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Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathPerformance
 
Experiments in Art and Technology - Dokumente (E.A.T.  Experiments in Art and Technology), 1967United States, Part 1-4 (Anderson, Laurie), 1983
 
 
 

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influential initiatives for investigating possible cooperation between artists and engineers was originating in the USA under the name of «Experimentsin Art and Technology» (E.A.T.). Billy Klüver was the group's technological expert, while Robert Rauschenberg took the artistic lead. In terms of media art, the group staged one of its most trailblazing events in 1966: «9 Evenings: Theater and Engineering.» The title made it clear that it was a matter of further developing prior experiments with theater. Yet neither a theater nor a museum could have offered space sufficient for an experiment of that nature. The chosen venue, the vast and empty New York Armory, presaged the unusual new sites or abandoned old spaces that would be favored for media events and temporary festivals in later years.

Due to the overlapping approaches of expanded cinema and pop art, but equally—and tellingly—to cooperation with corporate sponsors, there was a boom in media-based theater productions. As if Guy Debord had never articulated his annihilating critique of the society of the spectacle,[30] a line can be traced from underground events such as those of the

 

Eventstructure Research Group (with Jeffrey Shaw and others) over the first corporate occupation of audiovisual immersive space at the Osaka World's Fair, 1970 Expo (where the Pepsi Pavilion was created by artists associated with E.A.T.) to the mega-multimedia performances staged as pop events ( Jeffrey Shaw and Genesis, Mark Boyle and Soft Machine, Pink Floyd and others) in the 1970s. Kinetic art structures—pneumatic objects inviting participation, diverse projection techniques—were seamlessly integrated into the pop industry's ever more perfect spectacles and light shows. Any talk of consciousness- raising was now limited to the pharmaceutical aspect, and collective, collaborative events became happenings for the masses, the body a mass media icon on the stage.

Proof that mass media pop events could evolve from the performance tradition was delivered by Laurie Anderson—«I am in my body as other people are in their cars»[31]— and her paradigmatic rise from street performance artist to intellectual's pop icon after the release of «United States I–IV» in the early 1980s. Her unique stage show made up of personal narrative, a technologically altered voice, electronic body

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