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Artists-in-Residence Programs

1968 - 1969

The Quarry: MLA-ALA Exploratory Lithographic Workshop

1968 - 1969

Quarry Poster

Poster designed by Robert Rauschenberg

In 1968 E.A.T. organized an artist-in residence project, called The Quarry: MLA-ALA Exploratory Lithographic Workshop. It was arranged as a pilot project between E.A.T. and Local No. 1, Amalgamated Lithographers of America (ALA), for artists to use the facilities of Local No. 1, Lithographic Center, at 113 University Place, NY, which had advanced lithographic equipment like multicolor machines with cybernetic systems, electronic scanners, photoelectric timers and computers. The project began with mutual enthusiasm. ALA President Edward Swayduck and E.A.T. thought that artists working at the center with engineers and journeymen lithographers might produce new concepts, art forms and commercial applications for lithography.


The Local No.1 agreed to provide all materials, personnel and incidental costs. E.A.T would assist and advise on procedures to most effectively use equipment and personnel. Artists would be selected by E.A.T.


The project was announced in a joint press conference at the Quarry on February 15, 1968. The March 1968 issue of E.A.T. News invited artists with specific projects making use of lithographic equipment to submit them to E.A.T. Visits were to be arranged for artists or engineers wishing to become familiar with the equipment at the Quarry.


Between April 1968 and May 1969. E.AT. submitted over 23 names of artists for the project, some having shown earlier interest in this kind of project. Robert Rauschenberg, who inaugurated the project by making a print, was largely responsible for the selection and scheduling of artists. Preferences seemed to be given young artists, not necessarily well known, who were considered to be inclined toward experimentation. The artists working at the Quarry during the first year were Mel Bochner, Brice Marden and Marjorie Strider, aside from Rauschenberg himself. George Segal and Louise Nevelson later investigated possibilities of working there. The artists were excited about experimenting with the kind of equipment available and some executed  finished works.

Singer Central Research Laboratory

September 1968

Singer notes by Mel Bochner

A page from Mel Bochner's notes on Singer Central Research Laboratory.

Plans for E.A.T. to arrange for an artist-in-residence at the Singer Central Research Laboratory in Denville, New Jersey, began in the summer of 1968 through Harry B. Fuge, director of corporate research at Singer. Given preference for an artist working in two-dimensions with computer equipment, having no knowledge of computers but being highly articulate, E.A.T. selected four artists from their files. In August 1968, the artists met with Richard 0. Decker, research manager of Singer, in charge of the project, and Edwin Web, a physicist slated to work with the artists. Apparently impressed with all the artists interviewed, the two selected Mel Bochner, who had been working in series art based on mathematics.


Mel Bochner began residency at Singer's laboratory in September 1968. He given a contract for a year and put on Singer's payroll. Coming to the laboratory about twice a week, Bochner became familiar with the equipment and developed specific ideas for its use, including color analysis by computer. Some of his ideas remained unrealized for nontechnical reasons. At the laboratory, Bochner compiled technical information for his own use and interest -- the "Singer Notes" and later readied them for publication.

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