Stan VanDerBeek. *Poemfield No. 1.* 1967. 16mm film transferred to video (color, silent), 4:45 min. Realized with Ken Knowlton. Courtesy Estate of Stan VanDerBeek and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Photo by Lance Brewer. © 2017 Estate of Stan VanDerBeek

Instructor: Sean Anderson
4 Mondays; registration is open throughout
Price: Nonmember $355, Member $325, Student/Educator/Other Museum Staff $250
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The machine has been a central component of MoMA’s exhibition program since its founding, with exhibitions such as Machine Art (1934) and The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age (1968) considering the aesthetic and social impact of technology on art and object-making across a range of mediums. Taking the current exhibition Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Computer Age, 1959–1989 as a point of departure, this course will examine how the computer—as machine, medium, and method—has been used since the 1950s as an arbiter of meaning, social inclusion, and artistic production.

During this period, artists, designers, and architects engaged with the technology of computing to underscore the role of labor, gender, and the computer’s potential. Drawing from a diverse collection of works featured in Thinking Machines, including kinetic sculptures, films, videos, drawings, textiles, and the design of computers and their components—as well as other exhibitions in which the computer played a role—this class will deepen our understanding of postwar art, design, and culture. So much of the anxiety around our current moment is embodied in our relationship to new media and technology. By focusing on the computer as a site of exchange, we will engage in a meaningful conversation about our present-day realities, which were formed by these significant earlier developments in cybernetics, programming, and computing.

Bio: Sean Anderson is associate curator in the Department of Architecture and Design. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, he has degrees in architectural design and history from Cornell and Princeton universities and a PhD in art history from UCLA. He has practiced as an architect and taught in Afghanistan, Australia, India, Italy, Morocco, Sri Lanka, and the UAE. His first exhibition, Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter, observed how spaces of migration have affected contemporary architecture.

  1. Monday, February 26,
    6:007:50 p.m.

  2. Monday, March 12,
    6:007:50 p.m.

    Registration required
  3. Monday, March 19,
    6:007:50 p.m.

    Registration required
  4. Monday, March 26,
    6:007:50 p.m.

    Registration required