Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 42(1-2): The Experimental Generation (2017)

3 September 2017, dusan

“This special double issue of ISR came out of the conference The experimental generation: networks of interdisciplinary praxis in post war British art (1950–1970) we organized together in 2014, exploring an apparent convergence of interest in art and science around the notion of social responsibility in the 1960s. …

It is rarely recognized that Cambridge was something of a hotbed of interdisciplinary exploration in the 1960s. Within this issue we seek to bring some of the leading figures behind this into the foreground, from the Language Research Unit led by Margaret Masterman to the Centre for Land Use and Built Form Studies created by Leslie Martin in the Architecture Department. Cambridge was, after all, where C.P. Snow (re)ignited the ‘Two Cultures’ debate in 1959; where two key figures in cybernetics and systems theory, Gordon Pask and Robin McKinnon-Wood, met as undergraduates, founded their company ‘System Research’ and developed their first early computers. Ian Sommerville, the precocious mathematician who invented the ‘Dreamachine’ with Bryon Gysin was an undergraduate at Trinity College when he invited Gustav Metzger to give his first public lecture/demonstration on Auto-Destructive Art for the Heretics Society in 1960. In 1964, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, played host to the ‘First International Exhibition of Concrete, Kinetic and Phonic Poetry’ initiated by a young academic in the English department, Michael Weaver who gathered together over 60 works by poets and artists from 14 countries for a week’s exhibition in a Cambridge college. He worked closely with Reg Gadney, Philip Steadman and Stephen Bann who co-edited a formative issue of IMAGE magazine, on Kinetic Art: Concrete Poetry in November 1964. Steadman, Weaver and Bann went on to launch Form (1966–1969).

As a founder member of the Cambridge University Artists Group, Gadney was instrumental in spreading knowledge of Kinetic Art methods and techniques through articles in the student magazine Granta as well as the London Magazine. In 1965 Metzger was invited back to Cambridge to deliver his ‘Chemical Revolution in Art’ lecture attended by Bann, Gadney and Steadman. In his article for this journal Professor Stephen Bann looks back at the art and ideas that informed his book Experimental Painting, published in 1970, which took developments in art of the previous decade as its subject.

This issue spotlights a period that is still within living memory, and still reverberates today. In encouraging such a diversity of articles we have followed our instincts as curators rather than historians. We have gathered together a constellation of voices, from pioneers to emerging scholars, in order to encourage and facilitate unanticipated connections.” (from the Introduction)

Edited by Bronać Ferran and Elizabeth Fisher
Publisher Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, London, 2017
ISSN 0308-0188
224 pages

Publisher

PDF (33 MB)

Marta Traba: Arte latinoamericano actual (1972) [Spanish]

17 August 2017, dusan

In this book, Marta Traba examines how the growing influence of American art shaped the art of Latin America during the 1950s and 1960s, and how Latin American artists have both succumbed and resisted the effects of this influence.

Publisher Ediciones de la Biblioteca Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, 1972
Nuevos Planteamientos series, 10
117 pages
via ICAA Docs

WorldCat

PDF (5 MB)

Branislav Jakovljević: Alienation Effects: Performance and Self-Management in Yugoslavia, 1945-91 (2016)

17 February 2017, dusan

“In the 1970s, Yugoslavia emerged as a dynamic environment for conceptual and performance art. At the same time, it pursued its own form of political economy of socialist self-management. Alienation Effects argues that a deep relationship existed between the democratization of the arts and industrial democracy, resulting in a culture difficult to classify. The book challenges the assumption that the art emerging in Eastern Europe before 1989 was either “official” or “dissident” art, and shows that the break up of Yugoslavia was not a result of “ancient hatreds” among its peoples but instead came from the distortion and defeat of the idea of self-management.

The case studies include mass performances organized during state holidays; proto-performance art, such as the 1954 production of Waiting for Godot in a former concentration camp in Belgrade; student demonstrations in 1968; and body art pieces by Gina Pane, Joseph Beuys, Marina Abramovic, and others. Alienation Effects sheds new light on the work of well-known artists and scholars, including early experimental poetry by Slavoj Žižek, as well as performance and conceptual artists that deserve wider, international attention.”

Publisher University of Michigan Press, 2016
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND License
ISBN 9780472900589
xii+369 pages

Review: Aleksandra Jovićević (Peščanik).

Publisher
OAPEN
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (3 MB)
Images, PDF (HathiTrust)
PDF chapters (Jstor)