Tuesday 09/21/21 1PM
Conversations · Exhibition-Related · Exhibition-Related

Experiments in Art and Technology: Then and Now

Cover Image:

“Ed Atkins: Get Life/Love’s Work,” 2021. Exhibition view: New Museum, New York. Photo: Dario Lasagni

This panel discussion reflects on the legacy of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), the influential, genre-defying program founded by Bell Labs engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman. Originally formed in 1967, E.A.T. pioneered cutting-edge collaborations between scientists and contemporary artists including legendary figures such as John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Marta Minujín, and Stan VanDerBeek, among many others.

Recently relaunched by Nokia-Bell Labs, the program resulted in a series of collaborations with the New Museum, culminating in the recent major commission “Ed Atkins: Get Life/Love’s Work,” now on view at the New Museum.

Join curator and director of Acute Art Daniel Birnbaum; former Head of E.A.T. at Nokia-Bell Labs, Domhnaill Hernon; co-founder of E.A.T., Julie Martin; and artist Philippe Parreno for a conversation moderated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director of the New Museum. Panelists will examine the history of E.A.T. programs and discuss how its creative and critical approaches can inform contemporary debates around art and technology.

About the Speakers

Daniel Birnbaum is a Swedish art critic, theoretician, curator; and the director of Acute Art, a platform which brings together international artists, new media, and technology to produce and exhibit visual artworks in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). Birnbaum was the director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm before joining Acute Art in January 2019. Previously, Birnbaum curated the first Moscow Biennale (2005); “Airs de Paris,” with Christine Macel, at the Centre Pompidou (2007); the second Yokohama Triennial (2008); and “Zero,” with Tijs Visser, at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin (2015). In 2009 he was director of the 53rd Venice Biennale. Birnbaum co-authored Spacing Philosophy: Lyotard and the Idea of the Exhibition with Swedish philosopher and professor Sven-Olov Wallenstein (Sternberg Press 2019).

Domhnaill Hernon is a technology, innovation, and creativity executive. He is the global lead and co-founder of an initiative at EY to create the Cognitive Human Enterprise, an approach to amplify organizational cognitive diversity by investing in full-spectrum diversity and multidisciplinary collaboration. While at Nokia Bell Labs, he founded an initiative to fuse art and engineering/science to develop solutions that humanize technology. Domhnaill’s work has been featured in WIRED, Times Square, SXSW, NASDAQ, MWC, Ars Electronica, TEDx, and Inspirefest, among others, and he advises innovation and cultural programs globally. Domhnaill holds an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering, a PhD in Aerodynamics from the University of Limerick, and an executive MBA from Dublin City University.

Julie Martin is a writer, editor, and producer who has worked with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) since the 1960s. She worked with Robert Whitman extensively, collaborating with Whitman and other artists on the performance series “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering” at the 69th Regiment Armory, New York. In 1967, Martin joined the staff of E.A.T. as editor and worked closely with Billy Klüver on projects that E.A.T. carried out from 1966 to the present. With Klüver and art historian Barbara Rose, Martin coedited the book Pavilion (E. P. Dutton, 1972) that documents the Pepsi Pavilion, which was designed and built by E.A.T. for Expo ’70 in Osaka. Martin is co-executive producer of a series of films, begun in 1995, which document the artists’ performances in “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering.” She is also the coordinating producer of Whitman’s theater performances Swim (2015), Local Report (2012 and 2005), Passport (2011), and MoonRain (2010). Martin is currently editing a collection of Klüver’s writings. She holds a BA in philosophy from Radcliffe College and a MA in Russian Studies from Columbia University.

Philippe Parreno is a French artist and filmmaker working in a wide range of media, including film, sculpture, performance, drawing, and text. Select solo exhibitions and site-specific installations include “Philippe Parreno: A Manifestation of Objects” at The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan (2019); “Echo” at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, United States (2019); “Anywhen” at the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2016); and “Anywhere, Anywhere Out Of The World” at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013). Parreno’s multidisciplinary practice has led to collaborations with artists Liam Gillick, Carsten Höller, Pierre Huyghe, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, among others. He holds degrees from the École des Beaux-Arts de Grenoble and from the Institut des Hautes Etudes en arts plastiques at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.


We strive to make our programs as accessible as possible. For full accessibility information, including services available by request, please click here.


New Museum Digital Initiatives are generously supported by Hermine and David B. Heller.

We gratefully acknowledge the Research & Residency Council of the New Museum for its support of Education and Public Engagement Programs.

This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special thanks to the American Chai Trust.

Support for “Ed Atkins: Get Life/Love’s Work” can be viewed here.

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