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Re: [rohrpost] MedienKunstGeschichte: Billy Cluver tot
Tilman Baumgärtel on Wed, 14 Jan 2004 16:47:02 +0100 (CET)


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Re: [rohrpost] MedienKunstGeschichte: Billy Cluver tot


January 13, 2004
Billy Kluver, 76, an Engineer Who Collaborated With Artists, Dies
By KAY LARSON


illy Kluver, a scientist and engineer whose collaborations with artists 
helped give birth to the multimedia art forms of the 1960's, died on Sunday 
at his home in Berkeley Heights, N.J. He was 76.
The cause was melanoma, said his wife, Julie Martin.
In 1966 Mr. Kluver teamed up with Robert Rauschenberg to solve the knotty 
engineering problems posed by 10 artists (Mr. Rauschenberg among them) who 
wanted to stage their art as spectacle. Mr. Kluver invited some 30 
scientists and engineers, most of them his colleagues at Bell Labs, to 
realize dreamy ideas like snowflakes that fell upward and tennis rackets 
that gave out sounds like huge temple bells.
The outcome was "Nine Evenings: Theater and Engineering," a performance 
series that drew 14,000 visitors when it opened at the 69th Regiment Armory 
in Manhattan on Oct. 13, 1966, attracting worldwide attention and 
inaugurating a fusion of art and technology that prefigured the arrival of 
countless new art forms.
Experiments in Art and Technology — the organization devised in September 
1966 by Mr. Rauschenberg, Mr. Kluver, the artist Bob Whitman and a Bell 
Labs engineer, Fred Waldhauer — quickly became an instrument of ongoing 
collaborations. E.A.T., as the organization is known, earned Mr. Kluver a 
Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from France and the Royal Order of Vasa 
from Sweden. Mr. Kluver continued to match up artists and scientists as 
recently as last summer.
Johan Wilhelm Kluver was born in Monaco on Nov. 13, 1927, and grew up in 
Salen, Sweden. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from 
the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. A physicist by training, he 
fell in love with film in the 1930's. He kept a set of college notebooks 
listing in an obsessively neat hand every film he saw between 1942 and 
1950, plus the stars, studios, directors and his comments and ratings of 
them. For his graduate thesis in physics, he created a Walt Disney-style 
animated film of electrons in streaming motion and attempted to sell it in 
Hollywood.
Film drew him to art. He served as president of the Stockholm University 
Film Society and was a co-founder of the Swedish Alliance of Film 
Societies, in the course of which he became friends with Pontus Hulten, at 
that time the director of the Moderna Museet, the modern art museum.
Mr. Hulten recommended Mr. Kluver to the artist Jean Tinguely, who was 
looking for engineering help in designing his self-destroying machine, 
which tore itself apart in a spray of smoke and fire in the garden of the 
Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1960. One of the other contributors to 
Tinguely's machine was Mr. Rauschenberg, who struck up a friendship with 
Mr. Kluver.
Mr. Kluver was a staff scientist at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray 
Hill, N.J., from 1958 to 1968. He published numerous technical and 
scientific papers and holds 10 patents. Around the time of Tinguely's 
event, Mr. Kluver began making trips into Manhattan to go to happenings and 
art openings, where he met Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, John Cage, David 
Tudor, Robert Whitman, Andy Warhol and other rising stars of the New York 
art scene.
Mr. Kluver had a role in developing iconic works like Mr. Rauschenberg's 
sound sculpture "Oracle," Mr. Cage's electronic performances "Variations V" 
and "Variations VII," and Warhol's floating "Silver Clouds." The results of 
these and other collaborations gave public shape to what had been a private 
movement, a merging of art and technology that has not yet exhausted itself.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Maja Kluver, of Brooklyn; a 
son, Kristian Patrik Kluver, of Boulder, Colo.; and two half-brothers, 
Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg and Lorentz Lyttkens, and a half-sister, Ase 
Lyttkens, all of Stockholm.
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At 15:52 14.01.2004 +0100, oliver grau wrote:


>Billy Cluver, Mitglied der E.A.T. Gruppe (Experiments in Art and Technology)
>und Pionier der Medienkunst der 60er ist vor wenigen Tagen verstorben.
>
>
>
>
>
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