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Paul T Kidd's ICT & ART CONNECT Pages

Main Home > Paul T Kidd's Author Space > ICT & ART CONNECT > ICT & ART CONNECT Pages > Timeline

ICT & ART CONNECT: Timeline

 

ICT & ART CONNECT: Timeline

The involvement of art in science and technology has a long history that goes back into far distant history. The notion of art with a social purpose also has a history – movements such as Bauhaus and Constructivism come to mind. What is presented here however is just a brief timeline of events (with a somewhat arbitrary starting point), which is not intended to be comprehensive, that relates to art and computer technology (as well as science), and the idea of artists working with this technology and collaborating with technologists – sometimes in research settings – to co-create. There is more listed below than just these co-operations, and these additional inclusion serve to highlight the complexity of the art-technology (and art-science) landscape, and also to show that there is plenty of scope for organisations (and individuals) to make poorly informed statements (as the example of DG CONNECT very well illustrates). The lesson is that words such as new, do not apply, and that ‘knowing’ is important to the process of ‘deciding’, especially when it comes to state institutions deciding that they are going to use art for … usually something to do with making science and technology seem respectable and curing deficits. And of course if one really wants to do something ‘new’, then understanding what is not ‘new’ is key – it is called ‘knowing’ the state-of-the-art!

Year

Event of Note

1920

John Dewey writes about the need to reconcile the attitudes of practical science and contemplative aesthetics to deal with the 'monster'.

1930s

Alexander Calder starts producing a sculptures incorporating technology in the form of small electric drive motors.

1932/33

Alexander Calder produces a sculpture/installation called Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, a piece of art that involes audience participation - an early form of participatory/interactive art.

Early 1940s

American artist John Witney is already working on experimental films exploring the complementarity of music and visual art using the new technology of the day - 8mm/16mm home cine film equipment, and is looking forward to arrival of more new technologies to aid his work.

Early 1950s

Mathematician and artist Ben Laposky produces an early examples of electronic art using an oscilloscope and a camera: Oscillons.

1956

Publication of Gyorgy Kepes book, The New Landscape in Art and Science

1957

American artist John Witney begins using (ex Second World War military) analogue computers to create abstract images for his experimental films.

1958

American artist Allan Kaprow initiates Happenings – another early form of participatory/interactive art.

1959

British artist Roy Ascott creates Change Painting – yet another early piece of interactive art.

Early 1960s

AT&T Bell Labs begin work on the use of computers in music – the beginnings of Bell Lab’s pioneering and extensive work on the development of an early form of ICT-ART CONNECT – co-creation among artists and technologists in an industrial research lab.

1961

Researchers at MIT AI Laboratory begin the Hacking Culture and Ethic.

1961

New Tendencies Movement (art as visual research) begins in Zagreb, Yugoslavia

1962

Elwyn Berlekamp, intern at AT&T Bell Labs shows fellow intern Michael Noll a computer plot gone wrong, initiating Noll’s pioneering work in computer art – an early example of a technologist turned artist (but not without some controversy).

1962

Michael Noll at AT&T Bell Labs reports to his colleagues that he has used computers to generate “a series of interesting and novel patterns” using an IBM 7090 computer.

1962

AT&T Bell Labs technologists and visual researcher Bela Julesz starts creating computer images as stimuli for psychological investigations into visual perception – later publicly exhibited at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York

1963

SCIENCE publishes the Head of Behavioural Research at AT&T Bell Labs, M.V. Mathews’ paper The Digital Computer as a Musical Instrument

1963

Kenneth Knowlton, a researcher working at AT&T Bell Labs, begins the development of an early programming language for animation known as BEFLIX, which was later adapted and used for collaborations with artist Stan VanDerBeek.

1963

Computer and Automation magazine launches it annual Computer Arts Prize, with first prize awarded to the US Army Ballistics Research Centre for the work “Splatter Pattern”.

1964

Kenneth Knowlton’s paper A Computer Technique for Producing Animated Movies is presented at the AFIPS Joint Computer Conference

1965

First public exhibition of computer art held in New York, including works by two AT&T Bell Labs researchers – Bela Julesz and Michael Noll.

1966

IBM in California gives John Witney a research grant and working with Jack Citron, who programmed an IBM 360 Digital computer for him, they co-create a computer generated film entitled Homage to Rameau.

