top of page

Communications and Development

1969 - 1972

Anand Project : Educational Software for Satellite Transmission in India

00261 Anand dairy_buffalo sm.jpg

Buffalo participants in the Anand Project.

The Anand Project: Field Research Laboratories for Television Programming

During 1969, while working on the Pepsi Pavilion, Billy Klüver was frequently traveling between the United States and Japan, and stopped several times in India. Through contacts with the Sarabhai family, members of whom had long ties with the New York art and music world, Klüver met Vikram A. Sarabhai, a physicist, who was heading Indian space research efforts, and was particularly interested in the role of communication satellites for the purpose of education and economic development.


The US space agency, NASA, had had a program of developing satellites for communications since the agency was established in 1958. In 1966 NASA inaugurated a new series of satellites: the Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) series and wanted to conduct field tests using the ATS satellites for direct broadcast of television programs to ground receivers. Their studies showed that India satisfied the technical and geographic requirement to receive these broadcasts. At the time Sarabhai and Klüver first met, Sarabhai was in conversation with NASA to use the ATS-6  communications satellite for  an experimental project of direct broadcast of television programs to ground receivers in rural villages throughout India. At a meeting in Delhi in February 1969, Sarabhai described to Klüver plans he was pursuing for the educational television experiment.


Klüver soon discovered he and Sarabhai had mutual interests in the role that communications technology could play in education and also in the larger issues of India’s economic and social development.  Klüver and Sarabhai, over the course of the year, met several times in New York and in India to pursue ideas and proposals in the area of communications technology and development and to determine what the possible role E.A.T. could  have in these projects.  During this year, E.A.T developed several proposals for research into television, communications systems hardware and its use for economic development plans in India.


In a report on Activities published in June 1970, E.A.T. chronicled the year long collaboration with Sarabhai and the proposals he and E.A.T. developed for development projects in India: February 13, 1969 was the first meeting in Delhi with Dr. V. Sarabhai, Chairman of the Department of Atomic Energy. Sarabhai described plans for the DAE/ NASA television experiment and discussions were initiated about the possible role E.A.T. could play.

In March, meetings were held between E.A.T. staff and Sarabhai in New York, during which E.A.T. proposed to evaluate future image reproduction techniques for application to the Indian national television system. And one month later, April 20, 1969, in Ahmedabad, India, a final proposal was prepared in collaboration with Dr. Chitnis and Sarabhai for submission to the Ford Foundation, "Evaluation of Image Display Systems for India's Program of Television  for National Needs."

At a meeting on August 7 in Delhi there was discussion of a multi-purpose telecommunication system for education, instruction and development for India, followed by an August 28 meeting in New York about E.A.T. collecting information on terminal equipment and hardware for communication systems and explore of possible World Bank interest.


On September 16 there was a presentation to Sarabhai of research material gathered by E.A.T. on terminal equipment for educational uses of narrow band systems and a visit to AT&T for demonstrations of some of these devices. A one-page proposal suggesting three pre-investment studies in multipurpose telecommunication systems for India was prepared by E.A.T. for submission to the World Ban, titled "Application of New Technology for Education, Instruction and Information in Developing Countries: Suggested World Bank Involvement.”

In September 16, 1969 Vikram Sarabhai signed the agreement with NASA to undertake the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment or SITE. This experimental satellite communications project would provide instructional television programing to rural India, using the ATS-6 satellite and would be designed jointly by NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) headed by Sarabhai.


Sarabhai formally asked E.A.T. to participate in developing methods for creating instructional programming for television for television to be used for the ATS-F Satellite which was going to be placed over India. On October 18, discussions in Delhi focused the form E.A.T.’s  involvement would take. E.A.T. was to be  joined by The Nehru Institute for Development in Ahmedabad, India to collaborate in designing and establishing a field research laboratory for developing methods of producing instructional television software for satellite transmission to rural villages.

