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Engagement and Learning > Talks, Lectures & Events

Weekly Lunchtime Screenings / E.A.T: 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering

9 Evenings films Produced 1996- 2017
Directed by Barbro Schultz Lundestam and Julie Martin
Edited by Barbro Schultz Lundestam, Julie Martin and Ken Weissman. Produced by Billy Klüver and Julie Martin for Experiments in Art and Technology

From October 13 - 23, 1966, Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) presented a series of artists performances 9 EVENINGS: THEATRE & ENGINEERING, at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. Raw documentary film and sound material from 9 Evenings  in the E.A.T.s archives for more than thirty years has been used to make films on video that reconstruct each of the ten artists' performances as faithfully as the material permits and an add documentary sections features interviews with artists and engineer the artistic and technical elements in the work.


Tuesday 12.12.2017 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Double Bill
Grass Field by Alex Hay

Performance Engineer: Bob Kieronski Performed October 13 and 22
Alex Hay wore a backpack of specially designed differential amplifiers with a peak gain at low frequencies of 80 db and FM transmitters that picked up brain waves, muscle activity, and eye movement from electrodes placed on Alex's head and body. These sounds were broadcast to the audience as Alex carefully laid out 64 numbered pieces of cloth. Then he sat facing the audience, with his face being projected on a large screen behind him while two performers, Steve Paxton and Robert Rauschenberg, systematically picked up the pieces of cloth.

Physical Things by Steve Paxton
Performance Engineer: Dick Wolff Performed October 13 and 19, 1966
Steve Paxton constructed a large inflated structure of polyethylene consisting of large dome-shaped rooms connected by tunnels.  The audience walked through this structure, viewing slides and live activities.  Speakers fed by loop tape recorders played low level sounds.  Rising above the last room was a 100 foot high tower with white noise pouring down from above. As they exited from this room, the visitors were given small electronic units consisting of an amplifier, speaker and magnetic pickup of the kind used to pick up conversations from telephone receivers.  Twenty wire loops, 8 feet in diameter were fastened to a fish net rigged above the heads of the audience, each one connected directly to a tape recorder.  The audio signals from the tape recorders induced a magnetic field in the wire loops which could be picked up and converted to sound by the unit the visitors were holding to their ears, so they could walk around listening to music, screaming jungle birds, man discoursing on fishing, etc.

Tuesday 09.01.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Double Bill
Carriage Discreteness by Yvonne Rainer

Performance Engineer: Per Born Performed October 15 and 21, 1966
On the floor of the Armory were spread out cubes, planks, sheets and beams of different materials: Masonite, wood, Styrofoam, rubber, etc. Seated on a small balcony high above the floor, Rainer transmitted instructions to the performers to carry objects from one place to another, using FM transmitter and pickups. Parallel to this were 'events', preprogrammed on ACTAN drum switches, which included film and slide projections, a super ball and pieces of foam rubber dropped from the ceiling, and a collapsing projection screen.
Solo by Deborah Hay
Performance Engineer: Larry Heilos Performed October 13 and 23, 1966
Solo was a tightly choreographed dance with specific rules for dancer and cart movement. Eight formally dressed seated players controlled the movement of the carts. The dancers entered either walking or riding on a cart, and then walked or rode on the carts in solo, duet or trio formations. The whole space was filled with changing patterns of dancers, carts, light and sound. The remote radio-controlled carts were designed and built by the participating engineers.

Tuesday 16.01.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Vehicle by Lucinda Childs

Performance engineer: Peter Hirsch Performed October 16 and 23, 1966
A 70 kHz Doppler sonar system, especially designed for this piece by Peter Hirsch, was activated by three red fireman's buckets that Childs took from a performer who moved around the floor in a Ground Effects Machine. She hung them from a scaffold and as she swung the buckets around inside the ultra-sonic sound beams, the reflected signals from the buckets mixed with the original 70 kHz signal, and the resulting beat frequency fell in the audible range. These sounds were transmitted to the twelve speakers around the Armory, and the shadows of the moving buckets appeared on the screen behind Childs.
Sound from the radio station WQXR, not heard by the audience, created oscilloscope images that were projected on another screen.

