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  ASCI History: old text version


1988 ASCI was officially founded by artist Cynthia Pannucci, when she realized there was a lack of support for technology-based art in NYC and the USA in general.

This realization came about as a result of her experience organizing a non-profit to find support and funding for her fiber-optic, kinetic sculpture project for the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Although, her project fell through, rather than eliminate the non-profit she had formed, she sent out an Open Call for a meeting, through the New York Foundation for the Art's FYI newsletter. 17 artists answered the call and now ASCI has members throughout the U.S. and the world.

1992 ASCI: Secured a "free" lower Manattan space for monthly meetings, the first monday of every month, where members and guests made presentations dealing with compelling issues surrounding art and technology.

Sent a monthly bulletin to members introducing speakers and listing opportunities/resources and information of interest.

Moderated an "Artists Talk On Art"/NYC panel entitled "Art & Science, Divorce/Marriage."

Mounted their first member's exhibiton, "The Pull of Kinetics," at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island, and created their first exhibition catalog.

Installed first member's sponsored public project, Alena Ort's "Underground Sky," in the Bowling Green subway station for the MTA Exhibition Station Program.

1993 ASCI: Mounted a public exhibition, "SpringWorks: The Pull of Kintetics II" at the New York Hall of Science, April 1993.

Established a national quarterly newsletter, "Movements," under the editorship of Michael von Uchtrup.

Established a yearly ASCI Members Directory listing technical and consulting skills. Featured article about ASCI members exhibition "The Pull of Kinetics," in LEONARDO Vol 27, No.4.

Established "The Art and Technology Speaker Series at The Cooper Union" The series brought students and the general public a unique look at the art of pioneer and contemporary artists whose innovative work intersected the fields of art and science.

1994 ASCI PRESENTS AT FIBER OPTIC FAIR - February 16, 1994 Sponsored by the NYC chapters of the Designers' Lighting Forum and the NY Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society, and hosted by Con Edison, the trade event brought together fiber optics manufacturers and industry reps from around the country.Cynthia Pannucci presented her own and the work of other artists who use fiber optics including: Michael Hayden and Clyde Lynds.

LIGHTFAIR INTERNATIONAL at Javits Center, NYC, May 2-6,1994

The New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society invited ASCI's Artistic Director, Cynthia Pannucci, to curate a small exhibition of lightworks from its membership which comprised their darkened, provocative booth at the Fair. The five unique works utilized extremely varied light mediums: neon, holography,computer-programmed LEDs, computer-programmed fluorescent tubes, and various laser and light projection technologies. The exhibiting artists were Kevin Daniel, Flash Light, Gerald Marks, Alena Ort, and Matthew Tanteri.


They thought it couldn't be done... artists can't talk for just one minute about their work in front of an audience! That was the format of the evening for the 47 artist members who showed up with either 6 slides or one minute of cued-up video tape of their work to share. The evening actually lasted two and one-half hours (so some people did carry on a bit) but most concurred with member artist Emily Hartzell when she said, "The best thing about Members' Nite was the diversity of work! It's refreshing to hear about everyone's work from their own perspective. The whole experience was quite intimate and inspiring." ASCI's NEWSLETTER EXPANDS ASCI's biannual newsletter, "Movements" is taking the leap from just straight information about resources, events and opportunities, to include technical and insightful articles about issues in the field. Its Vol. 3 Fall 1994 issue included some of the following:

- "Terms of Settlement" by art historian, writer, Richard Leslie is his reaction to some of the critical issues surrounding computer art that were explored in another article.... (next)

- "A User's Guide to the Electronic Cliche" by Delle Maxwell c Annette Weintraub is excerpts that present one-third of a paper given at the Fourth International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) in Milwaukee in 1993.

- "Motors for Kinetic Artwork" by Guy Marsden explored various types of motors and their uses in artworks.

- "Report From the Next Generation" by Robin Bihlmeyer was about a success-story about a potential "drop-out" from the new magnet highschool, Museum School of Technology in Brooklyn.

- "Electronic Publishing, Poetry, and the Culture Wars" by Stephanie Strickland explores the promise of electronic publishing from her viewpoint as a poet and x-librarian.

