E.A.T. Local Groups
Billy Klüver speaking to a group in Toronto. Behind is a projection of the first technical requests from the artists for 9 Evenings.
E.A.T. Local Groups began to spring up spontaneously as artists and engineers in areas outside New York contacted us wanting to set up artist-engineer collaborations to work with local artists, engineers and industries. E.A.T. in New York encouraged them to start autonomous Local Groups and gave them information and advice. Billy Klüver also went on speaking tours to colleges and universities and visited Local Group meetings.
In the E.A.T. News of March 1968, it was announced that local and correspondent groups were in the process of organization in many areas throughout the country, Canada, and abroad, formed on the initiative of and being headed by the following people: Henry Hopkins, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; John S, Almen, Ampex Corporation, Redwood City, California; David Rumsey, New Haven, Connecticut; Alice Denney, Washington, D.C.; Edna Chauser and Sebastian Trovato, Miami, Florida; Whitney Halstead, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Anne Wehrer, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Alan Shepp, Minneapolis School of Art, Minnesota; Robert Kieronski, New Hampshire and Northern Massachusetts; Jerome J. Hausman, Ohio State University, Columbus; Terry Krum, Richmond Professional Institute, Virginia; Charles Gagnon, Montreal, Canada; Dennis Young, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Dennis Darragh, Intermedia, Vancouver, Canada; Pedro Xisto, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Eugenio Carmi, Genoa, Italy; and Ingrid Svensson, Stockholm, Sweden.
The article contained advice on organizing and programming Local Groups based on E.A.T. experience over the previous two years but emphasized the importance of structuring these Local Groups to take advantege of each different local situation with regard to artists, engineers and industry.
During the weekend of June 21 to 23, 1968, E.A.T. held a conference at the New York office for persons who had been working on developing local E.A.T. groups in their areas to meet and discuss ideas for organization and activities. Over 50 people came from throughout the United States and Canada. Speakers included Klüver, Francis Mason, Peter Poole, Ralph Burgard, Executive Director of the Associated Councils of the Arts, and Louis J. Gerstman, professor of psychology at Queens College and a senior member of the IEEE Engineering Society. The conference was divided between formal lectures, and more informal sessions where attendees could share information, and establish closer contact.