Fascinating clip from 1968 about the ICA’s 1968 Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition, which currently has a retrospective at the ICA, and the album, claimed to be the first electronic music compilation (not sure about that, I thought Music From Mathematics from 1962 had that title?) has been re-released, although it seems you can download it here.
I must’ve known about this exhibition as I had this book, not sure if I still have it somewhere, this copy looks very familiar! I don’t think it’s a book I would part with, I suspect it’s at my dads…
The exhibition seems an intriguing mix of computer art and late 1960’s Summer of Love and eccentricity. I’ve always loved early computer art, I was intrigued by the work of Lillian Schwartz, Leon Harmon and Ken Knowlton et al at art college, it really doesn’t get it’s due. And I’ve always loved Nam June Paik’s TV work – a big influence on my video installations and early glitching/VHS hacking attempts in the early 1990s, and of course great to see Peter Zinovieff in the clip creating auto-generated computer music. There’s even what I guess is a nod to 2001 with the use of Blue Danube, as the film was released that year.
One of the robots looked familiar – ROSA BOSOM, as I’d recently watched ‘Dave Allen – In Search of the Great English Eccentric’ thanks to Ian Fondue recommending it when it was last repeated – and wondered who the guy with the robots, pop music ‘career’ and fighter plan obsession was. Turns out to be Bruce Lacey, a name I know from various places, including the films of Richard Lester and The Alberts. I guess he was an inspiration for the later likes of Roger Spear and Tim Hunkin? I say was – according to Wikipedia he’s still going strong in 2014, which is great to hear Video is well worth watching, since it also includes Ivor Cutler and other fascinating characters. I guess Viv Stanshall was busy that day
I never knew that ROSA BOSOM won the 1985 Alternate Miss World – beating Leigh Bowery and a pre-fame Grayson Perry!
Not many posts on Radio Clash manage to unite so many of my interests – early electronic music (and by association Radiophonic Workshop via White Noise), computer art, interactive/robotic art, silly/surreal/experimental music and the Goons (and by association the Bonzos) AND my art school past! B.I.N.G.O. do I get a prize-oh?
And here’s Bruce Lacey on Monitor filmed by Ken Russell in the early 60’s. BTW Trunk have a CD coming out of his music for his films, which sounds really interesting, he made his own instruments, as seen in the Eccentrics clip.