LEONARDO JOURNAL INVITES ASCI TO CURATE The first Gallery Section of their prestigious international journal's August 1994 issue. Cynthia Pannucci selected a broad cross-section of works that would represent the breadth of the work in ASCI. Works by Doris Vila, Ken Butler, Mary Ziegler, Robert Chambers, Matthew Tanteri, and Steve Bradley were featured with photos and text.

ASCI CONTINUES 2ND YEAR OF A/T SPEAKER SERIES AT COOPER UNION Our monthly art & technology series that was initiated by ASCI in the fall of 1993 in order to provide an historical context for current a/t work, continues in the Great Hall. This year's series is supported through a grant from AT&T Foundation.

The Fall'94 Series began with another pioneer artist who continues to examine and use leading-edge technologies at Bell Labs and for her personal art.

- Sept. 21st: LILLIAN SCHWARTZ is probably best known for her work in establishing the computer as a medium for artistic expression, and was first to have such a work acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is now working in the area of virtual reality and through her research and use of computer technology, she has made several important contributions to the field of art history. She is also author of a book, The Computer Artist's HandBook, W. W. Norton & Co., NY.

- Oct. 11th: JOHN DRISCOLL has composed music for dance companies since 1978, including Douglas Dunn & Dancers, Merce Cunningham, and the Boston Ballet. He has created Numerous sound installations and environments throughout Europe and the U.S., including a 10-yr. collaboration with David Tudor on his "Rainforest 4" sound environment. Driscoll's work focuses upon resonance in physical materials and architectural spaces.

- Nov. 8th: CHRISTOPHER JANNEY was trained as both an architect and a jazz musician and combines both in his temporary and permanent interactive architectural installations. He considers his works "instruments that make music more physical, more visual" and works from his "Urban Musical Instrument" series have been shown in important venues world-wide. His work, "Hopscotch" (done with the collaboration of Joan Brigham) is in the collection of the Smithsonian. He recently completed this country's largest interactive public artwork for the Miami International Airport.

- Dec. 14th: Since 1982, KYONG PARK has been the director of Storefront for Art & Architecture which he founded. He will be discussing his two long-range projects: The Nuclear Heritage Park, the world's first post-disarmament thermonuclear weapon-based family theme parks intended to transform military installations for cultural and entertainment purposes; and the Corsican National Defense Entertainment System. In the latter, the island's coastal, abandoned, 16th and 17th century observation towers will be re-serviced into a network of electronic scanning and projection devices.

NTT-AD, USA (Nippon Tel & Tel Advertising) CREATES WEBSITE FOR ASCI:
The Homepage and site includes: featured artist members' work; some selections from our newsletter, Movements; calendar of ASCI events; documentation of ASCI exhibitions; and listings of resources and information from the monthly ASCI Bulletin. This in-kind support is being generously donated by Liz Doherty, VP at NTT-AD, USA who saw a listing in the Village Voice and began attending our Cooper A/T series last year. She is now an ASCI Board member and friend.

During a winter tour in Florida, ASCI's Director gave public talk and showed documentation video tape of ASCI members' work at: U. of Florida in Gainsville, U. of Miami in Coral Gables, Sarasota School of Fine Arts, the Miami Alternative High School of the Arts, and at a teachers' conference for the Long Island BOCES.

In the Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th Street, NYC; $5; all presentations begin at 7PM; sponsors include: AT&T Foundation, NTT-AD, USA, Sony, USA, The David Bermant Foundation, and Cooper Union.

- January 10th: Multimedia artist, NINA SOBELL has been pushing the envelope of interactivity since her first foam rubber sculptures created at Cornell in 1971 as she was the first woman accepted into their sculpture department program. These past projects set the tone for her current, project, "Park Bench", public videophone /Internet kiosks for NYC and beyond. This long-term project is a collaboration with Emily Hartzell during their current residency at NYU's Center for Advanced Technology.