​E.A.T. assembled a group of experts in television production, television equipment, experimental psychology and measurement of learning effectiveness, utilization methods, systems design as well as members of E.A.T. staff and a visual artist. They traveled to India and from December 14 to 21 worked with their counterparts in India. Americans at the sessions were David Berkman, education systems consultant of Xerox; Nathan Maccoby, professor of communications and acting director of the Institute of Communications Research, Stanford University; Ernst Z. Rothkopf, supervisor of the Learning and Instructional Processes Research Group, Bell Labs; Fred Waldhauer, technical supervisor of the Digital Transmission Laboratories at Bell Labs,Holmdel, NJ; artist Robert Whitman and  E.A.T. staff members Billy Klüver, Julie Martin, and Peter Poole.

Indians at the sessions included E.V. Chitnis, secretary of the ISRO and program manager of the DAE/NASA experiment; P.K. Garg, consultant and psychologist; K.S. Karnik of the ISRO, staff analyst of the DAE, and assistant project manager of the DAE/NASA experiment; B.S. Rao, director of the Electronics System Division, ISRO, and project manager of the DAE/NASA experiment; and K.B. Shah, director of the Community Science Center, Nehru Foundation for Development.

The group met in Delhi and  then in Ahmedabad and visited surrounding areas and institutions. The group chose as target area the Anand Dairy Cooperative near Ahmedabad, and the goal was to produce educational material that would provide information and instruction for the women who raise and tend the milk-producing buffalo. The proposal developed by the group with a large contribution from Whitman was a system in which 1/2" video equipment was to be used in the villages to generate "visual research notes" for a script development stage. A unit equipped with 1/2" videotape recording and playback equipment would work in a village to develop a first approximation to the instructional material. They would encourage the active participation of the villagers in generating script ideas and material and any villager would operate the equipment if he/she so desired. This procedure would enable villagers to become familiar with equipment and production procedures, to suggest material to be taped, to perform in demonstrations and to react immediately to recorded material. In this reiteration process, the programming or instructional ideas were to be reviewed immediately in the village and modified according to the perceptions of the villagers. Their sensibilities would be fed back into the programming material in an attempt to preserve the village idioms and correspond to the visual sensitivities of the villagers.

​Based on this primary material and guided by carefully specified instructional objectives, a full production unit would produce 1- or 2-inch final instructional programs. These then would be transferred to the 1/2" format and shown in other villages for evaluation. The most valuable and innovative aspects of the project centered around the method for developing programming material for broadcast in close cooperation with local people in a village setting. ​During these meetings the group produced a draft report and In January 1970, a second draft of the report on the meeting and a proposal for pre-investment study, A Proposal for a Pre-Investment Study to Establish a Field Research Laboratory for Innovation in Education, prepared for submission to funding agencies jointly by E.A.T. and the Nehru Foundation for Development.

In March 1970,  E.A.T. staff members met with Sarabhai in Osaka, Japan, to deliver the final form of the report and proposal that incorporated changes suggested by the Indian participants. There was discussion of the proposal and sources of funds for the pre-investment study. In April E.A.T. met with Sarabhai in New York to discuss the practical form of E.A.T. participation in the project in light of recent objections by the Indian Government to foreign participation in developing television software. The project was put on hold to await the decisions by the Indian Government when in July 1970, NASA announced that plans for launching the ATS-6 satellite would be delayed several years.

However, E.A.T. adapted the proposal for an article describing the Anand project that was submitted for publication to the Public Opinion Quarterly in late September 1970 and then to the Educational Broadcasting Review. The article, not published, also described studies, proposals, and programs for television in India made by other organizations. The article emphasized one of E.A.T.’s primary interest in such experimental projects:

Technology is not culturally neutral; it comes with an ‘operations manual’ that is biased. Often standardized training contains a rigid attitude toward using the equipment and imposes methods and forms that are culturally arbitrary. Through experimental projects involving technology like the Anand project, it will be possible to develop techniques and procedures that allow for indigenous cultural input and mitigate the disruptive effects of new technology on the existing culture and environment.


As for E.A.T.’s involvement in the Indian Satellite television project, Klüver wrote in an E.A.T. Report of February 1971, ”The Anand Project is waiting for clearance in India. It is, at present, unlikely that the project will take the form we originally envisaged, and what our role will be is not clear.” Continued delays and Sarabhai’s untimely death in December 1971 also made E.A.T.’s participation more unlikely.  In the fall of 1972, as Julie Martin recalls, Sarabhai's widow, Mrnalini,  visited E.A.T. and asked for assistance in inexpensively procuring equipment for television programming, which she said had been closest to Vikram’s heart and was something she felt she could do. Her programming ideas involved puppetry and were being planned for the Kaira District Milk Producers' Union. And in fact puppetry was included in the programming when the satellite education project was launched several years later.


