The Museum der Moderne Salzburg mounts the first comprehensive retrospective of the activities of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), a unique association of engineers and artists who made history in the 1960s and 1970s.
Artists like Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) and Robert Whitman (b. 1935) teamed up with Billy Klüver (1927–2004), a visionary engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, and his colleague Fred Waldhauer (1927–1993) to launch a groundbreaking initiative that would realize works of art in unprecedented collaborative ventures.
In light of the rapid technological developments of the period, the group aimed to put an art into practice that would employ cutting-edge technology. Starting in the early 1960s, Klüver worked with artists including Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Yvonne Rainer. Like some artists of his time, he was interested in the social implications of novel technologies and believed that the marriage of art and science had to take place on a practical and physical level. The meeting between artists and engineers, the members of E.A.T. hoped, would produce works that would not have been possible without the special expertise of trained technologists. The art would conversely also inspire the engineers to think in new directions and help shape the future evolution of technology.
An extensive survey of E.A.T.’s output has long been overdue; in addition to numerous works of art, the chronologically structured exhibition also presents a wealth of previously unpublished archival materials. After smaller shows that have highlighted well-known key events in the history of E.A.T., it offers the first indepth consideration of the full spectrum of the group’s activities and the multitude and broad variety of E.A.T.’s projects.
Projects by Artists and Bell-Labs-Engineers
Per Biorn, Robert Breer, John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Cecil H. Coker, Composers Inside Electronics, Pete Cumminski, Merce Cunningham, Jean Dupuy, Öyvind Fahlström, Ralph Flynn, Hans Haacke, Leon Harmon, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Larry Heilos, Peter Hirsch, Harold Hodges, Robert V. Kieronski, Billy Klüver, Ken Knowlton, Tony Martin, Jim McGee, Forrest Myers, Fujiko Nakaya, Steve Paxton, John Pearce, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Robby Robinson, Alfons Schilling, Herb Schneider, Jean Tinguely, David Tudor, Fred Waldhauer, Andy Warhol, Robert Whitman, Witt Wittnebert, Dick Wolff, Niels & Lucy Young
Exhibition Concept and Project Director: Sabine Breitwieser, Director, Museum der Moderne Salzburg; Guest Curator: Kathy Battista, New York; Curatorial Assistant: Christina Penetsdorfer, Museum der Moderne Salzburg; Exhibition Architecture: Kuehn Malvezzi (Wilfried Kuehn, Samuel Korn); Advisory Board: Julie Martin, Michelle Kuo, Catherine Morris.