E.A.T.

eat manifesto

Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) was a non-profit established in 1967 to develop collaborations between artists and engineers by the engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and the artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman. They had previously collaborated, most notably in 1966 for ‘9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering,’ a series of performance art presentations that united artists and engineers. Also in 1966, 10 New York artists worked with 30 engineers and scientists from the world renowned Bell Telephone Laboratories to create groundbreaking performances that incorporated new technology. Video projection, wireless sound transmission, and Doppler sonar had never been seen in art.

The installation gathered the vast and insightful but also often undecipherable shards, artifacts, apparatus, photographs, drawings, diagrams, correspondence, and documentary film footage that provides information, but little if any comprehensive understanding of a series of ten individual works that, although wildly uneven on every level from aesthetic to technical, have entered the canon of performance art, experimental music and theater, bridging the gap from the eras of Dada, Fluxus and the Happenings/Actions of the 1960s, through the current generation of arts for whom multimedia and technology are the norm. The pinnacle of E.A.T. activity is generally considered to be the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ’70 at Osaka Japan where E.A.T. artists and engineers collaborated to design and program an immersive dome that included a fog sculpture by Fujiko Nakaya.

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