NASA launched the ATS-6 satellite in May 1974, and the one-year Indian SITE project began on August 1, 1975. From press reports, it was clear that some of the ideas for generating  and evaluating programming, and  the recognition of the importance of local input into the educational software that had been contained in the original E.A.T. proposals were used by the participants in the final SITE project.

Research and Proposals on Hardware and Software for Communications Systems

1969 - 1977


During 1969, working with Vikram Sarabhai and his team in India, Billy Klüver and E.A.T. had undertaken research on both hardware and programming equipment and methods for communications systems  for economic development, with the India situation the focus in particular.


E.A.T. became involved in certain aspects of the projected television network for India.   One aspect is to evaluate TV image production techniques, which will be applicable to the Indian situation in the next decade. Another aspect of E.A.T.’s involvement was gathering information on the variety of terminal equipment for broad-band and narrow-band systems suitable for education, instruction and information. On September 18, three pre-investment studies were presented to the World Bank on the use of telecommunication systems for education, instruction, and information in developing countries.


The proposal for the “Field Laboratory: A Field Research Laboratory for Innovation in Education for India; The Anand Project; An Experiment in Developing Television Software in Rural India” relied on use of half-inch video to make visual research notes in the villages, that were to be brought back to studio facilities to make final programming on 2-inch video. 

E.A.T. and Vikram Sarabhai made several joint research proposals to the World Bank: three pre-investment studies were presented to the World Bank on the use of telecommunication systems for education, instruction, and information in developing countries.  Their collaboration culminated with a meeting of American and Indian technical and communications experts in India in December 1969 and the subsequent proposal they developed “A Field Research Laboratory for Innovation in Education,” that was submitted to The Ford Foundation in February 1970. 

1970 - 1971

One research idea that E.A.T. pursued in Japan in the spring of 1970 that grew out of the experience of using Mylar and negative pressure to hold the mirror in place to create the large spherical mirror for the Pepsi Pavilion, and that was the idea of  -- the idea of soft-dish communications antennas.  During the spring of 1970 a series of discussions were held with Professor M. Oda of the Space Research Institute, Tokyo University, regarding the possibility of E.A.T. collaborating with Japanese astronomers to design soft-dish radio telescope parabolic antennas, using Mylar and shaped by creating a vacuum in the casing behind it. An informal proposal was submitted to Professor Oda as the basis of discussion with his colleagues. The proposal included a small dish for molecular spectroscopy as well as a large dish of the Arecibo type, for half—meter wave—length radio astronomy.


E.A.T. continued to conduct research and work with technical and organizational partners on projects and proposals for innovative uses of communications hardware and software for economic and social development. As E.A.T. staff continued to carry out research on television systems for developing countries, it became clear that portable half-inch format video cameras and equipment did not have the bandwidth or quality for use as a broadcast medium, and taking even 1-inch mobile recording equipment into remote locations outside the studio was not an option in the early 1970s. E.A.T. increasingly focused on the use of Super 8 film to create programs for television broadcast.  This interest in developing Super 8 film systems for producing programs for television began with the research and proposal for “USA Presents,” a project to celebrate the Bicentennial year of the founding of the United States, in which the idea that individuals or groups of people across the United States would make films about themselves for satellite broadcast. The proposal submitted in March 1971 included development of use Super 8 film, with Investigation and development of Super 8 film equipment needed: Super 8 film cameras, editing equipment, lights, sound equipment, film stock, etc.

In May 1971 E.A.T. submitted to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) two proposals for pre-investment studies related to television sys­tems for education and development in less developed countries, which were directed toward decreasing the costs of two ele­ments: reception sets and programming. The first would deter­mine the feasibility of making an intensive effort to de­sign an inexpensive, standardized, rugged television set using latest technology which could be used with various types of broadcasting and receiving systems. The study would also address the feasibility of designing and setting up manufacturing facilities for such sets in the develop­ing countries that would be deploying the sets.

