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Stan Vanderbeek Stan VanDerBeek in front of his environmental movie theatre Movie-Drome at Stoney Point, New York, c. 1966

Stan VanDerBeek (January 6, 1927 – September 19, 1984) was an American experimental filmmaker known for his collage works. [1]

A pioneer in the development of experimental film and live-action animation techniques, Stan VanDerBeek achieved widespread recognition in the American avant-garde cinema. An advocate of the application of a utopian fusion of art and technology, he began making films in 1955. In the 1960s, he produced theatrical, multimedia pieces and computer animation, often working in collaboration with Bell Telephone Laboratories. In the 1970s, he constructed a 'Movie Drome' in Stony Point, New York, which was an audiovisual laboratory for the projection of film, dance, magic theater, sound and other visual effects. His multimedia experiments included movie murals, projection systems, planetarium events and the exploration of early computer graphics and image-processing systems.[1]

VanDerBeek wrote: It is imperative that we quickly find some way for the entire level of world human understanding to rise to a new human scale. The scale is the world' The risks are the life or death of this world. The technological explosion of this last half-century, and the implied future are overwhelming, man is running the machines of his own invention… while the machine that is man… runs the risk of running wild. Technological research, development, and involvement of the world community has almost completely out-distanced the emotional-sociological (socio-'logical') comprehension of this technology. The 'technique-power' and 'culture-over-reach' that is just beginning to explode in many parts of the earth, is happening so quickly that it has put the logical fulcrum of man’s intelligence so far outside himself that he cannot judge or estimate the results of his acts before he commits them. The process of life as an experiment on earth has never been made clearer. It is this danger — that man does not have time to talk to himself — that man does not have the means to talk to other men. The world hangs by a thread of verbs and nouns. Language and cultural-semantics are as explosive as nuclear energy. It is imperative that we (the world’s artists) invent a new world language…'[1]

Jack Straw Cultural Center is the Northwest's only non-profit multidisciplinary audio arts center. A community-based resource since 1962, we provide a production facility that is unlike any other in the region for local artists who work creatively with sound. Jack Straw focuses on annual artist residencies through our Artist Support Program, our Writers Program, and our Gallery Residency Program; art and technology education for all ages; arts and heritage partnerships; and radio and podcast production. Our full-service recording studio is also available for a range of arts projects.[1]

Mission

Jack Straw Cultural Center exists to foster the communication of arts, ideas, and information to diverse audiences through audio media. We provide creation and production opportunities in audio media, including radio, theater, film, video, music, and literature. Dedicated to the production and presentation of all forms of audio art, Jack Straw 1) produces high quality, innovative audio presentations; 2) commissions independent artists of all disciplines to create sound and audio productions; 3) provides arts and technology education programs for youth and adults; 4) collaborates with arts and heritage organizations to integrate sound and music into their programs; and 5) presents audio productions through events, exhibits, radio, film and the internet.[1]

Jack Straw New Media Gallery

The Jack Straw New Media Gallery opened in 1999 to support artists working with visual and installation art, with an emphasis on sound. The Gallery is one feature of the New Media Gallery Program, and is one of three residency programs at Jack Straw. The New Media Gallery exhibits artists' work through an open call process like the Artist Support Program and Writers Program. As one of a handful of exclusively sound art spaces in the world, it has been attracting applicants nationally and internationally, however Jack Straw has a commitment to local artists.[2]

Gallery residencies include an exhibition of up to three months in the gallery; 20 hours of studio assistance with one of our engineers; access to Jack Straw Cultural Center's audio recording, production, and presentation equipment; two public events - the opening and an artist talk; and an interview podcast. This residency is for exhibiting and performing artists in any medium who would like to incorporate sound into their work.[2]

Manfred Mohr is considered a pioneer of digital art based on algorithms. After discovering Prof. Max Bense's information aesthetics in the early 1960's, Mohr's artistic thinking was radically changed. Within a few years, his art transformed from abstract expressionism to computer generated algorithmic geometry. Further encouraged by discussions with the computer music composer Pierre Barbaud whom he met in 1967, Mohr programmed his first computer drawings in 1969. Since then all his artwork is produced exclusively with the computer. Mohr develops and writes algorithms for his visual ideas. Since 1973, he generates 2-D semiotic graphic constructs using multidimensional hypercubes. [1]

References: 1. https://www.emohr.com/

Established by artists in 1968, SPACE runs 20 artist studio buildings across 7 London boroughs and Colchester, providing affordable creative workspace plus support programmes, such as exhibitions, artists residencies, bursaries and training opportunities, to enable artists to be sustainable. SPACE also delivers Learning projects for schools, young people and communities neighbouring SPACE studio sites, to promote engagement with creativity and the arts.[1]

SPACE Art + Technology provides a test ground and critical exchange platform for artists and thinkers whose work engages with technology. We do this by offering artists residencies as well as regular events and workshops, enabling the public to gain a deeper insight into the challenges and opportunities that technology presents us with today.[2]

From Wikipedia:

James Turrell (born May 6, 1943) is an American artist primarily concerned with Light and Space. Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984. Turrell is best known for his work in progress, Roden Crater, a natural cinder cone crater located outside Flagstaff, Arizona that he is turning into a massive naked-eye observatory.

