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Programming Chance


Emily Harvey Foundation
537 Broadway, Second Floor, 212-925-7651
November 13 - December 8, 2007
Web Site

curated by James Fuentes

John Cage, Jean Dupuy, Alison Knowles, William Stone & Aaron Young

The Emily Harvey Foundation is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition in its New York space, Programming Chance curated by James Fuentes. The unifying principal in the work exhibited is having been created by means of a computer or machine. Two of the works; Heart Beats Dust (1967) by Jean Dupuy and Studies in Perception I (1967) by Ken Knowlton were exhibited in the seminal Machine as seen at the end of the mechanical age at the Museum of Modern Art in1968. These were important early works produced by E.A.T. Experiments in Art and Technology a group founded by Billy Klu?ver, Fred Waldhauer, Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman.

Jean Dupuy’s Heart Beats Dust (1967) consists of a black rectangular box with a window at eye level opening onto a cube. At the bottom of the cube is a rubber membrane with blood-red dust resting on its surface. A stethoscope used by the viewer amplifies his or her own heartbeat by way of a speaker mounted directly under the membrane, which activates the dust. Engineer Ralph Martel was the collaborator.

Alison Knowles’ House of Dust (published in 1968 by Gebru?der Ko?nig) is a computerized poem. The poem consists in quatrains resulting from randomly generated permutations: “a house of” (list material), (list location) (list light source) (list inhabitants). James Tenney was the engineer on this project. In William Stone’s Branching Drawings (1999) a computer program generates line drawings. One line splits into two, then four until the entire space is filled. Charles Waldman was the programmer for this work.

Studies in Perception I (1966) is an early example of image processing. Kenneth Knowlton and LD Harmon scanned a photograph with a special camera, converting analog voltages to binary numbers, which were stored on magnetic tape. Another program assigned typographic symbols to these numbers according to halftone densities. This was finally printed by a microfilm plotter. The resultant image resembles the photograph but is comprised of symbols.

John Cage’s Computer determined I-Ching Hexagram (1967), revived ancient methods of randomization such as dice or yarrow stalks, bringing them into the burgeoning activities of experimental composition and concrete poetry. The program was created at University of Illinois at Carbondale during Buckminster Fuller’s tenure there.

Aaron Young’s will debut his newest series of paintings resultant from an interaction between painted surfaces and motorcycle friction. Wink 1100 has been a consistent advisor for this project consulting on aspects ranging from tire density, the machines distribution of weight and performance.

Emily Kreis Harvey was a New York gallerist known for her support of the international avant-garde community particularly Fluxus and Intermedia artists. The Emily Harvey Foundation, founded in 2004, offers residencies in Venice, Italy, for creative thinkers in mid to late career who work the leading edges of their disciplines.

Curator James Fuentes is the owner of James Fuentes LLC a contemporary art gallery in south of the Bowery in New York City. The gallery represents a cross generational and inter-disciplinary group of artists including; Brian DeGraw, Agathe Snow, William Stone, Lizzi Bougatsos, David Perry, and Georg Gatsas.

A special thanks to Christine Frohnert’s extensive restoration of Heart Beats Dust, Christian Xatrec of the Emily Harvey Foundation for helping see this project through and Julie Martin’s ongoing commitment to E.A.T. related projects.
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