W. Patrick McCray – Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture
The MIT Press, ISBN: 978-0262044257, English, 384 pages, 2020, USA
With all the research and publications that have emerged recently, we could proclaim a new field of research: the “Early Art and Technology Studies”. This book faithfully reconstructs the important events and protagonists of the 1960s, focusing on the convergence of engineers and artists who produced revolutionary electronic art. This period can be considered as the beginning of the materialization of what we could today call “digital creativity”. The first chapter is about Frank Malina, the founder of Leonardo magazine and famous kinetic artist who broke traditions, applying his engineering skills to what he called “the art game”. Billy Klüver, the founder of the institution EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology), is at the center of the third chapter. Here, all known events and pioneering organizations are reconstructed with precise facts and eloquent photographs: the series of happenings “9 Evenings”, the futuristic “Pepsi Pavilion” and the famous exhibitions “Art and Technology at LACMA”, “Cybernetic Serendipity and “Software”, among many others. A perfect complement to books such as “Technocrats of the Imagination”, it is a well-researched and accessible history of the interrelationship between technology and art that produced revolutionary processes, hybrid minds and ideas.