this encounter was my essay «9 Evenings and
> Experiments in Art and Technology: A Gap to Fill in Art History's recent
> Chronicles», included in the anthology «Artists as Inventors/Inventors as
> Artists» (2008), under the direction of Dieter Daniels and Barbara U.
> In this paper I delved mainly into the relationships between artists and
> engineers that Billy Klüver had instigated in order to produce this
> extraordinary series of performances that put forth the work of ten artists,
> among whom R. Rauschenberg, John Cage, Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, etc.
> Their performances could not have been possible had it not been for the
> «inventions» the 30 engineers' team devised to make this series of
> performances a reality. However lest it be said, that if it is true artsits
> of the 60's were not, as a general rule, as technologically savvy as artists
> are nowadays, these inventions had been nontheless triggered by the artists'
> ideas, concepts and projects. Important to add that engineer Herb Schneider
> drew up some diagrams, for each performance, as mediating tools, so everyone
> would understand and speak the same language, in order to reach the same
> goal: the performance
> If we cannot deny this marriage was difficult at times, and created
> «results» that were often mitigated, leading in turn to several vitriolic
> reviews by art critics and reporters after the event, we can say, in
> hindsight, that this endeavor was unarguably outstanding for that period in
> time, as it defied the Kantian/Greenbergian paradigm of the genius artist
> standing alone before the universe, through inventions that were not the
> work of a sole group or of a singular person but the result of a
> collaboration,however laborious the relationships may have been between
> artists and engineers.
> Lastly, I would like to add, that, beyond EAT's realm, I might want to bring
> forth, during the next four weeks, some of the inventions devised, in the
> last few years, by a few canadian artists and their collaborators.
> Sylvie Lacerte
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HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.