Access to Roden Crater is limited to friends, though devoted fans can gain access by completing the "Turrell Tour", which involves seeing a Turrell in 23 countries worldwide. During May 2015, Roden Crater was open to a select group of 80 people, as part of a fund raiser, by allowing visits of 20 people per day during the course of four days, at a cost of $6,500 per person. As Roden Crater has been long shrouded in secrecy, fans have attempted to sneak in without the artist's permission. Some have succeeded.

In the 1970s, Turrell began his series of "skyspaces" enclosed spaces open to the sky through an aperture in the roof. A Skyspace is an enclosed room large enough for roughly 15 people. Inside, the viewers sit on benches along the edge to view the sky through an opening in the roof.

From Wikipedia:

Nam June Paik (July 20, 1932 – January 29, 2006) was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the founder of video art. He is credited with an early usage (1974) of the term "electronic super highway" in application to telecommunications.

From Theartstory.org:

Nam June Paik, known as "the father of video art," surfed the forefront of cutting edge technologies and utilized them to realize artworks, the likes the world had never yet seen. His various experiments positioned video as a viable art form, and a tool toward accomplishing widespread, global connectivity - an oeuvre eerily prophetic to our contemporary information age. His revolutionary practice laid the groundwork for today's artists working in new media art.

From Whitney:

As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's signature exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.

Innovation has been a hallmark of the Whitney since its beginnings. It was the first museum dedicated to the work of living American artists and the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paik in 1982). Such figures as Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Cindy Sherman were given their first museum retrospectives by the Whitney. The Museum has consistently purchased works within the year they were created, often well before the artists became broadly recognized. The Whitney was the first museum to take its exhibitions and programming beyond its walls by establishing corporate-funded branch facilities, and the first museum to undertake a program of collection-sharing (with the San Jose Museum of Art) in order to increase access to its renowned collection.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, the Whitney's new building vastly increases the Museum’s exhibition and programming space, providing the most expansive view ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

References: 1. https://whitney.org/about

From Theartstory.org:

After Paik's departure from Germany and before his arrival in the United States in 1964, he spent a year in Tokyo with his family where he met Shuya Abe, an engineer specialized in experimental physics and electronics, who became Paik's long-term collaborator and technical assistant. During the sojourn in Japan, Paik devised his first automated robot, Robot K-456, with Abe's help. Paik humorously named this life-sized anthropomorphic robot after Mozart's piano concerto No. 18 in B-flat major, K. 456 (a catalogue number in the Köchel listing - an inclusive, chronological catalogue of compositions by Mozart). Robot K-456 is made out of bits and pieces of metal, cloth, a data recorder, wheels for walking, and a loudspeaker playing John F. Kennedy's speeches. The materials reflect Paik's long-term interest in transforming cheap, disposable objects into aesthetic forms associated with new technologies. Originally androgynous - with breasts and a penis, the robot was programmed to walk, talk, and defecate beans via twenty radio channels and a remote control. Its physical composition, hybrid-gendered nature, and remote-controlled movement embody Paik's desire to humanize robotics without hiding its bare-bone structure and materiality under the glossy metallic skin.

Robot K-456 was built for impromptu street performances, as Paik recounted, "I imagined it would meet people on the street and give them a split-second surprise, like a sudden show." It was first featured in the performance project Robot Opera (1964) at Judson Hall in New York, alongside Charlotte Moorman's cello performance, and in a series of performance-based projects through the end of the 1960s. In 1982, the robot returned to action during the artist's first major museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. At one point of the exhibition, Paik took the robot out of the museum to orchestrate an "accident" on the streets, a performance titled First Accident of the Twenty-First Century. The robot was made to walk up the sidewalk outside the building across Madison Avenue. While crossing 75th Street, it was struck and thrown onto the crosswalk by a car driven by artist William Anastasi. The local CBS affiliate covered the incident. When the CBS reporter asked Paik what it all meant, Paik answered that he was practicing how to cope with the catastrophe of technology in the 21st century. He also noted that the robot was twenty years old and had not had its Bar Mitzvah (the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony) yet. Playful and extravagant, the performance concluded with the "body" of the robot being wheeled into the museum. This street performance demonstrated that Paik did not see his artworks as inert and complete but rather as "living" objects that could be constantly remade and refashioned.

The hybrid, complex nature of Robot K-456, with its unexpected juxtaposition of visual materials, sounds, performances, and popular culture, embodied Paik's foresight into the future of robotics. He was also revolutionary because he claimed robotics as a viable medium for use in multimedia art, triumphantly declaring the potential for artistic innovation through technological means. Throughout his career, Paik would adamantly advocate that the artist's duty was to reimagine technology in the service of art and culture.