Only Human
Experiments In Art & Technology: 1960s & Today Symposium

Saturday, May 12,
10AM–6PM


SCHEDULE

10AM
Check-In & Coffee/Breakfast

11AM
Welcome & Intro Remarks

11:15AM
Introduction

11:40AM
Panel, Experiments in Art and Technology: Then & Now

12:45PM
In-Conversation, Hammerstep & Nokia Bell Labs Engineers

1:20PM
Panel, Breaking the Fifth Wall: Re-Imagining the Theater Experience

2:30PM Lunch

3:45PM
In-Conversation, Sougwen Chung & Nokia Bell Labs Engineer

4PM
Hammerstep Performance, INDIGO GREY: The Micah Grey Experiment

4:20PM
Panel, Parallel Visions: Co-Agencies of Man & Machine

5:40PM
Sougwen Chung Performance, Omnia per Omnia

6PM
Cocktails

7PM
Hammerstep Performance, INDIGO GREY: The Micah Grey Experiment

Experiments In Art & Technology:
1960s & Today Symposium

 Hammerstep

Hammerstep

Organized on the occasion of the exhibition Only Human, presented by NEW INC and Nokia Bell Labs at Mana Contemporary, this day-long symposium offers a deeper dive into some of the ideas, themes, and technological research explored in the works on view. The symposium, “Experiments In Art & Technology: 1960s & Today,” will also reflect on the legacy of the Experiments In Art & Technology (E.A.T.) program (1967–2001), founded by artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman, and Bell Labs engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer.

Radically novel in its day, E.A.T. was responsible for bringing the worlds of art and engineering closer together—for introducing an interdisciplinary exchange that would go on to influence and shape both fields. Today, the worlds of art and technology are not quite as far apart as they seemed since the Program’s inception, and in many ways, the both fields have even become deeply intertwined.

This symposium offers an opportunity to look back at the profound change that has occurred over the past fifty years in art, technology, and society, and to consider how today’s collaborations between artists and technologists might have a different role to play.


SCHEDULE

10AM
Check-In & Coffee/Breakfast

11AM
Welcome & Intro Remarks

11:15AM
Introduction
The Future of Innovation Is Art & Technology Collaborations
Domhnaill Hernon, Head of Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.), Nokia Bell Labs

11:40AM
Panel
Experiments in Art and Technology: Then & Now

Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) introduced a new way of thinking and working between the fields of art and engineering. Its mission was to engage artists and technologists in a critical examination of the forces shaping contemporary society and culture. E.A.T. paved the way for generations of artists who would explore technology as a new medium, develop new forms of creative expression, and investigate the present and future impact of digital media. In this conversation, Julie Martin, the original curator and director of E.A.T. is joined by Domhnaill Hernon of Nokia Bell Labs and Helen Hsu of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation to discuss E.A.T.’s work, its influence, and how the worlds of art and technology have transformed over the past fifty years. To learn more about the history of E.A.T., visit “The Story of Experiments in Art and Technology” installation of the Only Human exhibition, which features archival photography, text, and documentation of performances from the program’s seminal event in 1966, 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering.

SPEAKERS
Moderated by Julia Kaganskiy, Director, NEW INC
Julie Martin, Curator and Director of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.)
Helen Hsu, Associate Curator, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Domhnaill Hernon, Head of Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.), Nokia Bell Labs

12:45PM
In-Conversation
Hammerstep & Nokia Bell Labs Engineers

Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus, co-founders and creative directors of Hammerstep, will introduce the audience to the world of INDIGO GREY, an original immersive theater production currently being developed by the studio. They will share their creative process and research residency at Nokia Bell Labs, and will be joined in conversation by members of the Bell Labs drone technology team to discuss details of their collaboration.

1:20PM
Panel
Breaking the Fifth Wall: Re-Imagining the Theater Experience

Theater has long been a space for technological innovation and experimentation. The first program produced by E.A.T. in the 1960s was called 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering and featured experimental performances from Robert Rauschenberg, Merce Cunningham, Yvonne Rainer, and Lucinda Childs, among others. In recent years, spectacular special effects, high-tech scenography, and the rise of immersive theater, among other innovations, have all contributed to an evolution in the proscenium theatrical experience. This panel will explore new audience engagement and storytelling possibilities afforded by technology in the space of theater, dance, and the audience-performer dynamic.

SPEAKERS
Moderated by Karen Wong, Deputy Director, New Museum
Garrett Coleman, Co-Founder, Hammerstep
Jason Oremus, Co-Founder, Hammerstep
Lance Weiler, Director, Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab
Toni Dove, Artist and Director

2:30PM
Lunch

3:45PM
In-Conversation
Sougwen Chung & Nokia Bell Labs Engineer

Multimedia artist Sougwen Chung investigates the relationship between humans and computers through the drawn line, as well as installation, sculpture, film, and performance. She will discuss her ongoing research into drawing collaborations with robotic entities, as well as how her time at Nokia Bell Labs informed the new body of work she developed for Only Human. Chung will be joined by Bell Labs engineer Larry O’Gorman, whose motion engine software helps drive her fleet of drawing robots.

4PM
Hammerstep Performance, INDIGO GREY: The Micah Grey Experiment
Limited capacity. RSVP required.

4:20PM
Panel
Parallel Visions: Co-Agencies of Man & Machine

In the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, our reliance on, relationship to, and co-existence with machines is being rapidly re-negotiated with each technological breakthrough. This panel will explore the nature of human-machine collaboration and the implications for authorship, agency, composite imaginations, and pluralistic approaches to the creative process. It will also investigate our fast-developing relationships with robots and what their imminent integration into our daily lives might mean.

SPEAKERS
Sougwen Chung, Artist
Christiane Paul, Associate Curator of New Media, Whitney Museum
Taeyoon Choi, Artist and Co-Founder, School for Poetic Computation
Moderated by Georgia King, Ideas Editor, Quartz

5:40PM
Sougwen Chung Performance, Omnia per Omnia

6PM
Cocktails

7PM
Hammerstep Performance, INDIGO GREY: The Micah Grey Experiment
Limited capacity. RSVP required.


PERFORMANCES

4PM & 7PM (RSVP required)
Hammerstep, INDIGO GREY: The Micah Grey Experiment
Theater

RSVP

5:40PM
Sougwen Chung, Omnia per Omnia
Gallery 1