Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), ARTPIX and Microcinema International, announce the pre-release of Open Score by Robert Rauschenberg, the first of “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering”, a 10 DVD set of films on a legendary series of theater, dance, music and performances at the New York 69th Regiment Armory, in October 13-23, 1966 by 10 New York artists: Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, David Tudor, Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, Robert Whitman, Steve Paxton, Alex Hay, Lucinda Childs and Öyvind Fahlström.
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 DVDs – one on each artist’s performance – will be released sequentially over the next two years with the initial publication of the series: Robert Rauschenberg – Open Score, followed by the second in the series: John Cage – Variations VII.
9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering is recognized as a major artistic event of the 1960s. The Performances represented the culmination of a period of extraordinary creative energy in art, dance and music in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and they also pointed to the future, as artists began to use new technology in their work.
In 1966 the 10 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 – technologies that are commonplace today – had never been seen in the art of the 60’s.
9 Evenings was the first large-scale collaboration between artists and engineers and scientists. The two groups worked together for 10 months to develop technical equipment and systems that were used as an integral part of the artists performances. Their collaboration produced many “firsts” in the use of new technology for the theater, both with specially-designed systems and equipment and with innovative use of existing equipment. Closed-circuit television and television projection was used on stage for the first time; a fiber-optics camera picked up objects in a performer’s pocket; an infrared television camera captured action in total darkness; a Doppler sonar device translated movement into sound; and portable wireless FM transmitters and amplifiers transmitted speech and body sounds to Armory loudspeakers.
Using archival film footage and original sound recordings, the 9 Evenings films reconstruct each artist’s performance as fully as possible; they also contain new interviews with artists, engineers and performers to illuminate the artistic, technical and historical aspects of the works.
The films on 9 Evenings are produced for E.A.T. by Julie Martin and directed by Barbro Schultz Lundestam and will be distributed worldwide by Microcinema International.