Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Experiments in Art and Technology records
Date (inclusive): 1966-1993 (bulk 1966-1973)
Experiments in Art and Technology
205 Linear Feet
(237 boxes, 2 rolls, 12 flat file folders)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
Records of the organization Experiments
in Art and Technology, generated and collected by its president, Billy Klüver, and other
staff members, the bulk from 1966-1973. Materials include project files, correspondence,
proposals, reports, photographs, posters, audiovisual materials, minutes, clippings, printed
matter, and other items.
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Language: Collection material is in
E.A.T., an organization devoted to promoting the interaction between art and technology,
developed from the collaboration between Billy Klüver and Robert Rauschenberg. E.A.T.
founders, Billy Klüver, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman and Fred Waldhauer, believed
that collaboration between artists and scientists would greatly benefit society as a whole.
The organization was created after the landmark event "9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering,"
1966, and sought to continue the artist / engineer relationship forged during those
performances. E.A.T.'s primary goal was to give artists access to new materials, such as
plastics, reflecting materials, resins, video, and technologies, such as electronics and
computers, which would have been otherwise inaccessible. Staff and participants explored or
experimented with these and the precursors of many technologies that are now commonplace:
chat lines, fax machines, lasers, cable television, and digitized graphics.
By the early 1970s, E.A.T.'s artist and engineer matching service, called the Technical
Services Program, boasted 6,000 members. Through this matching system approximately 500
works were created, the most effective being in the areas of sculpture and performance.
E.A.T. considered the collaborative process between artist and engineer of greater import
than the aesthetics of the end result. Additionally, E.A.T. helped to organize many
exhibitions in order to display the finished products of collaborations. Other E.A.T.
activities focused on educational programs designed to inform the public about new
telecommunications technologies. Research was conducted in order to locate inexpensive
equipment and methods with which to bring TV programming to wider audiences, including
9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering
A series of
performances held in October 1966 at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City, by John
Cage, Lucinda Childs, Öyvind Fahlström, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer,
Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor and Robert Whitman. The artists worked in collaboration
with more than 40 engineers and scientists from Bell Telephone Laboratories to develop
technical equipment that was used as an integral part of the performances. The original
intent was to participate in a Stockholm festival of art and technology, but the Armory site
was selected when negotiations with Stockholm organizers collapsed.
A small catalog was printed containing statements by the participating artists,
photographs, drawings and technical diagrams. Harriet DeLong's draft manuscript for a book
was never published. She collected all possible documentation for each artist's work,
including artists' statements, engineers' technical work and diagrams, descriptions of
performances, scores and press reaction. Additionally, she conducted interviews with some of
the artists and engineers.
"9 Evenings" was extensively photographed by Peter Moore, Robert McElroy, Herbert Migdoll
and Steve Schapiro. A 25 minute, 16mm sound, black-and-white film was made by Alfons
Schilling of the performances.
Technical Services Program
E.A.T.'s matching service began
shortly after "9 Evenings" in 1966. Artists with technical requests were matched with
engineers and scientists who produced information and assistance or participated in longer
collaborations. The system for providing information and matchings was expanded several
times after its inception, including a proposal to develop a computer-based directory of
artists, scientists, engineers, researchers and other professionals. One of the first
innovations in the system was to use edge-notch cards to hold information on the technical
specialties of over 1,000 engineers. A computer database of engineers and scientists was
compiled which artists could refer to as they needed specific expertise.
In 1967 and 1968, EAT began recruiting engineers to work with artists. This was achieved
through visits by artists to technical laboratories like Bell Labs in Murray Hill, N.J. or
IBM Labs in Armonk, N.Y.; a booth at the yearly Institute of Electronic and Electrical
Engineers (IEEE) where artists made a pitch to involve engineers; weekly open houses at the
E.A.T. loft at 9 East 16th Street, where artists and engineers could meet and talk
informally; publication of a newsletter, "E.A.T. News"; and a compilation of a list of
technical libraries in the New York City area open to artists. In general, E.A.T. did not
monitor the resulting contact and collaboration between the individual artists and
engineers. E.A.T.'s intent was to act as liaison during the introductory phase of contact to
facilitate an artist's awareness of new and quickly developing technologies. Other services
to artists included loan of equipment, consultation on safety of works, helping artists
obtain permission from the New York City Health Department to exhibit works that used lasers
and other potentially hazardous materials, and approaches to industry for support of
artists' projects. The program was essentially discontinued in 1973.