The second study, based on the experience gained in working in India, proposed to examine the specifications for developing a system that used Super 8 film as a medium for creating programming, with the goal that  such a system would decrease costs and increase variety of locally-originated instructional and cultural material. E.A.T. proposed a comprehensive study of what would be necessary for a standardized, highly reliable Super 8 based system, capable of all phases of film production. Such a system would include: camera, type of film, cassette design, means of stabilizing the camera, sound recording and syn­chronization, processing facilities, methods of editing, methods of transfer to videotape. The study would evaluate the capabilities of presently available equipment in terms of producing broadcast quality material, survey what work is being done to up-grade equipment and materials, and make rec­ommendations for redesign and development of super 8 equip­ment for low-cost television programming. Both studies defined re­search and development programs in these areas, which could be undertaken by the UNDP.


Recording of  Indigenous Culture for Cultural  Programming in El Salvador


During 1972 E.A.T., become involved in plans to develop cultural and educational programming for public television channels  in El Salvador.


The Subsecretariat of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Ministry of Education, in El Salvador had the responsibility to study, preserve and develop the cultural resources of the country and reach the entire population of the country with relevant cultural programs. The Division of Culture had determined, there were not enough trained cultural and social workers to carry out its programs throughout the country and turned to television programming as a means to reach the wider population.


An infrastructure for television already existed in El Salvador and by July 1972, there would be two public channels and three fully equipped studios at Santa Tecla; and there would be time allotted for cultural and arts programming on the public channels. Perhaps more important, there were 95,000 television sets, or one set per 30 viewers, in El Salvador, and many were located in schools and institutions throughout the country. The great majority of the population rural and urban could view the cultural programming without further purchase of sets.


While the studio facilities at Santa Tecla could be used for a variety of cultural programs, Carlos De Sola of the Division of Culture of The Ministry of Education believed that production in studios of cultural events and activities could not provide complete coverage of the diversity of cultural activities throughout the country.

In January 1972, De Sola, invited Billy Klüver to visit El Salvador and work with him to gather information for a   feasibility study on mobile broadcast television production equipment and to formulate a plan for producing cultural programming on educational channels with significant input from individuals and groups all over the country for national broadcast. 


The study would make recommendations for a structure for decentralized production of out-of-studio cultural programming and would provide a basis for El Salvadorian officials to assess the feasibility, costs, procedures for pursuing locally originated television production. The report, “Television and Culture” recommended that regional production units be based in three cities: San Salvador, San Vincent, San Miguel, and Santa Ana. These units could be housed in a school Institute or other building owned by the Ministry of Education. Each unit would be equipped with portable video equipment. A basic unit would include three video cameras, recorders, monitors, editing and broadcast interface equipment, and a four-wheel drive vehicle.


The pre-investment study would formulate recommendations for a structure for decentralized production of cultural programming and provide a basis for El Salvadorian officials to assess the feasibility, costs, procedures for pursuing locally originated television production. The study would cover the following main areas: Identify what equipment will be most suitable for local use in the field recording, editing and transfer to broadcast medium; evaluate portable video equipment in half-inch or three-quarter inch formats, as well as film in Super 8 and 16 millimeter format; investigate procedures and methods for post-production editing of material generated in the field, and transferring it to a final form for existing national broadcasting facilities; determine the best way to assemble and train a staff to work with local people in generating their own programs; establish how repair and maintenance of equipment can be handled most efficiently and inexpensively.

