Skip to main content
placeholder image

'All systems go!' Flux + Cybernetics = Art Machines

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Imagine admiring a caged bird and it suddenly squawking, "All systems go!

    All systems go!" It would be quite a moment. In 1971 artist Hans Haacke

    named a caged mynah bird after the founder of cybernetics Norbert

    Wiener. 'Norbert' the bird was trained to speak the catch phrase of the late

    1960s: "All systems go!" But all did not go to plan; Haacke's exhibition at

    the Guggenheim was cancelled and the bird remained mute in the studio.

    Despite its failure to be realised the work lives on as an evocative example

    of art's engagement with real-life and real-time systems. At the same time

    that Haacke was creating numerous works exploring the broad contexts

    of systems, including polling systems and critical environmental systems,

    Jack Burnham (a curator and good friend of Haacke's) was connecting

    systems thinking directly with art practice. Artists including Haacke,

    La Monte Young, John Cage and Nam June Paik were looking for ways to

    open up the properties of the art object to relationships of time, control,

    biology and communication.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Ballard, S. "'All systems go!' Flux + Cybernetics = Art Machines." NJP Reader - Cyberneticus 3 (2012): 76-87.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/114

Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 76

End Page


  • 87

Volume


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.njpartcenter.kr/en/research/publications/show.asp?id=228&pos=1&page=1

Abstract


  • Imagine admiring a caged bird and it suddenly squawking, "All systems go!

    All systems go!" It would be quite a moment. In 1971 artist Hans Haacke

    named a caged mynah bird after the founder of cybernetics Norbert

    Wiener. 'Norbert' the bird was trained to speak the catch phrase of the late

    1960s: "All systems go!" But all did not go to plan; Haacke's exhibition at

    the Guggenheim was cancelled and the bird remained mute in the studio.

    Despite its failure to be realised the work lives on as an evocative example

    of art's engagement with real-life and real-time systems. At the same time

    that Haacke was creating numerous works exploring the broad contexts

    of systems, including polling systems and critical environmental systems,

    Jack Burnham (a curator and good friend of Haacke's) was connecting

    systems thinking directly with art practice. Artists including Haacke,

    La Monte Young, John Cage and Nam June Paik were looking for ways to

    open up the properties of the art object to relationships of time, control,

    biology and communication.

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Ballard, S. "'All systems go!' Flux + Cybernetics = Art Machines." NJP Reader - Cyberneticus 3 (2012): 76-87.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/114

Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 76

End Page


  • 87

Volume


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.njpartcenter.kr/en/research/publications/show.asp?id=228&pos=1&page=1