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04 JUNE 2013

The Senster: pioneering cybernetic sculpture

"The Senster, commissioned by the electronics giant, Philips, for their permanent showplace, the Evoluon, in Eindhoven, was a much bigger and more ambitious piece of work than SAM. In addition to responding to people's voices, the Senster also responded to their movements, which it detected by means of radar, and was (as far as I know) the first robotic sculpture to be controlled by a computer. It was unveiled in 1970 and remained on permanent show until 1974 when it was dismantled.

Its size – it was over 15 feet (4 m) long and could reach as high into the air – made the use of aluminium castings inappropriate, so it was welded out of steel tubing, with the castings employed only in the more intricate microphone positioning mechanism. Its behaviour, controlled by a computer, was much more subtle than SAM's but still fairly simple. The microphones would locate the direction of any predominant sound and home in on it, rather like SAM but much more efficiently, and the rest of the structure would follow them in stages if the sound persisted. Sudden movements or loud noises would make it shy away. The complicated acoustics of the hall and the completely unpredictable behaviour of the public made the Senster's movements seem a lot more sophisticated than they actually were. It soon became obvious that it was that behaviour and not anything in its appearance which was responsble for the impact which the Senster undoubtedly had on the audience."

(Aleksandar Zivanovic)

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TAGS

1970acousticsart + technologyartificial intelligenceartificial life • audio activated • audio controlledautomata • computer controlled • computer historycomputer sculpturecybernetic art • cybernetic sculpture • Cybernetic Serendipitycybernetics • direction detection • Edward Ihnatowicz • Eindhoven • futuristic machineshanging mobileinteractive artinteractive toykinetic artkinetic sculpturemechanical beingmechanismmovementPhilipsradarrobotroboticrobotic sculpturerobotics • SAM (Sound Activated Mobile) • sculptureshow (spectacle)simulation • sound activated • sound sculpturespeculative design • The Senster • wonderment

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 APRIL 2012

Irony and Utopia: a history of computer art

Fig.1 Jean Tinguely 1960). Homage to New York.

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TAGS

19651975amateurismauthorship • Beau Sievers • chrome age • commercial computer graphics • computer and video games • computer art practicecomputer artistscomputer gamescomputer graphicscomputer musicconvergenceCybernetic Serendipitydigital cultureE.A.T.eco arthistoryHomage to New YorkJean Tinguelymedia artnet.artnew media • scientific computer graphics • skeptical perspective • sub-amateur • utopian perspectivevideo gamesvirtual realityvisualisation • weak gestures

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 SEPTEMBER 2011

Nina Wenhart's blog on the prehysteries of new media

"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."

(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)

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TAGS

20th centuryAlan Turingapplied researchARarchiveArs Electronicaart • art + science • art + technologyart of codeartificial intelligenceartificial life • artistic molecules • artistic practice • artistic software • artistsASCIIASCII-Artatom • atomium • audiofiles • augmented realityavant-gardebody • Cave Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE) • code art • cold warcollection • collection of resources • computercomputer animationcomputer graphicscomputer history • computer programming language • computer research • computer sculptureconcept artconceptual artconceptualisationconcrete poetry • copy-it-right • creative practicecritical theorycross-disciplinaryculture industrycuratingcurationcut-up techniquecybernetic artCybernetic Serendipitycyberneticscyberpunkcyberspacecyborgdata miningdata visualisationdesign research • dream machine • E.A.T. • early new media • Edward Ihnatowiczengineers • Eugen Roth • exhibitionsexpanded cinemaexperimental musicexperimentation • female artists and digital media • flaneur • flaneuring on the net • Fluxusfoundgenerative artgenetic artglitch • Gordon Pask • GPSgraffiti • Grey Walter • GUI • hackers and painters • hackinghacktivismHCIHerbert FrankehistorieshistoryhypermediahypertextIannis Xenakisimagineeringinformation theoryinsightinstructionsinteractive artinterdisciplinaryInternet • Ivan Picelj • Jack Burnham • Julije Knifer • Ken Rinaldo • kinetic sculpture • Lidija Merenik • live visualsmagic • Manchester Mark 1 • manifestomappingmediamedia archaeologymedia art • media art histories • minimalism • mother of all demos • mousemusical scorenetartnew medianew media art • new media exhibition • new media festival • Nina Wenhart • open sourceopen space • out of print • particle systems • Paul Graham • performance • phonesthesia • playlistpoetrypoliticspractice-led • prehysteries of new media • prehystories of new mediaProcessing (software)programmingprogramming languageprojectspsychogeographyradio artrare • re:place • real-timeresearch artefactresources • retyped • ridiculous • rotten + forgotten • SAIC • sandin image processor • School of the Art Institute of Chicagoscientific visualisation • screen-based • SIGGRAPHSituationistsslide projectorslit-scansoftwaresoftware studiesspeculative designspeculative research • Stewart Brand • surveillancetactical mediataggingtechniquetechnologytelecommunicationtelematic arttelematic experiencetext • textparts • Theo Jansentheoretical contexttheory buildingtimeline • Turing Test • ubiquitous computingunabomberundergraduate researchvideo artvideo synthesizervirtual realityvisual musicvisual research • Vladimir Bonacic • VRWalter Benjaminwearable computing • Williams Tube • world fair • world machine • Xerox PARCZKM • [Nove] tendencije

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
07 FEBRUARY 2010

The 2010 Kinetica Art Fair: Pioneers and Masters of Kinetic Art

"Kinetica Art Fair is produced by Kinetica Museum and is the first of its kind in the UK. It provides collectors, curators and the public with a unique opportunity to view and purchase artworks from leading contemporary arts organisations and artists specialising in kinetic, electronic, robotic, light, sound, time–based and interdisciplinary new media art. For 2010, over 35 galleries and organisations are taking part with over 150 artists exhibiting.

The inaugural 2009 Kinetica Art Fair was a seminal cultural event, attracting over 9,000 visitors, and increased the importance and value of kinetic, electronic and new media art on a global level as well as in the mainstream arts press. Kinetica Art Fair 2010 will again take place at P3, the 14,000 sq ft multi–disciplinary arts venue at 35, Marylebone Rd (opposite Madame Taussauds).

For 2010 a special feature exhibition will be dedicated to the pioneers and Masters of kinetic art, with pieces on loan from private collection as well as original interactive installations from the 1968 exhibition of cybernetic art, Cybernetic Serendipity."

(Kinetica Museum, UK)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
31 OCTOBER 2006

Pioneering Event: Cybernetic Serendipity 1968

"To return to Computerized Haiku is to return to the early days not only of computerised art and literature but also of computing and the still relatively new science of cybernetics. Cybernetic Serendipity, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London in 1968, was the first major exhibition of computer art (although there had been several earlier exhibitions of computer graphics). [1] Cybernetic Serendipity was unusual in many ways. Scientists mixed with artists and no rigid distinction was made between visual art and literature. [2] In those days everything must have seemed possible and most things still to be done. Looking back from our vantage point, it is possible to observe how much is different ? and what may seem the same."
(Wayne Clements, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK)

[1] Reichardt, J. (ed.) (1968), Cybernetic Serendipity: the computer and the arts, a Studio International special issue. London: Studio International.

[2] There is a list of Addresses of Major Contributors To Cybernetic Serendipity in the Tate archive, London. The contributors of text pieces, including Masterman and McKinnon–Wood, are listed under graphics (the other categories are music, film and machines.)

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