- Feb. 8th: A. MICHAEL NOLL, currently on sabbatical as Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at USC in Los Angeles, will reminisce about his involvement in the beginnings of Computer Art in the U.S. - how he became a researcher at Bell Labs during the 1960's when it was a hotbed of experimentation and innovation. He will show examples of his work which includes some of the first computer 3-D animation, computer-generated ballet, 4-D hyper-space and the famed Mondrian experiment.

- March 7th: New York based artist, ALICE AYCOCK combines references to architecture, magic, science, literature, and madness in her sculpture. In works such as "The Miraculating Machine in the Garden", and "A Salutation to the Wonderful Pig of Knowledge", she uses mechanical processes and industrial materials to evoke the fantastic. She will also discuss her up-coming project for the East River Pavilion, "East River Roundabout".

- April 12th: THE FIRST CYBER FAIR FOR ARTISTS .... the purpose of the event was to decipher, decode, demystify the "information super highway" and advise artists not to be left in the dust by this new tool to make, discuss, document, and market art internationally. Presenters included: Remo Campopiano, of Artnetweb; Stacy Horn of Echo; David Green for ArtsWire; Wolfgang Stachle of The Thing. (600 people attended this event! as it was perhaps the first of its kind and geared to the art community.)

- May 9th: "Fifty-five years ago, a professor of Philosophy and Jurisprudence at Yale University convinced me, as well as others, that the most vital art of one's time was that art which incorporated the underlying reality of the world as discovered by the science of one's time". Thirty years ago, DAVID BERMANT began collecting and commissioning interactive art for his shopping malls around the country. He showed work and spoke of the controversies he encountered and the challenges ahead.

In an age of sound-bites, a fast-clip minute of exciting visual images can offer a tantalizing taste of an artist's current work. Last year, 47 artist members shared their work. Slides and video images on the big stage screen and description by the artists.

This is the 2nd SpringWorks Festival, May 17 - May 21, 1995 which ASCI has produced and coordinated for the Hall's annual art & technology event. This year, the selection criteria for all three of the works were that they be interactive and/or involve sound. Cynthia Pannucci choose works by Ken Butler, Kathryn Greene and the team of Sue Rees and Jonathan Beepler. Brief descriptions of the works follows:

KATHERYN GREENE created a site-specific installation video work for under the staircase on the main exhibit hall. In "Counting Time", the viewer literally stepped into the artist's newly-created, physical world (tent) in order to be transported in time. A video monitor was mounted face-up in the end of a long wooden "bed". The flickering light from the monitor and computer-manipulated video imagery, drew the viewers into another time and dimension. Stored memories of a past time when the artist, as a child, used to count the sections of sidewalk and the stairs on her way to school.

"Object and Sound: Automation of Accidental Gestures" by SUE REES & JONATHAN BEEPLER totally required audience interaction in order to be experienced. Rees, a sculptor, re-interpreted the 3-dimensional forms of musical instruments and found objects; while Beepler, a musician, designed the software and interface. The audience became the maestro of this weird, wired and obliquely-fashioned orchestra by activating switches and playing a digital keyboard. Sequences of audience participation were "captured" by a computer that traced the evolution of the work over the five days of the installation.

The artistic framework of multi-media performance allows for the breadth of KEN BUTLER's talents (composer, musician, instrument-maker, graphic artist, animator) to coalesce, and science offers the inspiration. "Two Fruit Flies: a micro opera" explored the structure, behavior, metamorphosis, and sound-producing mechanisms of the planet's other dominant life form- the fruit fly. The ingenuity of the hybrid forms unite effortlessly with the artist's imagination, to create a penetrating and provocative experience for the senses.

SpringWorks was developed for the New York Hall of Science and funded by a grant from the Queens Art Council. Each artist received a $1200 stipend for their work.

Curated by the ASCI Exhibition Committee for the MMC Gallery, Marymount Manhattan College, 221 E. 71st Street, NYC, the artists who showed 2-dimensional, digital works included: Roz Dimon, S. Kaprov, Steve Bradley, Annette Weintraub, Sr. Judith Savard, Phillip George, Ilene Astrahan, and Rachel Gellman.

