Visions of the Present

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Visioner av nuet, the Stockholm Festival for Art and Technology, was held at Tekniska Museet in Stockholm on 18-25 September 1966.

"The festival was initiated by Knut Wiggen, Chairman of Fylkingen, and was originally called 'Stockholm Festival for Art and Technology'. Knut Wiggen had involved the Swedish engineer Billy Klüver, who worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, in the project of exploring how artists could use the 'new technology', and what would happen if artists and engineers collaborated. Billy Klüver coordinated new performances by the New York artists Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, David Tudor, Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, Robert Whitman, Steve Paxton, Alex Hay, Lucinda Childs and Öyvind Fahlström, who collaborated with a group of engineers from Bell Laboratories. The group worked together for months, preparing the performances for what in New York was referred to as 'The Stockholm Thing'.

But after conflicts between Fylkingen and the Klüver group (mostly due to financial and some technical issues, but arguably also because of unresolvable differences in mindset) the American contribution was cancelled last minute, leading the Americans to organize their own event — what became the now-famous 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering, held at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York in October 1966.

In Sweden the festival took place as planned from 19–25th of September 1966, called Visioner av Nuet. Even though it had lost the majority of its artistic acts, making it more of a congress than a performance event, it included prominent speakers such as Iannis Xennakis, Yona Friedman, Sven Fagerberg and Kostas Axelos, and also showed art and music works by artists like Alvin Lucier, Karl-Birger Blomdahl, Ralph Lundsten, Åke Karlung and Nam June Paik." (Source)

In 2013, Anna Lundh organised a follow-up to this event, entitled Visions of the Now. This international festival and congress on the subjects of art and technology took place at Fylkingen in Stockholm on 24–26 May.

  • Fylkingen International Bulletin 1 & 2, Stockholm, 1967. Special issues on the festival. [1] (English)/(French)
  • Julie Cirelli (ed.), Visions of the Now: Stockholm Festival for Art and Technology, Stockholm, 2013.