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Lecture - Demonstration Series

1967 - 1968

Kogelnik giving a Laser Lecture

Herwig Kogelnik, Member of Technical Staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, gives a lecture- demonstration on lasers and holography.

E.A.T. organized a series of lecture-demonstrations by engineers and scientists for artists held at the E.A.T. loft, as a means for transmitting technical information to a non-technical audience in which working engineers and scientists gave lecture-demonstrations in their field with a large portion of the time devoted to questions and answers and demonstrations of materials and equipment.  They were organized to provide artists with information on areas in engineering and science that had become of general interest in the art community, for example: lasers and holography, pneumatics, fluidics, computer-generated sound and images; color theory; paper; television; new Hexcel materials.


The first lecture-demonstration was given by Herwig W. Kogelnik on holography, September 24, 1967. For the second, on October 12, 1967, Wayne Gustafson gave a brief lecture on computer basics and the computer movies; and the computer-processed Nude by Kenneth C. Knowlton and Leon Harmon was shown. Computer specialists from Bell Laboratories and IBM answered questions from the audience. About 200 to 300 artists were estimated to have come to the respective meetings.


A series of thirty-two lecture-demonstrations was scheduled from February 4 to May 1, 1968, which ranged from: Computer music by Max Mathews of Bell Laboratories; Honeycomb structural papers by N. Nelson of Union Camp Co.; Acoustics of enclosed spaces by Cyril Harris of Columbia University; physiology of color vision by John Krauskopf of Bell Labs; Computer language and words by Seymour Papert of MIT; and color theory by D. Judd of the National Bureau of Standards.


The E.A.T. loft was full for each of the lectures and the question and answer sessions afterwards were very lively. These lecture-demonstrations  proved a simple and direct way for artists to acquire knowledge of processes, materials, new techniques, new engineering fields, etc., and to have direct contact with leading engineers and scientists. The lectures were recorded, and transcripts prepared, that were available to any artist or engineer who requested a copy.

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