In New York: The transformative influence of computers on Postwar Artists, Architects & Designers

Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-1989, brings works either made by computers or derived from computational thinking together.

Drawn largely from The Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, the exhibition of nearly 100 objects spans across different mediums, showing the last impact that computers have had on new modes of aesthetics and artistic production. Artists, architects and designers who were operating at the vanguard of art and technology between 1959 and 1989 were challenged to use computing to reconsider their artistic, industrial and economic work methods.

The exhibition reveals how these thinking machines reshaped art making, working life, and social connections.

The intersection of art, design, and technology has long been discussed and exhibited at the Museum – since the 1930s – Thinking Machines examines the cultural relationships that have been synonymous with the postwar era.

Thinking Machines includes works by John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, Waldemar Cordeiro, Charles Csuri, Richard Hamilton, Alison Knowles, Beryl Korot, Vera Molnár, Cedric Price, and Stan VanDerBeek, alongside computers designed by Tamiko Thiel and others at Thinking Machines Corporation, IBM, Olivetti, and Apple Computer.

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Stan VanDerBeek. Poemfield No. 1. 1967. 16mm film transferred to video (color, silent). 4:45 min. Realized with Ken Knowlton. Courtesy Estate of Stan VanDerBeek and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Photo by Lance Brewer. © 2017 Estate of Stan VanDerBeek

Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959-1989 runs from 13 November, 2017 to 8 April, 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY (Floor 3, The Philip Johnson galleries).

Seen at top: Lee Friedlander. Boston, Massachusetts. 1985. Gelatin silver print. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. E.T. Harmax Foundation Fund. © Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

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