For my third digital assignment, I decided to build on my timeline of notable moments in the history of art-and-technology from last week, this time using TimeMapper to chart locations of exhibitions, events, organizations, and programs. As Edward Shanken and others have noted, the popularity of collaborations between art and technologists climbed in the 1950s and 1960s, reaching its zenith in the late 60s/early 70s, with Jack Burnham’s influential treatise on the use of technological system as artistic medium, “Systems Esthetics” (1968), and the exhibition he organized at The Jewish Museum in 1970, Software, Information Technology: Its New Meaning for Art. In that exhibition, Burnham presented experimental artworks side-by-side with industry collaborations, thereby problematizing the distinctions between those two worlds. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, this sort of presentation slid into the background, as artists and the popular art press, shunned any sort of affiliation with the giants of capitalism as inimical to the countercultural ethos. In the late 1990s, however, Burnham’s legacy, and with it the idea of systems aesthetics, was revived with a spate of new publications on art-and-technology collaborations, as well new considerations of experimental art which deploys digital technology.1Edward A. Shanken, Reprogramming Systems Aesthetics” in Systems, ed. by Edward A. Shanken, )Whitechapel Gallery and the MIT Press: 2015), 123-128. These selections represent some artists’ collaborations with companies and engineers, while others can be classified within cybernetics, systems art, and generative systems practice.

References   [ + ]

1. Edward A. Shanken, Reprogramming Systems Aesthetics” in Systems, ed. by Edward A. Shanken, )Whitechapel Gallery and the MIT Press: 2015), 123-128.

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March 31, 2016

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