September 16-October 28, 1995 in the University Art Gallery, Staller Center for the Arts, State University of New York at Stony Brook. The exhibition was curated by art historian, and writer, Richard Leslie and included: Sara Garden Armstrong, Gregory Barsamian, Stephen Geiger, Chuck Genco, Ron Kuivila, Flash Light, Matthew Tanteri, Doris Vila, and Mary Ziegler.

September 18 - 22, 1995. A selection of ASCI artists' work was documented on video and shown at a presentation by ASCI's Director, Cynthia Pannucci, on the last day of the conference. Unfortunately, it was scheduled in the same time-slot as perhaps the most well-attended talk of the conference, that of 3-4 curators and museum people discussing their current focus on work in digital media.

Because of a 2/3's cut in the staff of Cooper Union's Extended Studies Program (under which our Art & Technology Speaker Series fell), ASCI had to look for another space to hold its monthly meetings and public programs. We tried meeting at a couple of cyber cafes and even a SoHo Starbucks, but between the sound of grinding coffee beans, and the cigarette smoke and cramped layout of another, we have only been meeting sporadically over the past two years.

Based on the large attendance of the first Cyber Fair for Artists at Cooper Union's Great Hall on April 12, 1995, and armed with the humbling experience of encountering many of its technology pitfalls which a "live" public Internet session brings, ASCI partners with NTT-Ad, USA to meet the challenge of *redundancy* and develop an ambitious program of illustrious presenters for a second event. This took place on a blustery rain-filled, October 21, 1995 in the Great Hall at Cooper Union, NYC.

The event ($20 admission), 10am - 6:30pm, consisted of: keynotes; presenters; lunch- break of curated online-art in the Green Room (G.H. Hovagimyan) with catered food; or online demos at the @ CAFE; afternoon presentations; and ended the day with online "playtime" and a free drink at @ CAFE. The speaker roster follows:

10am - Keynote by Michael Govan (Director of the DIA Center for the Arts, NYC) who was responsible for making his the first American museum to go online.)

10:30 - Douglas Davis, artist, educator; "The World's First Collaborative Sentence".

10:50 - Remo Campopiano, Artnetweb; "Overview of Cyberspace"

11:20 - Philip Djwa, Harvestworks; "How to Begin + Costs"

11:50 - Artists' Use of the Internet: Adrianne Wortzel, Laura Trippi, and Andrea Sferes Dancing-on-a-Line

2:00 - Keynote by Laurie Anderson, multi-media electronic performance artist.

2:30 - John Aigner, NYWorks; "Marketing Yourself on the Internet"

3:00 - Liz Doherty / Jason Taylor, NTT, Ad, USA; "Hints for Homepage Creation"

3:30 - A. Michael Noll, Annenberg School, USC; "Cyber Overload"

4:00 - Craig Kanarick, Razorfish, NYC; "Future Predictions"

Approximately 500 people attended this event. And, located in an exposition room adjacent to the Great Hall, 20 Internet Service Providers and CD-ROM companies manned tables with demo laptops and literature. This room was bustling with questions, networking, and shared information throughout the entire day-long event. Considering that the use of the Internet by Artists was still in its infancy, the technical and programmatic success of this day-long event made an important contribution to the professional development of the presenters and audience participants. (Programs from the event are available for documentation purposes upon request.)

has been produced by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI), curated by Cynthia Pannucci, in conjunction with the "Art as Science and Science as Art" exhibition at Westbeth Galleries, 9/1 - 9/30, 1996, which celebrates the 100 year anniversary of Westbeth as the site of Bell Laboratories in lower Manhattan.


A large ASCI group exhibition at the EIGHTH FLOOR GALLERY, 473 B'Way, NYC, February 27 - March 2nd, 1996. Over 40 artists from the group showed works which reflected eclectic media and conceptual issues; video, holography, photography, small kinetic works, digital prints, hand-made instruments, computer-shaped reliefs, mixed-media sculpture, and CD-ROM.

in conjunction with the American Music Theatre Festival at the University of Pennsylvania campus theatre, on March, 24, 1996, Cynthia Pannucci showed a documentation video of ASCI artists' work.

