E.A.T. Competition &
Some More Beginnings Exhibition
1967 - 1968
Announcement for the competition held by E.A.T. published in The New York Times
Pontus Hultén, who was organizing an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, a historical survey of works of art concerned with the machine and the mechanical world, contacted Billy Klüver and asked if E.A.T. could collaborate on a section of the exhibition dedicated to the use of new technology in art as an extension of the historical survey. Klüver felt E.A.T.’s participation would be a good means of stimulating interest in the technical community in working with artists. E.A.T., in November 1967, announced a competition for the best contribution by an engineer to a work of art made in collaboration with an artist. The prize was to be given to the engineer, and the judges were all engineers. E.A.T. offered to find partners for all engineers and artists who wanted to enter the competition.
The jurors for the competition were James Brownlow of IBM Research Laboratories, Michael D. Golder of Celanese Plastics Company, Cyril M. Harris of Columbia University, John W. Pan of Bell Telephone Laboratories, and William G. Rosen of the National Science Foundation and the Federal Council for Science and Technology.
The winning entries were announced and demonstrated at the museum during a MoMA/E.A.T. press conference on November 1, 1968. Representatives of labor and industry were specially invited. First prize was donated by the American Foundation on Automation and Employment and was awarded to Harris Hyman and Ralph Martel who worked with artist Jean Dupuy on Heart Beats Dust . The two second prizes, donated by McCrory Corporation and by Richard Brandt on behalf of Trans-Lux Corporation, were awarded to Niels O. Young who worked with Lucy Jackson Young on Fakir in 3/4 Time; and to Frank T. Turner who worked. with Wen-Ying Tsai on Cybernetic Sculpture. More than 140 works were submitted. Hultén then chose nine of the submitted works to be included in his Machine exhibition.
During the summer of 1968, as the information on each of the works was being received, E.A.T. decided to organize an exhibition showing all the works submitted to the competition to run in parallel with The Machine. The Brooklyn Museum offered space for the exhibition on its third floor and Some More Beginnings: Experiments in Art and Technology, the first major art and technology exhibition, opened there on November 25, 1968.