The computer and the Arts, 1969
Edited by Jasia Reichardt
“Cybernetic serendipity is an international exhibition exploring and demonstrating some of the relationships between technology and creativity…
Cybernetic serendipity deals with possibilities rather than achievements, and in this sense it is prematurley optimistic. There are no heroic claims to be made because computers have so far neither revolutionised music nor art, nor poetry, in the same way that they have revolutionised science.
There are two main points which make this exhibition and this catalogue unusual in the contexts in which are exhibitions and catalogues are normally seen. The first is that no visitor to the exhibition, unless he reads all the notes relating to all the works, will know whether he is looking at something made by an artist, engineer, mathematician, or architect. Nor is it particularly important to know the background of the makers of the various robots, machines and graphics, it will not alter their impact, although it might make us see them differently.
The other point is more significant.
New media such as plastics or new systems such as visual music notation and the parameters of concrete poetry, inevitably alter the shape of art, the characteristics of music, and the concrete poetry. New possibilities extend the range of expression of those creative people whom we identify as painters, film makers, composers and poets, It is very rare however, that new media and new systems should bring in their wake new people to become involved in creative activity, be it composing music, drawing, constructing or writing.”