In the spring of 1968, E.A.T.
organized a series of lecture-demonstrations by engineers and scientists for artists held at
the E.A.T. loft. They covered such technical subjects as lasers and holography, computer
generated sound and images, color theory, paper, television and new Hexcel materials.
Speakers came from academic, industrial and government laboratories: e.g., Bell, MIT and
National Bureau of Standards.
In the fall of 1967, E.A.T. announced a
competition for the best contribution by an engineer to a work of art made in collaboration
with an artist. It called for works incorporating technology to be selected for an
exhibition organized by Pontus Hulten, "The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical
Age," held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the fall of 1968. E.A.T. offered to
match all interested engineers and artists. The judges for the competition were all
Some More Beginnings
One of the first major art and
technology exhibitions, held at the Brooklyn Museum from November 1968 to January 1969. The
E.A.T. competition for MOMA's exhibition generated more than 140 submissions. The decision
was made to show all these works at the Brooklyn Museum. The catalog was designed by Billy
Klüver, Julie Martin and Robert Rauschenberg, and contains photographs and technical
descriptions of 145 works.
Pepsi-Cola Pavilion at Expo '70, Osaka, Japan
organized and administered a large-scale international collaboration to design, build and
program the Pepsi-Cola Pavilion at Expo '70, Osaka, Japan. It was initiated in October 1968
by four core artists: Robert Breer, Forrest Myers, David Tudor and Robert Whitman. As the
design of the Pavilion developed, engineers and other artists were added to the project and
given responsibility to develop specific elements. Twenty artists and 50 engineers and
scientists contributed to the design of the Pavilion. A full-sized model of the mirror dome
was built by Raven Industries in an old Marine Corps dirigible hangar in Santa Ana,
California. The Pavilion opened Mar 1970.
Thirty-four Japanese and American artists were invited by E.A.T. to design performances for
the live programming of the space. Strains in Pepsi-Cola's and E.A.T.'s relationship began
to occur when a disagreement ensued over the content and cost of the live programming.
Pepsi-Cola officials wanted to showcase young rock bands by inviting them to compete in a
contest that would be performed in the Pavilion. E.A.T., on the other hand, believed that
the acoustics of the Pavilion were too sensitive and exacting for nonprofessionals to
perform in, and had planned for artists such as Red Grooms, Ann Halprin, Allan Kaprow,
Gordon Mumma and La Monte Young to perform music compositions, events and poetry readings.
E.A.T. presented a live programming budget to Pepsi officials, which they rejected citing
E.A.T.'s lack of cost control. By late April, relations between E.A.T. and Pepsi-Cola
Pavilion, edited by Billy Klüver, Julie Martin and
Barbara Rose, was published by E.P. Dutton in 1972, and contains essays by Elsa Garmire,
Billy Klüver, Nilo Lindgren, Fujiko Nakaya, Barbara Rose and Calvin Tomkins, all the artists
proposals for the live programming of the Pavilion and photographs by Shunk-Kender.
In October 1969, the Nehru Foundation for
Development and E.A.T. assembled a group of Indians and Americans with specialties related
to instruction and television, including both artists and engineers. The group met in India
during December 1969 and developed a proposal for local input towards the development of
instructional software for television. The project was centered in the rural villages in the
Anand Dairy Cooperative and concentrated on information and instruction for the women who
raise and tend the milk-producing buffalo. The proposals for using 1/2 inch video cameras to
collect material for testing and to be used as the basis for the final instructional
programs have been adopted and widely used during the SITE television satellite project.
American Artists in India
E.A.T. initiated a project in
1970-71, funded by the John D. Rockefeller III Fund, for American artists to travel and work
for a month in India. The following artists participated: Jared Bark, Trisha Brown, Lowell
Cross, Jeffrey Lew, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Kate Redicker, Terry Riley, La Monte Young,
and Marian Zazella.
