"9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering"
              Robert Smithson / April Lamm
              After stumbling across Robert Smithson’s vituperative response to a show that took place in 1966 at the Armory, I had to wonder what exactly it was that he saw. “Bovine formalism, tired painting, eccentric concentrics or numb structures”? His focus on the “funeral of technology” made me imagine that he’d seen a really bad Tinguely (which wouldn’t have surprised me) or maybe a bad Nam June Paik (which would). As it turns out, his ire was directed at an exhibition organized by Billy Klüver (an engineer) that included 10 artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Öyvind Fahlström, and Yvonne Rainer. Under the witty acronym E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) the performances, nonetheless, pioneered the way for the now-common practice of artists collaborating with practitioners from different fields. For the most part, the result of bringing 30 engineers together with 10 artists yielded performance kitsch at its worst (John Cage’s recordings of brain waves being the exception). You can watch a condensed (20-minute) version of the “Nine Evenings”: here. —April Lamm An Esthetics of Disappointment ON THE OCCASION OF THE ART AND TECHNOLOGY SHOW AT THE ARMORY Many are disappointed at the nullity of art. Many try to pump life or space into …
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