The Machine, as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age
One of the most important exhibitions of the late 1960s dealing with art and technology.
It tried to contrast the ever growing evolution of technology with the humanistic values of art [Source: Computer Grafik. Ästhetische Experimente zwi…].
The title of the exhibition referred to the changing nature of the machine in the late 20th century: Having been the extension of the human muscles for centuries they by then where designed to imitated functions of the human brain.
The exhibition deals with the consequences resulting from this change: “What is the distinction between a man and a machine” or “Are machines becoming like humans, or vice versa?” [Source: The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechani…]
“Clearly, if we believe in either life or art, we must assume complete domination over machines, subject them to our will and direct them so that they may serve life in the most efficient way-taking as our criterion the totality of human life on this planet. [...] In planning for such a world, and in helping to bring it into being, artists are more important than politicians, and even than technicians. But, of course, it is not artists in whom we ordinarily most place our confidence.” (cited after [Source: Review of "The Machine"])
Nevertheless: “Perhaps the artist will show us the way to a better relationship [between man and machine]” [Source: Love, Hate and the Machine]
220 works where shown, displaying the myriad ways in which artists have viewed technology [Source: Love, Hate and the Machine].
The exhibition included works by Dürer and da Vinci as well as works by contemporary artist; during the preparation of the exhibition E.A.T. was asked to organize a competition in conjunction with “The Machine”, a competition “for the best contribution by an engineer to a work of art made in collaboration with an artist” [Source: Experiments in Art an Technology. A Brief Hi…].
About 200 entries from nine different countries where received. Nine (from [Source: The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechani…], [Source: The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechani…] states six) where selected to be shown at “The Machine”, the rest was shown at Some More Beginnings, Experiments in Art & Technology.
The winning entry was Heart Beats Dust, which was awarded $3000.
A program including computer-producted films, electronic music, lectures and discussions accompanied the exhibition. [Source: The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechani…] [Source: Computer Grafik. Ästhetische Experimente zwi…] [Source: Love, Hate and the Machine] [Source: Review of "The Machine"]
Review of the Exhibition : Time magazine issue, December 06, 1968.