Projects Outside Art
On December 8, 1969, E.A.T. requested
proposal submissions for an exhibition of realizable projects in the environment, which was
funded by a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Approximately 75
proposals were submitted by artists and engineers, of which four were selected: Children and
Communication (see below), City Agriculture, Esthetics Symposium, and Recreation and
In collaboration with the Environmental Research Laboratory of the University of Arizona
and Automation House, a closed-environment nutrient-feeding vegetable greenhouse was
designed for the roof of Automation House in 1970. E.A.T. also carried out a feasibility
study for a greenhouse on the roof of the artists' housing complex, Westbeth, and developed
a proposal for an experimental greenhouse in the interior courtyard of the U.N.
International School in New York. Consecutive exhibitions were held at Automation House from
Jan 4, 1971, and the Esthetics Symposium was held during this time.
The Recreation and Play assignment was given to a team of Los Angeles artists (including
Allan Kaprow) and engineers based on geographical proximity, not on compatibility. "Cubic
Mile" was formulated by the participants to encompass the differing interests of the group.
The participants became conflicted as to the aims and directions of their work, leading to a
collapse of this portion of the project.
Children and Communication
Working with educational
specialists from New York University, two environments, designed by Robert Whitman, were set
up at the E.A.T. loft, 9 East 16th Street and Automation House, 49 East 68th Street. They
were linked by 14 dedicated telephone lines and terminal equipment including Xerox and
Magnavox facsimile machines, electro-writers, telexes and telephones. From February through
May 1971, more than 500 children, ages 6-13, visited the two locations and used the
equipment to communicate with each other.
In cooperation with psychologists
at Bell Laboratories, several research studies using multi-dimensional scaling techniques
were conducted to study perceptions in 1971-72. (Multi-dimensional scaling is a type of
mathematical modeling which entails analyzing responses to questionnaire word juxtapositions
regarding their degree of relatedness, then plotting the results onto correlation graphs.)
One of the studies was to correlate national problems with technical and scientific
resources applicable to these areas in order to devise solutions; another was a
cross-cultural study of object words, which were selected by artists from different
countries. Questionnaires for a study similar to the latter were posted at "Telex: Q&A"
sites, described below.
This project was organized in conjunction
with the exhibition "Utopia & Visions 1871-1981" held at Moderna Museet, 1971. During
August 1971, four telex terminals were established in New York at the E.A.T. offices at 49
E. 68th Street; in Stockholm, at the exhibition at Moderna Museet; in Ahmedabad, India, at
the Design Institute; and in Tokyo, at a large public exhibition space in the Sony Building,
organized by Fujiko Nakaya. The public in all four countries was invited to submit questions
concerning 1981, which were telexed to the other three terminals. Scientists, artists,
subject experts, students and members of the general public were asked to formulate answers
that were then telexed to the originator. Over 400 questions were sent and answered during
The type of questions were limited to eliminate anything one could find out by going to a
local library. It was hoped that the telexes would act as a "Utopian News Service," so
questions such as "How large will the population be?" were filtered out. The questions and
answers were compiled in a document E.A.T. had hoped to publish.
In August 1981 E.A.T. collected the New York Times for one month for later study on how the
world of 1981 differed or resembled the predictions, guesses and feelings people had made
about it in 1971.
Artists and Television
In the winter of 1971, a large-scale
proposal was made to the National Endowment for the Arts for E.A.T. to organize the
cablecast of artists' video tapes over the newly opened cable television channels in New
York City. As E.A.T.'s new office was located at Automation House, a head-end for one of the
New York cable companies, the organization had ready access to the medium. The project was
based on the premise that artists programs should be broadcast, and proposals were requested
from artists like Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, John Chamberlain and others.
E.A.T. held a fund-raising event called "Artcash Benefit for Television Programming" at
Automation House, 1971. Participants could buy "artcash" bills designed by Rauschenberg,
Warhol, Marisol, Jeff Davis and Whitman, then redeem them for prints, which were donated by
artists and galleries. The prints were also sold and exhibited at Automation House.