Non-classroom Educational Programming in El Salvador


E.A.T. produced another proposal in 1972  for the Division of Educational Television in El Salvador, a pre-Investment  study on Non-classroom Educational Programming. The aim of the study is to present the division of Educational Television with a maximum number of alternatives and options on the basis of which the Division could develop its capability to produce non-classroom educational programming and generate effective adult instructional material.  El Salvador had one of the oldest and most completely developed in-school instructional television programs.  Local authorities wanted to broaden this television facility to include adult instructional material, not all of which would originate in the studio. The proposal prepared by E.A.T. was to make a thorough investigation of four aspects of non-classroom educational programming. Aim of The aim of the study is to present the Division of Educational Television with a maximum number of alternatives and options on the basis of which the division can make decisions and proceed to develop its capability to produce non-classroom educational programming. The following are the areas of the study: Alternative hardware, alternative hardware systems for producing out of studio material; Training programs and technical assistance in use of equipment and program research; Animation equipment techniques and effective use; Collection of existing foreign material.  Attached to this proposal was a separate section with short biographies of the Staff and Advisory Board E.A.T. had assembled that the project could call upon: f consultants, groups, institutions, universities and corporations who have agreed to consult and contribute to the project of non-classroom educational programming. There followed a listing of consultants by category of their expertise:  hardware and design system video film. Then field experience with affordable, portable equipment, training, equipment and operation and production skills. Training Program research and program development, animation collection of foreign programming material.


Resistance to this project developed on the part of the foreign aid-giving organization that had been responsible for the investment, which established an operational studio and was therefore unwilling to divert resources and personnel by investing in equipment and personnel that would work outside a studio situation. 


Super 8 System for Television in Developing Countries


During 1972 E.A.T. continued to pursue the idea of developing Super 8 film equipment for television programming, convinced of the advantages of Super 8:  low cost, lightweight equipment, smaller size of film stock and equipment, simple operation and maintenance, high quality images. In April E.A.T. worked with Peter Goldmark of Goldmark Communications on a proposal to design engineer and field test a complete Super 8 or Single 8 film system for television use aimed at requirements of developing countries.  Advantages of Super 8: low cost, lightweight equipment, smaller size of film stock and equipment, simple operation and maintenance, high quality images.


And in June 1972 E.A.T. submitted a proposal to Dr. Albert Herley the Office of Telecommunications Policy of the Health Education Welfare Department of the US Government to develop and field test a complete· low-cost Super 8mm film system for production of educational, instructional and cultural material for television or other educational situations in developing countries. The proposal stated:


The two most promising new systems are half-inch videotape and portable recording systems and Super 8mm film. Super 8mm film, in particular, is ready for a specific engineering effort to perfect a complete system for production of material for television. Film technology is well known and the components for such a system exist now. Indeed, many local television stations in the U.S. use Super 8 mm for local news and features. But such a development will not be done by industry since market forces--primarily aimed at the consumer market--are not pushing development of Super 8 toward a simple, low-cost, but professional system. …Developing such a Super 8mm system would take ingenuity, attention and a clear sight of the software goals as well as cost-benefit trade-offs.


A development effort, although equally desirable, with half-inch video equipment would be of a different sort, since the technology is still mainly in the research and development phase and is all located in 5 or 6 large companies.


E.A.T. proposes to undertake an independent collaborative engineering effort to develop and field test a complete low-cost professional Super 8mm system for use over tele­vision or in other .educational and instructional situations.

Study of mass communication media to provide education and instruction in Guatemala


In August 1972 Billy Klüver was part of US Agency for International Development team that traveled to Guatemala to work on a Programa de Educacion Rural Funcional, for the Guatemalan Ministry of Education, specifically  to study the feasibility  of employing mass communication media to provide education and instruction to individuals in rural Guatemala, Klüver’s report, “The Choice of National Delivery Systems; Hardware and Software Considerations,”  compared the use of a national radio system to that of a  television system to provide educational material to an adult audience throughout the country; The report discussed the comparative costs and effectiveness  of each medium, considering the technical and equipment needs  and then the costs of providing supporting audio-visual and study materials in each regional receiving and study center.

1973- 1974

Educational Films in India​

In  February 1973 The National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad proposed to collaborate with E.A.T. to produce 16 mm films, as pilot films on educational topics with the basic objective develop methods to make educational films which communicate difficult messages and promote new approaches to behavior in the society. It was proposed to invite international filmmakers to work at the NID, to promote a variety of  approaches to educational filmmaking. The filmmakers, in particular, would use low-cost techniques and work extensively on location. Some of the proposed subjects were: the city or village street environment; organizing living space; child spacing and focus on women's environment; cultural importance of radio; crafts; tourism in India.

