anyone who reads this ‘blog’, i hope, knows that it is not a thematic blog, but my journal made public, for good and bad. just a reminder that what i post here is always in draft form.
so, the addendum i record here is thanks to Paul DeMarinis, to whom i sent for comment an excerpt from section V of the previous post, where i commented on Kluver, EAT, etc. Paul was both a student of the period, an eyewitness, and a co-equal participant/artist/collaborator with his mentors.
Thus, Paul’s corrective of my mis-reading below, is essential. I’ll tentatively call Paul’s corrective: the problem of the antithesis between the Kluver, big lab/industry scale of the EAT expert model of the art-tech/science collaboration, and, the ‘inexpert’ model of a DIY art-tech/science production, whether collaborative or solo, but independent of the EAT model, represented by the other great cultural formation of the time – PUNK, autonomy from institutions, communes, radical movements of ‘drop-out’ cultures = DIY. anarchy not necessarily as a political philosophy a la Bakunin, but, definitely a philosophy of being self schooled, going it alone, learning from the then off the shelve potentials of technologies, hacking them, re-purposing them, or, re-inventing them for entirely other ends. And ultimately, producing completely ‘other’ art-sci/tech works that don’t conform to any model at all, but their own. [this is a very tentative paragraph, but getting there]
so, to Paul’s critique of my overly Kluver-only-dominated reading below:
first, i don’t think that Billy Kluver’s program failed – EAT was immensely successful in locating a group of artists who were working outside both the artistic norms of the times and outside of academia, among which to engage an unapologetic and unestheticized view of technology qua culture. In my view, however, it marked the end of an era where advanced technologies were tied up in military-industrial corporations like bell labs, and required experts to deploy it… i must say also that I don’t think that EAT was the end all of Billy’s vision, and so much came out of it in so many ways that it is truly a major historical point of reference… It is just that the EAT model of engineers being technical experts to realize artists visions doesn’t apply to anyone of my creative generation or younger. We learned to do it ourselves, and I don’t think the results were ‘precious’ – rather we took a critical stance toward the mil-ind machine by engaging the technologies in sometimes passionate, sometimes political and often contradictory but striking ways.
Paul DeMarinis, email,