E.A.T.(Experiments in Art and Technology)

Artist Group

founded in 1966 “to make it possible for artists and engineers to work effectively together with industrial sponsorship” [...] The initiative for a structured collaboration between artists and engineers came out of 9 Evenings of Theatre and Engineering [...] Within a year, EAT had a membership; a board of directors that included Buckminster Fuller and György Kepes; Billy Klüver was president; Rauschenberg was vice president and later chairman.

(source: White Heat Cold Logic, p. 75)

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Initiated by Kluver, Billy, Fred Waldhauer, Rauschenberg, Robert and Robert Whitman, E.A.T. was a non-profit group active primarily from the 1960s to the 1980s. Its aim: to mobilize the arts, industry and science around projects that involved participants from each field. E.A.T. promoted interdisciplinary collaborations through a program pairing artists and engineers. It also encouraged research into new means of expression at the crossroads of art and such emerging technologies as computer-generated images and sounds, video, synthetic materials and robotics. To complement these projects combining the talents of artists and engineers, E.A.T. organized educational activities to acquaint the public with telecommunication technologies like telewriting and satellite transmission. Other projects emulating international aid programs were devised to give developing countries access to community media. As of the mid-1970s, E.A.T. began opening chapters in the United States, Canada and Japan.

Selected E.A.T. projects:

1966 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering.

1971 Utopia: Q&A, public spaces linked by telex in New York, Ahmedabad, India, Tokyo, and Stockholm, where people could ask people in other countries questions about the future.

1972 Children and Communication pilot project to use telephone, telex and fax equipment to have children in different parts of New York City communicate with each other.

1976-1977 Large screen outdoor television display system for Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Extensive Documentation put together by Kluver, Billy in 1981 to preserve E.A.T.‘s heritage.

Interview with Billy Kluver on E.A.T. .