Conference on Instructional Software for Television for Developing Countries


Toward the end of 1973, E.A.T. had conversations with Howard Klein of the Arts Division of Rockefeller Foundation who expressed interest in establishing a program for artists' involvement in educational and instructional software for developing countries in areas in which the Foundation has been previously concerned, in particular, the development of new grains and family health.


E.A.T. produced a short summary of ideas for developing educational and instructional software for India specifically for agriculture, health and family planning. Building on its previous experience in India, the statement emphasized not only the participation of educational specialists from the United States  and Sweden, but also incorporated earlier E.A.T. ideas on the importance of the participation of  artists in these efforts. As the proposal read:

“To produce meaningful, effective, culturally-reinforcing software, it is necessary to have active involvement and strong initial input from leading artists who, up to this point, have never been involved in problems of developing countries. Such creative  input is necessary to prevent the stagnation, cultural bias and outmoded methods which have plagued western efforts in both software and hardware projects in countries like India for the last 20 years. Further, it is our experience that such input is needed to stimulate and give legitimacy to the most creative people in the developing country itself and, in particular, the younger talent. The project's planning advisory board would include artists as well as technical, educational and evaluation experts from Sweden and America.

The project itself would involve collaborative efforts in developing educational and instructional software in a variety

of  mediums: print, graphics, radio, film and television.

The emphasis would be on collaboration with Indians ·in actually producing material rather than training participants. The program would serve the policy goals of Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Family Planning in India and should mesh into the current soft­ ware efforts of UNESCO and UNDP."

Following up on this proposal E.A.T. prepared a detailed proposal for a Rockefeller Foundation  Conference on Instructional Software for Television in Developing countries to be held in Italy at Lago de Como. E.A.T. proposed a conference centered on television that “would provide a serious multi-professional approach to the difficult problem of producing and distributing programming material on specific subjects in diverse cultural and social environments. This conference aims to pool experience that already exists and generate new ideas and  approaches through a multi-professional interchange. The plan was :

The first day would be devoted to an examination of the economic and hardware boundary conditions that will affect production of television software. The second day would explore the cultural, creative and social foundations of effective television software. The third day would be devoted to constructing and presenting scenarios for model projects. It would be possible to divide the participants into two groups to construct scenarios in two general areas: the first where information and instruction must be accompanied by attitude change, e.g., family planning and birth control projects; and a second, where there is a larger component of information transfer and need for strong support activity and services, e.g., agriculture or preventive medicine. On the final day, the morning session would be an open discussion of television software production, possibly developing some broad guidelines. The afternoon session would discuss the practical interface with international agencies(UNESCO, UNDP, USAID, the World Bank) and foreign advisors. The conference would close with a talk by Indira Gandhi.


Demonstration of satellite communications for the United Nations


In February 1975 E.A.T. proposed a demonstration of a live satellite broadcast using  a portable earth station to show the uses of the satellite of particular interest to the United Nations, to Josef C. Nichols, Special Assistant for Communications Planning to the Assistant Secretary General, Office of General Services of the U.N.

The proposal was accepted and April 22 was set for the demonstration to the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee of the Outer Space Committee of the U.N. Westinghouse Electric Corporation Defense & Electronic Systems Center agreed to participate and provided the portable  earth terminal and coordination functions.

It was determined that the Rose Garden at the U.N. would be a suitable place for installation of the portable, 10 foot in diameter, earth station. There, it would be able to "see" the ATS-6 satellite which would be shifted by NASA especially  for the demonstration. Using the direct broadcast possibilities of the ATS-6 satellite, the demonstration was designed to emphasize the potential uses of satellites in developing countries for delivery of education and health care to remote areas, and its potential uses for peace keeping and disaster relief operations.

In a series of discussions between officials from NASA, the Federation of Rocky Mountain States, Westinghouse and E.A.T., it was decided that the program would include:

The  television program will originate live from the facilities of the Federation of Rocky Mountain States in Denver, Colorado. A direct reception antenna would be placed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation at the U.N. and the trans­mitted program will be displayed for the U.N. delegates in Conference Room No. 2. The program will have four segments dealing with medical services, education, peace keeping and disaster relief operations.


