"This Continually Computerized Catalog": Participation, Database Aesthetics, and Dan Flavin's 1967 exhibition at the MCA Chicago. A Lecture by David Getsy, Prof. of Art History

 

Thursday, October 31, 2013, 12:00–1:00 p.m.
Flaxman Library Special Collections, 37 S. Wabash Avenue, room 508

For his first major museum show at the MCA Chicago in 1967, Dan Flavin installed one of the earliest commercially available IBM mainframes so that visitors could produce on-site unique dot-matrix printed variations of the text which served as the exhibition's catalogue.  This talk will explore the conceptual framework for his use of computer punch cards as a means to intentionally confound the functionality of the informative catalogue. In an early example of digital participation, Flavin saw the possibility of the limited database as congruent to his Minimalist employment of the fluorescent light tube.