Humanities Forum - Paris is Playing: Art, Technology, and Participation

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 ( 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm )

Location: Morton 324

[email protected]

October 30, 2013. Humanities Forum. "Paris is Playing: Art, Technology, and Participation"
A talk by Agnes Berecz 

In the 1960s, artists were aiming to reinvent the relationship between art, technology and everyday life in response to what Reyner Banham called the “Second Machine Age.” To challenge the passive consumption of images propagated by the mass-media and to reflect on the rise of new machines, a team of French and Latin-American artists formed GRAV, the audio-visual research group based in Paris between 1960 and 1968. Hoping to activate spectators by immersing them in multi-sensorial environments and asking them to engage with constructed objects and machines in the exhibition space or on the street, GRAV’s members acted as both engineers and ‘bricoleurs,’ adopted technologically advanced devices and simple toys, and understood play as a creative social endeavor. The lecture explores the group’s approach to participation, collective experience and play by framing their activities in relation to the emerging industries of spectacle, leisure, and entertainment in 1960s Europe.

Ágnes Berecz (PhD, Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris) teaches modern and contemporary art history at the Pratt Institute and Christie’s Education, and lectures at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her work focuses on the history and cultural politics of postwar art in Europe and the Americas with an emphasis on transnational relations and the emergence of multimedia practices. Her writings have appeared in Art Journal, Art in America, Artmargins and the Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin as well as in European and US exhibitions catalogues. Her most recent work includes the essay, “Time to Knot,” published in the catalogue of Simon Hantaï’s retrospective exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris. She is currently working on a book titled Paint No More: France, 1948-1982.