The programming plan included:


An introduction by the moderator at the U.N. describing the ATS-6 satellite and some of the current experiments;  (21 A ten minute medical demonstration with question and answer period (one-way video and two-way audio links) with a patient in Denver and a doctor at the U.N. site, transmitting x-rays and other medical information; a ten minute demonstration simulating peace keeping and disaster relief operations using data transmission terminal equipment such as teletype, xerox, facsimile, and electro-writer; A live transmission from a school in Brazil demonstrating the experimental program which utilizes the ATS satellite.

The terminal was at the site on April 15 and preparations to install the equipment were begun. On April 16 E.A.T. and NASA were told by Mr. Nichols that the U.N. had been informed by the US State Department that  the demonstration could not take place.


E.A.T. then worked with Westinghouse to set up another less official demonstration with Federation of Rocky Mountain States. Westinghouse’s satellite receiving equipment was set up at an outdoor site at Lincoln Center, and a demonstration was organized with a ballet company in Denver and an instructor in New York to hold a master class for the company.


Artists'  Participation  in  Shaping the Environment

In January,  Billy Klüver  gave at talk at the 142nd  Annual  Meeting  of the  AAAS,  in   Boston, “Conditions  for  Artists' Participation  in  Shaping the Environment.” He briefly described a number of E.A.T.  projects, and discussed  “some conditions for effective artist participation in shaping the environment; Collaboration is a first approximation of the conditions for artists’ participation in the environment.  What is needed is a kind of professionalism, a trained professional group of people who know how to deal with the interface between the artist and the rest of society.”


Satellite link for the Opening of Centre Pompidou and Video Exhibition for Paris-New York


In May 1976 E.A.T. proposed a continuous exhibition of video tapes and video installations by artists to be shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of the Paris-New York exhibition that would be part of the inaugural exhibition, Paris-New York, for the New Musee National d’Art Moderne housed at the Centre Pompidou.


In addition E.A.T proposed  a live satellite  transmission for the opening, of Centre Georges Pompidou in September 1977, suggesting that the live satellite transmission element have two parts: A French and American contemporary artist would each create a program that would be performed live and shown simultaneously, one in France and one in the U.S.  The French television program would be received in the U.S. by satellite and the artist mixes it mixed with the U.S. television program, to be seen by viewers in the U.S. The same situation, in reverse, would be arranged in France. Thus, the French viewers and the American viewers would see different programs made from the same original television programs.


E.A.T. met with NASA and other cable television officials in January 1977, and it was It was agreed that the proposed program was of such a nature that it could be carried free of charge on the CTS satellite. May 15 and May 29, 1977 were set as possible dates for the transmission.


Alfred Pacquement, at Centre Pompidou in June reported more details, confirming the structure: of information on Beaubourg and then one hour of artists’ programming. He added the details that Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor and Viola Farber would create a program in the US and Martial Raysse, and others to be chosen by him would make a work in Paris. The project was not implemented.


The Artist’s Expertise for Communication Planning


In September 1977, Billy Klüver participated in the 7th Annual Conference of the International Institute of Communications, in Washington, DC, where he delivered a paper, “ The Artist’s Expertise for Communication Planning. “ He argued:


The design problems of the interface between the individual and the communication systems claims our attention as old broadcast structures are being re-evaluated, new technologies generate new communication systems and communication technologies are being introduced into developing countries. This paper suggests that an effective way to develop a well-designed interface between the individual and the new communication systems and structures is for artists to participate in the international and governmental decision making, planning, and regulatory activities associated with systems design, deployment and regulations. The artist has a relevant contribution to make in achieving communication systems that are better suited to human needs.  His expertise is a resource that should not be ignored.  In referring to an artist, I mean independent artists who work in any field; painters, sculptors, choreographers, composers, poets, writers, performance artists, etc.   This proposition is derived from the experience of Experiments in Art and Technology in its interaction with artists in the 1960's and 1970's.


He presented the history of some E.A.T. projects and ended the talk:


With the rapid expansion of the communication technology, decision making becomes more complex and, as a friend of mine, Fred Waldhauer, an engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories, expressed it, "In this situation we are all amateurs, and the artist may be the best amateur."

bottom of page