Software (exhibition)

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Catalogue cover

Show curated by an artist and critic Jack Burnham for the Jewish Museum in Brooklyn, New York City, on 16 September - 8 November 1970, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., on 16 December 1970 - 14 February 1971. The show put together computers and conceptual artists, linking them through the idea of software as a process or a program to be carried out by a machine or, why not, by the audience based on "instruction lines" formulated by the artist.

Participating artists: Vito Acconci, David Antin, Architecture Group Machine M.I.T., John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Linda Berris, Donald Burgy, Paul Conly, Agnes Denes, Robert Duncan Enzmann, Carl Fernbach-Flarsheim, John Godyear, Hans Haacke, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Nam June Paik, Alex Razdow, Sonia Sheridan, Evander D. Schley, Theodosius Victoria, Laurence Weiner.


  • Jack Burnham, "Notes on Art and Information Processing", in Software - Information Technology: Its New Meaning for Art, catalogue, 1970, pp 10-14.
  • Dore Ashton, "Software Everywhere: Jewish Museum, NY, exhibition", Studio International, Vol. 180 (November 1970), pp 200-202.
  • Bitite Vinklers, "Art and Information: 'Software' at the Jewish Museum", Arts Magazine, Vol. 45, No. 1 (September 1970), p 46.
  • Robert Mallory, "Notes on Jack Burnham's Concepts of a Software Exhibition", Leonardo, Volume 3, Number 2 (1970), pp 189-190.
  • Jack Burnham, "Comments on Mallary's Note", Leonardo, Volume 3, Number 2 (April 1970), pp 265-266. A response to Robert Mallory's review of the Software show, in the same issue.
  • Jack Burnham, "Duchamp's Bride Stripped Bare: The Meaning of the Large Glass", Arts Magazine, March-May 1972. Large Glass (1915-22) served as an architectural model for the installation of the Software exhibition.
  • Jack Burnham, "Art and Technology: The Panacea That Failed", in The Myths of Information, edited by Kathleen Woodward, Coda Press, 1980.
  • Edward A. Shanken, "The House That Jack Built: Jack Burnham's Concept of Software as a Metaphor for Art". Originally published in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 6, No. 10 (November, 1998). Reprinted in Reframing Consciousness: Art, Mind and Technology, edited by Roy Ascott (Exeter, England: Intellect Books, 1999).
  • Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Nick Montfort, "From Software - Information Technology: Its New Meaning for Art ", in The New Media Reader (2003).
  • Lutz Dammbeck, a synopsis of the "Software" show, the planning behind it and the works it contained, 2003. (German) [1]
  • Vincent Bonin, comments on and description of the catalog of the Software show, Daniel Langlois Foundation, 2004. (French, English)

External links