June 12, 1996. Utilizing an existing curved wall of glass blocks, Gerald Marks created a colorful and dynamic, computer-generated graphic mural which is back-lit with light to transform the 28th Street IRT train station into a fantasmagorical seaside vista. The $5,000 commission was one of the last "Creative Stations" projects of the MTA's major revitalization of New York's subway stations in the last five years. (For more details, go to: NEWS /featured artist list.)

was produced by Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI), and curated by Cynthia Pannucci, in conjunction with the "Art as Science and Science as Art" exhibition at Westbeth Galleries, 9/1 - 9/30, 1996, which celebrated the 100-year anniversary of Westbeth as the site of Bell Laboratories in lower Manhattan.

All the work in this exhibition relies on the juice of electricity to reveal its potency. Lightart is perhaps yet to be codified as a "field" of fine art and yet many of these artists have been using it as an expressive medium for the past 10-15 years (30 years for Earl Reiback). Whether expressing the spiritual essence of Egyptian iconography or the optical illusion of a poetic scene, each artist has different purposes and uses for light. Their unique vision has, in several cases, birthed new systems and technologies. Fisch/Maxedon use a computer-controlled camera which they designed and built themselves to capture the 3-D effects in their work. Heidi Kumao's techno system harkens back to the birth of cinema technology itself. The other artists in the show included: Franc Palaia, Tim Watkins, Flash Light, Alena Ort, Meryl Meisler, Anita Thacher, and Peter Terezakis.

In September 1996, a "changing of the guard" at NTT-Ad, USA, created major problems for our website. No longer would the technical design, html coding, and content up-dating be donated by NTT-Ad. They would maintain some of our extensive exhibition files as an archive on their server, but we had to learn how to do the rest for ourselves. So, it has taken 6 months of volunteer efforts and learning by ASCI members to get the site re-structured and up and going, which should be complete by the end of March, 1997. In retrospect, this was a fortuitous experience. We now have our own domain name.... and are gaining more control of the medium as a new tool for expressing the art and mission of ASCI. We were most fortunate to have the excellent web structure and design efforts of Stefan Demeter, who is responsible for the site's new look. You can see his work on our site by going to: NEWS /featured artist list.

Perhapse because of our WWW presence, perhaps because of our many monthly announcement emails to our Colleagues List, we are receiving more and more requests for referrals from curators. During this past year we referred for several RFP's from science museums, curators looking for sound installation work, digital multi-media performance work, and environmental art proposals. We showed work to a Japanese TV group, a video production facility, referred artists regarding outdoor sculptures for a children's garden and indoor work for a new children's museum. This is a free service to our members and is done on an informal basis.


ASCI WEBSITE is more fully-developed


an International Competition and Exhibition of "light art" installed in the Great Hall at the New York Hall of Science. (see "exhibits" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

a two-day international symposium bringing together artists and scientists. (see "events" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

Our first digital art competition and exhibition featured digital prints and (see "exhibits" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

Curated by Cynthia Pannucci, show travels to the Peninsula Arts Center, Newport, VA. (see "exhibits" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

An afternoon panel discussion with Bell Labs pioneers. (see "events" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

A panel reveals the history, technology, promise of new digital printers and its impact on the printmaking medium. (see "events" in left-hand navigation menu for details)


DIGITAL'99 Competition & Exhibition
(see "exhibits" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

CYBERART'99 All-day symposium sought new models of support for (see "events" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

ARTSCI'99 - ASCI's second international symposium bringing together artists and scientists to find new ways to nurture collaborations. (see "events" in left-hand navigation menu for details)


DIGITAL'2000 Competition & Exhibition
(see"exhibits" in left-hand navigation menu for details)

COLOR 12-YEAR REPORT documents the history of ASCI.

Primarily a development year for organizational infrastructure (QuickBooks, Membership database, and part-time staff) and future projects. Secured Rockefeller Foundation support.

2000-2004: Please click on "ASCI Reports" in left navigation bar in the "About" section on ASCI homepage.

2005 - current: Please click on Featured Member Archive, Spotlight Archive, Members News, Pubic Panels, Symposia, Exhibitions/Competitions... in the left-hand navigation bar for information about these years. [why be redundant]

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