E.A.T. was an organisation launched by the engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and the artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman in 1966, stemming from their collaboration on the legendary events 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering held in New York that same year. The aim of the organisation was to build on the urgency and excitement experienced during 9 Evenings by creating a not-for-profit platform to facilitate one-on-one collaborations between artists, scientists and engineers.
E.A.T.’s work included international spectacles such as the infamous Pepsi Pavilion for Expo’70 in Osaka, Japan and situated social practices such as Projects Outside Art. The latter saw the development of a range of functional artistic projects including the production of instructional programmes for dairy farmers, broadcast on satellite television across rural India.
Arts Catalyst Presents Experiments in Art and Technology will include archival presentations and film screenings, making public this rich history of pioneering cross-disciplinary collaboration. It has been developed in close collaboration with Julie Martin, Director of E.A.T. and Barbro Schultz Lundestam the filmmaker responsible for documenting much of their activities.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a talks programme developed in collaboration with Afterall’s Exhibition Histories series, that will reflect on the histories of art and technology in performance, transdisciplinary collaboration, and the influence of the 1960s on contemporary art today.
Also included in 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering Revisited, 1966/2016 programme is a new commission by Robert Whitman (of E.A.T.) titled Side Effects a night of experimental performance on Friday 7 October at the Crossing, Kings Cross.
This programme is supported by Arts Council England, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation, PACE, Afterall, Central Saint Martins, UAL, King’s Cross and Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Westminster, London: The Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) with the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture (IMCC) and The Performance Studio.