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C. P. Snow: The Two Cultures

C.P. Snow, the essayist who coined the “two culture” cliché, proposed a simple solution to the problem of divided cultures. He argued that we needed a “third culture,” which would close the “communications gap” between scientists and artists. Each side, Snow said, would benefit from an understanding of the other, as writers learned about the second law of thermodynamics and scientists read Shakespeare.”

C. P. Snow:  The Two Cultures … Read it here: http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Fall07/9-1/pdfs/week1/TwoCultures.pdf

Leonardo, Vol. 23, No. 2/3, New Foundations: Classroom Lessons in Art/Science/Technology for
the 1990s. (1990), pp. 169-173.


Dear Lauf der Dinge, David Weiss (1946 – 2012)

Walter Benjamin (1936): The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

“…In principle a work of art has always been reproducible. Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain. Mechanical reproduction of a work of art, however, represents something new. Historically, it advanced intermittently and in leaps at long intervals, but with accelerated intensity.

The Greeks knew only two procedures of technically reproducing works of art: founding and stamping. Bronzes, terra cottas, and coins were the only art works which they could produce in quantity. All others were unique and could not be mechanically reproduced. With the woodcut graphic art became mechanically reproducible for the first time, long before script became reproducible by print. The enormous changes which printing, the mechanical reproduction of writing, has brought about in literature are a familiar story. However, within the phenomenon which we are here examining from the perspective of world history, print is merely a special, though particularly important, case. During the Middle Ages engraving and etching were added to the woodcut; at the beginning of the nineteenth century lithography made its appearance. With lithography the technique of reproduction reached an essentially new stage.

This much more direct process was distinguished by the tracing of the design on a stone rather than its incision on a block of wood or its etching on a copperplate and permitted graphic art for the first time to put its products on the market, not only in large numbers as hitherto, but also in daily changing forms. Lithography enabled graphic art to illustrate everyday life, and it began to keep pace with printing. But only a few decades after its invention, lithography was surpassed by photography. For the first time in the process of pictorial reproduction, photography freed the hand of the most important artistic functions which henceforth devolved only upon the eye looking into a lens. Since the eye perceives more swiftly than the hand can draw, the process of pictorial reproduction was accelerated so enormously that it could keep pace with speech. A film operator shooting a scene in the studio captures the images at the speed of an actor’s speech. Just as lithography virtually implied the illustrated newspaper, so did photography foreshadow the sound film. The technical reproduction of sound was tackled at the end of the last century.”


BRON: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm

John Whitney with Larry Cuba: Arabesque (Computer Art anno 1975)

(UvA) Materiële kunstgeschiedenis: Agency, betekenis en theorie van materialen


Verkenning van een nieuwe benadering in de kunstgeschiedenis. Kennis vergroten van oefenen van de reflectie op de rol van materialen en technieken in de kunstgeschiedenis en kunstgeschiedschrijving.


Kunstgeschiedenis is ingedeeld bij de Geesteswetenschappen. Dat impliceert dat een kunstwerk in essentie een product van de menselijke geest is. De kunstgeschiedenis neigt dan ook kunstwerken vooral als ideeën te bestuderen. Dat die werken in een bepaald materiaal zijn vormgegeven wordt uiteraard niet ontkend, maar doorgaans niet van wezenlijk belang geacht. Die wetenschappelijke attitude gaat niet alleen voorbij aan het feit dat de kunst ook een geschiedenis van materiaalbewerking kent en in die zin een technische wetenschap is, maar ook aan de kern van het scheppingproces, namelijk dat het materiaal met zijn eigenschappen, grenzen en mogelijkheden het kunstwerk niet minder dicteert dan de geest.

