Systems, Process, Art, and the Social Final Panel
Systems, Process, Art, and the Social
Video from the February 4 FAST event Systems, Process, Art, and the Social
Friday, February 4
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Edgerton Hall – Room 34-101, 50 Vassar Street, Cambridge (map)
*No tickets or registration required
This forum examined the long shadow of cybernetics and systems theory in art and design from the 1950s until today, with particular focus on a decisive shift that took place in the later phase of the development. “Systems esthetics” became a catch phrase in the 1960s, popularized by artists such as Hans Haacke and Jack Burnham, both of whom found MIT to be an important venue for their attempts to craft systemic art and theory, and both of whom, post-MIT, turned dramatically towards a social approach to their artistic work.
How do we get from wartime simulators to contemporary architectural algorithms and interactivity? What does the weather have to do with philosophies of reception in contemporary art? When does an architecture pavilion become a recursive semiotic universe? Scholars, artists, and designers look at the aesthetic and programmatic impact of ideas that at first appeared to have nothing to do with art, and that may have had their most intense articulation (if not their origin) at MIT during and after the war: systems and cybernetics (Norbert Weiner, Jay Forrester), but also computer language design (Muriel Cooper), process-driven urbanism (Gyorgy Kepes and Kevin Lynch), and computer-driven visualization of data and embodied interfaces (the Media Lab).
This forum was moderated by Caroline A. Jones, professor of Architecture at MIT and director of the program in History, Theory + Criticism.