The Choreography of the Console: The Design of Electronic Environments and their Operators in the Cold War

This talk was given in Zurich at ETH in autumn 2014. In the late 1950 and 1960s a new kind of non-human actor appeared on the movie screens and televisions around the world. The console – an electronic panel or unit operated with dials, switches or buttons – appeared in numerous Cold War thrillers and … Continue reading

Sounding the Body Electric – art, cybernetics and electro-acoustic music in Eastern Europe in the 1960s

    Neo-Constructivist, light and kinetic art, cybernetic design, concrete and electro-acoustic music were fields of high creativity and experiment in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. Seizing the opportunities presented by the relaxation of political control of the arts after Stalinism and exploiting the new official encouragement given to cybernetics, electronics and computing, … Continue reading

Electric Birdsong

The University of Brighton Gallery is currently hosting a retrospective exhibition of the work of German sound artist Peter Vogel. Spindly frames dressed with transistors and capped with speakers eschew monumentality or anything as straightforward as a message. They are like electronic pets which respond to the presence of people. When a viewer casts a … Continue reading

The Art of Cybernetic Communism

This article is due to appear in a book in Poland. It has been a long time in production so here is a chance to read it sooner rather than later …