Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts

Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts

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Mainframe Experimentalism challenges the conventional wisdom that the digital arts arose out of Silicon Valley’s technological revolutions in the 1970s. Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|In fact, in the 1960s, a diverse array of artists, musicians, poets, writers, and filmmakers around the world were engaging with mainframe and mini-computers to create innovative new artworks that contradict the stereotypes of "computer art." Juxtaposing the original works alongside scholarly contributions by well-established and emerging scholars from several disciplines, Mainframe Experimentalism demonstrates that the radical and experimental aesthetics and political and cultural engagements of early digital art stand as precursors for the mobility among technological platforms, artistic forms, and social sites that has become commonplace today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520268388
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 09/21/2012
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 767,866
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Hannah B Higgins is Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of Fluxus Experience (UC Press).

Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Innovation at the National Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA) at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is the coeditor of Source: Music of the Avant-garde (UC Press).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Hannah B Higgins and Douglas Kahn
Part I. Discourses
1. The Soulless Usurper: Reception and Criticism of Early Computer Art
Grant Taylor
2. Georges Perec’s Thinking Machines
David Bellos
3. Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|In Forming Software: Software, Structuralism, Dematerialization
Edward A. Shanken
Part II. Centers
4. Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Information Aesthetics and the Stuttgart School
Christoph Klütsch
5. “They Have All Dreamt of the Machines—and Now the Machines Have Arrived”: New Tendencies—Computers and Visual Research, Zagreb, 1968–1969
Margit Rosen
6. Minicomputer Experimentalism in the United Kingdom from the 1950s to 1980
Charlie Gere
Part III. Music
7. James Tenney at Bell Labs
Douglas Kahn
8. HPSCHD—Ghost or Monster?
Branden W. Joseph
9. The Alien Voice: Alvin Lucier’s North American Time Capsule 1967
Christoph Cox
10. An Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Introduction to North American Time Capsule 1967
Robert A. Moog
11. North American Time Capsule 1967
Alvin Lucier
Part IV. Art and Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Intermedia
12. An Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Introduction to Alison Knowles’s The House of Dust
Hannah B Higgins
13. The Book of the Future: Alison Knowles’s The House of Dust
Benjamin H.{ths}D. Buchloh
14. Three Early Texts by Gustav Metzger on Computer Art
Compiled by Simon Ford
15. Computer Participator: Situating Nam June Paik’s Work in Computing
William Kaizen
Part V. Poetry
16. First-Generation Poetry Generators: Establishing Foundations in Form
Christopher Funkhouser
17. “Tape Mark I”
Nanni Balestrini
18. Letter to Ann Noël
Emmett Williams
19. The Computational Word Works of Eric Andersen and Dick Higgins
Hannah B Higgins
20. Opus 1966
Eric Andersen
21. “Computers for the Arts” (May 1968)
Dick Higgins
22. The Role of the Machine in the Experiment of Egoless Poetry: Jackson Mac Low and the Programmable Film Reader
Mordecai-Mark Mac Low
Part VI. Film and Animation
23. Stan VanDerBeek’s Poemfields: The Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Interstice of Cinema and Computing
Gloria Sutton
24. From the Gun Controller to the Mandala: The Cybernetic Cinema of John and James Whitney
Zabet Patterson

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