Relationship between Art and Technology in 1960s

1670 Words Jan 25th, 2018 7 Pages
The launch of Sputnik in 1957 prompted a new interest in the world of the machine, yet the artistic approach to technology differed from the Futurist and Constructivist precedent. Technology did not hold utopian potential; rather the artists of the 1960s adopted varied approaches, ranging from sheer admiration to fearful pessimism. However, by the end of the 1960s technology became closely associated with the American war effort. The negativity that developed in response resulted in the technological work of artists such as Jean Tinguely and Robert Rauschenberg being pushed aside in favour of Conceptualism. Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York (1960) and Robert Rauschenberg’s Soundings (1968) will be used to explore how these particular artists responded to the rising technology, and the extent to which artist and scientist collaborated.

The technological works of Tinguely can be classified as kinetic due to their incorporation of mechanical movement. For Pontus Hultén the inclusion of movement implied a ‘complete rejection of the holy values of art’, the traditional characteristics of sculpture were abandoned and kineticism projected sculpture onto a different course. Tinguely, like Rauschenberg, used technology as a means to question and investigate his society. For the artist of the 1960s technology was a tool; it offered new…
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