Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Mechanical Mind in History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Phil Husbands, Owen Holland, and Michael Wheeler

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262083775

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262083775.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

The Mechanization of Art

The Mechanization of Art

(p.259) 11 The Mechanization of Art
The Mechanical Mind in History

Paul Brown

The MIT Press

This chapter presents an idiosyncratic account of the development of “the mechanization of art.” It shows that Norbert Wiener’s and W. Ross Ashby’s ideas were quickly appreciated by a number of artists, such as Nicolas Schöffer, who in the mid-1950s pioneered a kind of autonomous kinetic art, cybernetic sculptures. The chapter traces the cultural, as well as scientific, antecedents of this work in an account of how the mechanization of art developed over the centuries. It focuses on its growth during part of the second half of the twentieth century—a period that saw the influential 1968 Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity, which featured Gordon Pask’s installation Colloquy of Mobiles. It notes at that a number of artists working in this field, such as Edward Ihnatowicz, pioneered approaches to autonomous systems, prefiguring today’s growing dialogue between artists and scientists in this area.

Keywords:   Norbert Wiener, W. Ross Ashby, Nicolas Schöffer, kinetic art, cybernetic sculptures, Gordon Pask, Edward Ihnatowicz, autonomous systems

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.