Machines fall apart: failure in art and technology

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2005. Machines fall apart: failure in art and technology. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 13(4), pp. 9-16. ISSN 1071-4391 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Technological failure is often considered to be central to the logic of innovation. Artists working with technology at the inception of widespread post-war automation, including Jean Tinguely and Gustav Metzger, focused particularly on machines geared toward failure. At the same time, Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), an organization founded to enable collaboration between artists and engineers, encountered failure at times unintentionally and attempted to recast the role that failure plays in experimentation. By considering how failure emerges at this moment in art and technology during the 1960s and 1970s, this article discusses how the program of failure may be bound up with automation and experimentation, but at the same time is not without material effect.

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Art; technology; experimentation; failure

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March 2005Published

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Date Deposited:

17 Jan 2008 14:56

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 13:03

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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