Projects in Central America
In January 1972, E.A.T., at the
request of the Division of Culture of the Ministry of Education in El Salvador, conducted a
feasibility study on mobile broadcast television production equipment and formulated a plan
for producing cultural programming on educational channels.
Billy Klüver also participated in an United States Agency for International Development's
(USAID) mission to Guatemala on using television for rural agricultural education. In
cooperation with the Guatemalan Government, and under contract with the USAID, the Academy
for Educational Development studied the feasibility of an experimental, low unit cost
program of information and education for the rural adult, especially isolated Indian tribes,
in Guatemala. The hope was that new multi-media educational techniques would enhance the
economic development of the rural population. The group wrote a final report on its findings
and also conducted a multi-dimensional scaling study.
New York Collection for Stockholm
Beginning in January 1971,
E.A.T. undertook a large-scale effort to assemble a major collection of 30 works by New York
artists of the 1960s, chosen by Pontus Hulten, and to raise funds for the purchase of the
collection to be donated to Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Thirty artists donated prints to a
portfolio in order to support the project. A showing of the print portfolio collection was
held at the Castelli and Sonnabend Galleries. A dinner with Princess Christina of Sweden at
Robert Rauschenberg's house was held in October 1972. The collection opened at Moderna
Museet in October 1973 with 105 American guests attending the opening.
Klüver initiated and supervised the design
and feasibility study for a large screen outdoor television system for the Plaza of Centre
Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1976-77, for the opening of the Pompidou. Although the project was
unrealized, E.A.T. organized a charter flight for Americans to attend the opening.
Artists for New York Benefit at Xenon Discotheque
for the Institute of Art and Urban Resources held February 26, 1979 with a performance by
Tudor, Lowell Cross, and Carson Jeffries using a sound-activated laser display system first
developed for the Pepsi Pavilion.
Island Eye Island Ear
David Tudor conceived a collaborative
project/concert to be held on an island, which was to utilize and reveal the nature of the
island. Parabolic antennas would have been placed in configurations around the island to
create sound beams and sound reflections. The sound input would have been sounds of the
island recorded over the course of one year. Fujiko Nakaya would have installed cloud
sculptures and Jacqueline Monnier would have flown the kites she designed. Extensive tests
were made on Knavelskär Island in the Swedish archipelago (1974), and later Bluff Island in
the Adirondacks in New York State was researched as a possible site for the concert
(1978-79). The project was never realized because of strong resistance from local
Cloud Sculpture for Trisha Brown Dance Company
supervised the testing and installation of a cloud sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya as a set for
the dance "Opal Loop," first performed at 55 Crosby Street, June 10, 1980, and performed
later that year at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. A full-scale model of the stage at
Brooklyn Academy was built to test the fog made for this performance.
Archive of E.A.T. Documents
In 1980, E.A.T. put together
an archive package of 360 documents produced by the foundation: reports, catalogs,
newsletters, information bulletins, proposals, lectures, announcements, and reprints of
major articles produced by E.A.T. in the course of its activities. Complete sets of this
archive were distributed to major libraries in New York, Washington, Paris, Stockholm,
Moscow, Ahmedabad, India, London, Toronto and Australia. A master list of these documents is
contained in the publication by Billy Klüver, "E.A.T. Bibliography 1965-1980." In most cases
early E.A.T. publications were designed by Rauschenberg and subsequently by other artists;
posters and announcements were also designed by or in collaboration with artists.
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Experiments in Art and Technology records, 1966-1993, The Getty Research Institute, Los
Angeles, Accession number 940003.
Acquired 1994 (Accn. no. 940003, 940037), 1996 (Accn. no. 960013).
Lynda Bunting unpacked, processed, organized and cataloged the collection from September
1994 to Mar 1996. Natalia Costea and Vanessa Walker-Oakes helped unpack, process and
describe sections of Series I, II, V and VI from December 1994 to June 1995. From September
1995 to February 1996, Kelly Nipper removed rusty staples and revised a few of the project
descriptions in Series I. Melissa Piper described the artists proposals in the Technical
Services project in December 1995. Audio-visual materials processed 2004.
