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The Experience Machine


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Stan VanDerBeek's Movie-Drome (1965) is one of the most important projects created at the intersection of art, video, and digital technology. This book is the first in-depth study of Stan VanDerBeek's works and ideas on the larger practice of 1960s avant-garde, and subsequent emergence of new media art and digital culture. It's a must-read for anybody who wants to understand the conceptual roots of social media networks, creative coding, and our present cultural situation. -- Lev Manovich, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, author of The Language of New Media Equal parts archive-hound and skilled interpreter, Gloria Sutton guides the reader on a 360-degree tour of the Movie-Drome and its cultural surround in this stellar work of art, film, and media history. VanDerBeek emerges as less avant-garde filmmaker than prescient theorist of computing and networked communication (whose theory happened to take the form of a hemispherical, participatory image-theater made of plywood and grain-silo parts in Stony Point, New York). Sutton writes with an eye to the future as well as the past, and The Experience Machine will be rewarding reading for anyone interested in making art and culture under the networked conditions VanDerBeek partially, and influentially, foresaw. -- Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Harvard University, author of Being Watched: Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s This is an in-depth study with a wide scope. By meticulously documenting the complex multimedial and technopolitical underpinnings of VanDerBeek's Movie-Drome, Sutton provides a powerful antidote to generalizing accounts of the technical apparatuses in avant-garde art, as well as an optics through which to view art in the age of ubiquitous information technologies. -- Ina Blom, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo; author of On the Style Site: Art, Sociality, and Media Culture The Experience Machine is an illuminating and authoritative study of Expanded Cinema and one of its key artists. Combining a close analysis of VanDerBeek's films, drawings, collages, photographs, and writings with a lucid assessment of the historical debates and practices of 1960s multimedia art, the book's originality lies not only in the sheer information it yields, but also in the questions it asks and the very concepts it proposes. -- Roy Grundmann, Boston University

About the Author

Gloria Sutton is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and New Media in the Department of Art + Design at Northeastern University.

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