De laatste jaren wordt de negatie van het materiaal steeds meer beseft. Er is een richting opgekomen die technical art history wordt genoemd, waarbij de natuurwetenschappelijke bestudering van kunstwerken een plaats heeft gekregen. Bovendien groeit vanuit een meer theoretisch perspectief de belangstelling voor de rol van het materiaal in onderzoeksbenaderingen als material agency (de ‘handelende’ rol van het materiaal) en Materialikonologie (materialen als betekenisdrager). Deze werkgroep bestudeert de recente oriëntatie op het materiaal in de kunstgeschiedbeoefening en vat die benaderingen samen onder de noemer materiële kunstgeschiedenis. Een specialiste op dit gebied uit Utrecht is mededocent in deze module, die zowel voor studenten kunstgeschiedenis als restauratiestudenten is bedoeld en openstaat voor geïnteresseerden in oude en moderne kunst.

BRON: http://studiegids.uva.nl/web/sgs/nl/c/12050.html


Art & Technology: a New Unity (…since 1928)


Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.)

“Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) was a non-profit and tax-exempt organization established to develop collaborations between artists and engineers. The group operated by facilitating person-to-person contacts between artists and engineers, rather than defining a formal process for cooperation. E.A.T. initiated and carried out projects that expanded the role of the artist in contemporary society and helped eliminate the separation of the individual from technological change.

It was officially launched in 1967 by the engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and the artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman. These men had previously collaborated, most notably in 1966 when they together organized 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, a series of performance art presentations that united artists and engineers. The performances were held in New York City‘s 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets as an homage to the original and historical 1913 Armory show.[2][3] Such collaborations continued to break down barriers between the arts and scientists in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and indirectly launched and supported the experimental sound artist John Cage, dancer Merce Cunningham, and pop artist Andy Warhol.

The pinnacle of E.A.T. activity is generally considered to be the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ’70 at Osaka Japan where E.A.T. artists and engineers collaborated to design and program an immersive dome that included a fog sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya.

Twenty-eight regional E.A.T. chapters were established throughout the U.S. in the late 1960s to promote collaborations between artists and engineers and expand the artist’s role in social developments related to new technologies. In 2002 the University of Washington hosted a reunion to celebrate the history of these regional liaisons and consider the legacy of E.A.T. for artists working with new technologies in the 21st century.

In 1966, 10 New York artists worked with 30 engineers and scientists from the world renowned Bell Telephone Laboratories to create groundbreaking performances that incorporated new technology. Video projection, wireless sound transmission, and Doppler sonar had never been seen in the art of the 60s. The 9 Evenings DVD Series is an important documentation of the collaborations between the artists and engineers that produced innovative works using these emerging technologies. These performances still resonate today, as forerunners of the close and rapidly-evolving relationship between artists and technology. The dense and daunting exhibition represented an experiment in the archaeology of the avant-garde. The installation gathers the vast and insightful but also often undecipherable shards, artifacts, apparatus, photographs, drawings, diagrams, correspondence, and documentary film footage that provides information, but little if any comprehensive understanding of a series of ten individual works that, although wildly uneven on every level from aesthetic to technical, have entered the canon of performance art, experimental music and theater, bridging the gap from the eras of Dada, Fluxus and the Happenings/Actions of the 1960s, through the current generation of arts for whom multimedia and technology are the norm.”

BRON: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiments_in_Art_and_Technology

John Cage: Water Walk

“Here’s John Cage performing Water Walk in January, 1960 on the popular TV show I’ve Got A Secret.

At the time, Cage was teaching Experimental Composition at New York City’s New School. Eight years beyond 4:33, he was (as our smoking MC informs us) the most controversial figure in the musical world at that time. His first performance on national television was originally scored to include five radios, but a union dispute on the CBS set prevented any of the radios from being plugged in to the wall. Cage gleefully smacks and tosses the radios instead of turning them on and off.

While treating Cage as something of a freak, the show also treats him fairly reverentially, cancelling the regular game show format to allow Cage the chance to perform his entire piece.”

BRON: http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/04/john_cage_on_a_.html

Zie ook: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage

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