The Story of E.A.T. by Billy Klüver
Left to right, Antonio Homem, Billy Klüver and Julie Martin looking at the installation of The Story of E.A.T. at Sonnabend Gallery.
In 2001, at the request from Italian art critic Germano Celant for his exhibition, Tribes of Art, Billy Klüver produced an exhibition of photo and text panels entitled The Story of E.A.T.: Experiments in Art and Technology, 1960 – 2001. The exhibition covered the history of Klüver’s work with artists and art and technology from his first collaboration with Jean Tinguely on Homage to New York in 1960 through the 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering in 1966, the founding of Experiments in Art and Technology the same year and then the organization’s activities and projects from 1967 to 2001.
The exhibition consisted of 50 panels, 20 x 16 inches of ink jet photos and text on vinyl mounted on Cintra plastic boards. On each panel was one large photo and accompanying text documenting an activity or project of E.A.T. It was to be hung it in a single row along a wall or around a room. It traveled in three large suitcases.
The Story of E.A.T. was first shown in the exhibition Le Tribù dell’Arte,at the Galleria Communale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, in Rome in the Summer of 2001, then at Sonnabend Gallery, New York, in January 2002. The exhibition went to Lafayette College in the spring 2002, then to the Evolution Festival in Leeds, England, and to the University of Washington, in Seattle. In 2003 it traveled to San Diego State University in San Diego, California, and then to a gallery in Santa Maria, California, run by Ardison Phillips who was the artist who managed the Pepsi Pavilion in 1970.
From April to June 2003 a Japanese version The Story of E.A.T. was incorporated into at a large exhibition on E.A.T. at the NTT Intercommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo. An E.A.T. exhibition at the Museum of Art in Norrköping, Sweden in September 2004, also showed the full Story of E.A.T. The Story of E.A.T. was shown at the St. Petersburg venue of the National Contemporary Center for the Arts (NCCA) in 2007; and then at the National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow in 2008. It was shown at the William H. Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College in February 2013.
The Story of E.A.T. exhibition has over the years expanded to more than 65 panels, including a group of panels devoted to the activities of an E.A.T. Local Group in Seattle, Washington. In addition, there are now panels showing the original E.A.T. posters, The exhibition continues to travel around the world; both as a component of larger shows on E.A.T. and the history of art and technology and as a stand-alone exhibition.