… Picking up from the previous post where I was trying to get to Robert Rauschenberg … I’m here now, but have spent almost three weeks trying to wrap my arms around his incredible legacy. His career is voluminous, though, and I veered off on several tangents. I’m posting a snippet of just one.
Billy Klüver was an electrical engineer on staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1958 – 1968. He published numerous technical and scientific papers on, among others, small signal power conservation in electron beams, backward-wave magnetron amplifiers and infra-red lasers. He also worked with Rauschenberg’s in the early 1960s on an environmental sound sculpture.
He and Rauschenberg established “Experiments in Art and Technology” (EAT) in 1966, a non-profit organization to promote collaborations between artists and engineers.
NASA invited Rauschenberg to the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969. He then spent several years creating his “Stoned Moon” series of lithographs to commemorate the event.
From the National Gallery of Australia:
“NASA provided Rauschenberg with detailed scientific maps, charts and photographs of the launch, which formed the basis of the Stoned moon series − comprising thirty-three lithographs printed at Gemini GEL [Graphic Editions Limited]. The Stoned moon series is a celebration of man’s peaceful exploration of space as a ‘responsive, responsible collaboration between man and technology’.”
NOTE: This post is a segue to another Rauschenberg snippet (at some point in the future) on a different aspect of his career.