1966

Artist Robert Ruachenberg collaborates with physicist Billy Kluver from AT&T Bell Labs to co-create and stage a theatre, dance and music performance based on a collaboration involving 10 artists and 40 engineers

1966

Publication of British artist Roy Ascott’s essay on Behaviourist Art and the Cybernetic Vision

1966

Artist Placement Group formed with the aim of taking art into non-art contexts, specifically industry and government, and shifting the function of art towards decision-making. Companies involved include: British Rail; ICI; British Steel; National Coal Board; BEA; and others.

1967

IEEE Spectrum Magazine publishes Michael Noll’s (AT&T Bell Labs) paper The Digital Computer as a Creative Medium

1967

Artist Robert Ruachenberg and physicist Billy Kluver co-found Experiments in Art and Technology to promote collaborative (co-creation) work between artists and engineers

1967

Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon, researchers at AT&T Bell Labs, collaborate to produce the piece of computer art known as Studies in Perception 1 (aka Nude).

1967

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art & Technology programme begins with the aim of promoting exchange between the artists and the corporate world.

1968

American artist Lillian Schwartz begins her (long) involvement with AT&T Bell Labs

1968

The landmark Cybernetic Serendipity Exhibition, curated by Jasia Reichardt, held at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London

1968

The Computer Arts Society founded, London

1968

CalComp, the US Printer company, launches Computer Plotter Art competition, awarding scholarships and cash prizes to winners

1969

Computer Techniques Group in Japan disbands for several reasons, including “so-called collaboration between engineers and artists not being so easy as we had expected.”

1970

Design researcher Christopher Jones, in his 1970 book Design Method, highlights that method alone cannot remove the invisible and troublesome barriers between professions and disciplines

Early 1970s

Artistic dimensions and connections with artists begin to emerge in research work undertaken at Xerox PARC

1968 (-74)

Curator and writer Jasia Reichardt starts publishing a series of books and papers delivering insightful observations and commentaries on computer art, and (sometimes troublesome) artist/technologist collaboration.

1970

Kenneth Knowlton’s paper EXPLOR – A Generator of Images from Explicit Patters, Local Operations, and Randomness is presented at the Ninth Annual UAIDE Conference – the result of work with artist Lillian Schwartz

1971

Kenneth Knowlton’s paper TARPS – A Two Dimensional Alphanumeric Raster Picture System  is presented at the Annual UAIDE Conference – the result of work with artist Stan Vanderbeek

1971

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art & Technology programme ends.

1971

Publication of computer scientist and science fiction writer Herbert W. Franke’s book Computer Graphics – Computer Art, the first historical account of computer art

1972

Kenneth Knowlton’s paper Collaborations with Artists – A Programmer’s Reflections is presented at the IFIP conference on Graphic Languages

1979

First annual Ars Electronica Festival

Late 1970s, Early 1980s

The emergence of the personal computer frees artists from the need to collaborate with engineers and technologists, giving birth to the artist as programmer model

1981

SIGGRAPH Conference sponsors its first exhibition of computer art in combination with its annual computer graphics conference

1984

Publication of British artist Roy Ascott’s essay on Art and Telematics: Towards a Network Consciousness

1987

British Artist William Latham begins collaboration with IBM computer scientist Stephen Todd on the co-creation of Evolutionary Art at the IBM UK Scientific Centre

1989

Leonardo publishes a supplementary issue: Computer Art in Context:

1990

Art Journal publishes special issue on Computer and Art: Issues of Content

1991

Linus Torvalds, Hacking Supremo, begins work on Linux operating system and establishes hacking as the new research and innovation system

1992

Xerox PARC begins its artist in residence programme PAIR – the pairing of new media artists and scientists to co-create

1993

Publication of Lillian Schwart book “Computer Artist’s Handbook” in which she highlight tensions between artists and technologists.

1996

Welcome Trust launches its Sciart funding scheme.

1996

Ars Electronica Centre founded in Litz, Austria

c 1996 (to 2001)

Start of European Commission's Intelligent Information Interfaces (i3) initiative involving artists in projects focused on design, technology and people (aka STARTS I)

1997

NTT in Japan establishes its InterCommunications Centre to encourage dialogue between technology and the arts

1997

Digital Creativity Journal first published (previously called Intelligent Tutoring Media)

2001

Kenneth Knowlton’s paper “On the Frustration of Collaborating with Artists” is published.