Selected audio and video recordings from Experiments in Art and Technology records Series
VII. and VIII. have been digitized and are available on-site:
Thirty titles were transferred to the library's general and rare book collections.
E.A.T. News vol. 1, no. 1
Techne vol. 1, no. 1
Collection for Stockholm.
Stockholm: Moderna Museet,
Exakte Asthetik - Methoden und
Ergebnisse empirischer und experimenteller Asthetik - 3/4/1966.
Andronic: ou les aventures d'un empereur d'orient.
Paris: Olivier Orban, 1974.
Grèce, Michel de.
Crète épave de l'Atlantide.
Paris: Julliard, 1971. 2
Cultural Affairs. New York:
Associated Councils of the Arts (Spring 1970).
York State Council on the Arts Annual Report
. 5 vols.,
Film Library Quarterly (Spring
Filmmakers Newsletter. 6 issues from
Video from Tokyo to Fukui and Kyoto.
New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1979.
letras e artes.
vol. 7, no. 257 (Nov 1967).
Tågarp, no. 1 (1971).
Psychopolis de Vrije Academie , ca. 1971.
Other Scenes vol. 5, no. 2 (Summer 1971).
Isozaki: Works, 1960-64. Tokyo: Seidoh-sha, 1965.
Arata Isozaki: Works,
1965-66. Tokyo: Seidoh-sha, 1967.
Another Isozaki title in
Burroughs, William. "C" Press edition entitled "Time,"
Radical Software. vol. 1, nos. 1-4,
(1970-71); vol. 2, no. 1 (1972).
no. 2 (Sep 1960).
Centro de arte y Comunicación. Henri
Galerie le Zodiaque.
Centro de Calculo de la Universidad de Madrid.
Ordenadores en el arte: Generación automática de formas plásticas,
Beaux Arts. Summer
Kosice: La cuidad hidroespacial. Anzilotti Avda: Buenos Aires,
Knoedler & Co.
Holograms Conceived by
. New York, 1972.
Celant, Germano. Eugenio Carmi: SPCE. A.
Cordani, Milan: 1966.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Experiments in Art and Technology archive documents E.A.T. as an organizer, fund-raiser
and facilitator of collaborations between artists and engineers, dating from 1966-1993 (bulk
1966-1973). The material was generated and collected by Billy Klüver, President, Julie
Martin, Klüver's assistant and second wife, and other E.A.T. staff members. The collection
does not contain correspondence with Robert Rauschenberg, Chairman, but does make many
references to the artist and includes numerous photographs of him performing and three
posters by him.
The bulk of the archive consists of project files with various materials such as
correspondence, proposals and reports pertaining to approximately 20 large-scale projects
and numerous smaller ones. Substantial photographic, cassette tape, reel-to-reel tape, film
and video holdings provide audio and visual documentation of E.A.T. sponsored performances,
lectures and events. Posters in the archive, primarily published by E.A.T., were designed
and signed by a number of noteworthy contemporary artists or were created by engineers using
experimental computer scanning and data compression processes. The collection also contains
board of directors' meeting minutes, book and newsletter production material, clippings, and
The archive is arranged in 9 series:
Series I. Project files, 1966-1992, bulk 1966-1973
Correspondence and administration, 1966-1980
Series III. Publications, ca. 1967-1980
Clippings, 1965-ca. 1980
Series V. Financial, 1966-1986, bulk 1966-1974
Series VII. Audio tapes, 1966-1993
Series VIII. Films and videos,
Series IX. Posters, 1966-1996
Subjects - Corporate Bodies
Expo '70 (Osaka, Japan)
Subjects - Topics
Art and electronics
Art and science
Technology and civilization
Television and the arts
Corporate sponsorship -- United States
Fund raising -- United States
Art and technology -- Periodicals
Art and technology -- Societies, etc.
Subjects - Titles
Techne (New York, N.Y.)
E.A.T. News (New York, N.Y.)
Expo '70 (Osaka, Japan)
Genres and Forms of Material
Motion pictures (information artifacts)
Cross, Lowell M.
Waldhauer, Fred D.
Paik, Nam June
Experiments in Art and Technology
Experiments in Art and Technology Los Angeles