Tuesday 23.01.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Variations VII by John Cage

Performance Engineer: Cecil Coker Performed October 15 and 16, 1966
All sound sources for Variations VII were generated live during the performance and were mixed and modified through a variety of devices by Cage and his fellow performers. Among the sound sources were contact microphones placed on a blender, juicer, fan, and toaster, 20-radio channels, and 2 Geiger counters, brain waves from one of the performers. In addition, Cage had ten open phone lines to places in New York City like the restaurant Luchow’s,  The New York Times press room, an aviary, Merce Cunningham’s studio on Third Avenue, the 14th Street Con Edison electric power station, and the east side Sanitation Department weighing station.Thirty photocells were mounted at ankle level around the performance area. As the performers moved around, they broke the light beam and different outputs to the speakers were activated.

Tuesday 30.01.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Two Holes of Water - 3 by Robert Whitman

Performance Engineer: Robby Robinson Performed October 18 and 19, 1966
Seven cars, carrying film and television projectors, drove onto the Armory floor and parked facing the back wall covered with white paper. On the balcony, television cameras shot performances: two girls moving slowly in front of a curved mirror, a girl typing. Another performer had a small fiber optic television camera picking up images inside his coat pocket and another girl was putting on makeup. Whitman fed images of these live performances and off-air television images to the television projectors in the cars. He also cued the drivers to turn on the film projectors, which projected found nature films of animals and plants, as well as films he himself had made of close ups of body parts, images of a woman in which her the back and front images of her body are superimposed on each other, and an underwater luncheon party which was projected from the ceiling onto the floor of the Armory.

Tuesday 06.02.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Open Score by Robert Rauschenberg

Performance Engineer: Jim McGee   Performed October 14 and 23, 1966
Rauschenberg's Open Score began with a tennis game between Frank Stella and his tennis partner, Mimi Kanarek. Bill Kaminski at Bell Laboratories had designed a tiny crystal-controlled FM transmitter that could fit in the handle of the tennis racquet. When the ball hit the racquet, the vibrations of the strings were picked up by the contact microphone on the head of the racquet and transmitted to a FM radio receiver, amplified and fed to the twelve speakers around the Armory, resulting in a loud BONG. The sound of each BONG switched off one of 48 1-kilowatt lights illuminating the court.  The game continued until the Armory was in complete darkness. A crowd of 500 people entered in the darkness.  Infrared television cameras picked up the group's movements and projected these images to three large screens hanging in front of the audience. Using coded flashlight signals, Rauschenberg cued his cast to perform simple movements: touch two places on your body where you are ticklish; hug someone quickly and move on to someone else; men take off jackets; replace them; wave a handkerchief,  etc. In a third section, Simone Forti in a large cloth sack was singing an ancient Tuscan song as  Rauschenberg picked her up and carried from one place on the Armory floor to another.

Tuesday 13.02.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Bandoneo ! (a combine) by David Tudor
Performance Engineer: Fred Waldhauer
Performed October 14 and 18, 1966
As Tudor played the bandoneon, ten contact microphones on the instrument picked up the sounds that were then distributed to four processing devices. The Vochrome, designed by Robert  Kieronski, acted as a complex mixer: the sound and signals from it fed the 12 speakers around the armory, and also turned off and on the lights on the performance platform.The Proportional Control System, designed by Fred Waldhauer, moved sound from speaker to speaker, controlled the level of the sound  and also turned off and on lights placed around the balcony of the Armory. An audio processing and modifying circuit built by Tudor fed four transducers attached to wood and metal structures and a horn speaker, all of which were placed on the remote-controlled carts that moved around the Armory floor.  The fourth device, designed by Lowell Cross, used channels of the sound from the bandoneon to create images on an oscilloscope that were fed to the three television projectors.

Tuesday 20.02.2018 / 1pm / Lecture Room – Drop In
Kisses Sweeter than Wine by Öyvind Fahlström
Performance Engineer: Harold Hodges
Performed October 21 and 22, 1966
Kisses Sweeter than Wine was a complex, poetic theater performance incorporating live actors and elaborate props; slides, and film and closed-circuit televisor images were projected on three screens at the back of the performance area. Some of the characters and images were Jedadiah Buxton, an idiot savant who could remember large numbers in his head; Space Girl, dressed in silver, who descended in a winch hoist from the ceiling; a girl sitting in a plastic swimming pool of Jello, and a remote-controlled silver missile circling the Armory. Fahlström projected films of a march he had staged on the streets of New York with the marchers carrying large placards with only the faces of Mao Tse-Tung and Bob Hope and excerpts from the film The Creation of the Humanoids.  The sound included a mix of excerpts from WBAI radio interviews with English psychics, a Korean War veteran drug addict, and a transvestite, television commercials, as well as an impassioned speech by Fahlström mixing politics, psychology and exhortations for the future.

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