2001

Publication of Pekka Himanen’s book The Hacker Ethic, documenting the post-capitalist, post-protestant, hacker work ethic

2003

National Academy of Sciences publishes its Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation and Creativity report on the intersection of computing and art and the benefits in term of creativity and innovation

2003

Publication of first issue of Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research

2005

Nature Magazine publishes a special issue on Art-Science collaboration

2005

Publication of first issue of International Journal of Co-Creation in Design and the Arts

2006

Publication of Brad Haseman’s “Manifesto of Performative Research”

2009 (-10)

Decode: Digital Design Sensations Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

2010

Publication of Stephen Wilson’s book Art + Science Now – an overview of a decade of art in several areas (molecular biology, living systems, human biology, physical systems, kinetics & robotics, alternative interfaces, algorithms, information).

2012

DG CONNECT, latecomer extraordinarie, starts to take an interest in art in the context of ICT - first workshop held in Brussels in April

2013

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art re-launches an Art & Technology programme in the form of an Art and Technology Incubator

2013

DG CONNECT issues call for tenders for its infamous technocratic use of art to embedded technology more gracefully in society study.

2013

DG CONNECT FET-Open Coordination Action Project FET-ART begins: it rediscovers the 1960’s art-technology co-creation concept and some participants declare this to be a new working method.

2013

Publication of “Participation is Risky” – a book presenting some of the work undertaken by the group Social Spaces on participatory art and design projects

2014

DG CONNECT FET Proactive consultation – people advocating the 1960’s art-technology co-creation concept as a new FET Proactive research topic

2014

Digital Revolution Exhibition at The Barbican, London – including a 50 years of review of artistic involvement with digital media, in which Google proclaim its DevArt to be the beginnings of a new art form – art made with code – the same art that emerged by the name of Computer Art fifty years previously!

2014

Cybernetic Serendipity: A Documentation, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London to highlight the impact and continued relevance of the original Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition

2015

Publication of the ICT & ART CONNECT study report accompanied by high profile events in which engineers are symbolised and classified as “struggling with creativity”.

2015

DG CONNECT launches its 2016-17 ICT work programme with ICT Topic 36: Boost Synergies between artists, creative people and technologists, in which it classifies and symbolises technologists as the uncreative ones – classical deficit thinking!

2015

ICT Event held in Lisbon with two STARTS related sessions which amount to people saying alot without saying much at all

2015

Dec: DG CONNECT Info Day held in Brussels on RRI-SSH in ICT Related parts of H2020 WP16-17, with presentation on ICT Topic 36 where DG CONNECT official talks nonsense about science, art, technology and design

2016

ICT Topic 36 Call closes. In total 23 proposals received: 16 Coordination and Support Actions; 7 Innovation Actions.

2016

June: Evaluation of recived proposals takes place in Brussels

2016

June: STARTS (Science, Technology and the Arts) Session held at Sónar+D 2016 - four years on from first workshop and still much talking without saying anything.

2016

June: European Commissioner Günther Oettinger belatedly issues a decree stating that no restriction on artistic freedom should be applied to artists, but does not explain how the contradiction that this imples will be resolved.

2016

June: At a workshop in Linz, DG CONNECT official rewrites history by informing workshop participants that "art as an ingredient in knowledge creation and programme development is new". Linz seems an appropriate venue for such rewriting of history ...

2016

June-Aug: DG CONNECT Online Consultation recieves only four contributions!

2016

Oct: Publication of Paul T Kidd's book about the STARTS platform - STARTS - Science, Technology and the Arts: The Artistic Voices that DG CONNECT Silenced

2017

Jan - 5 years (!!) after DG CONNECT STARTS looking at ICT-ART CONNECT, the START of the three selected STARTS Projects: STARTS Prize (CSA); VERTIGO (CSA) and WEAR (IA).

 

DG CONNECT has become part of John Dewey's monster - it is time to do something. Hence STARTS - Science, Technology and the Arts: The Artistic Voices that DG CONNECT Silenced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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