Weird robots and computer art in 1968 "Cybernetic Serendipity" exhibition

According to Wikipedia, "Cybernetic Serendipity was an exhibition of cybernetic art curated by Jasia Reichardt, shown at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 1968." This film shows some of the art that was on display. It looks fantastic.

In 2014, ICA produced a short film about the exhibition, with commentary by Reichardt.

One part of the exhibition was concerned with algorithms and devices for generating music. Some exhibits were pamphlets describing the algorithms, whilst others showed musical notation produced by computers. Devices made musical effects and played tapes of sounds made by computers. Peter Zinovieff lent part of his studio equipment - visitors could sing or whistle a tune into a microphone and his equipment would improvise a piece of music based on the tune.

Another part described computer projects such as Gustav Metzger's self-destructive Five screens with computer, a design for a new hospital, a computer programmed structure, and dance choreography.

The machines and installations were a very noticeable part of the exhibition. Gordon Pask produced a collection of large mobiles with interacting parts that let the viewers join in the conversation. Many machines formed kinetic environments or displayed moving images. Bruce Lacey contributed his radio-controlled robots and a light-sensitive owl. Nam June Paik was represented by Robot K-456 and televisions with distorted images. Jean Tinguely provided two of his painting machines. Edward Ihnatowicz's biomorphic hydraulic ear turned toward sounds and John Billingsley's Albert 1967 turned to face light. Wen-Ying Tsai presented his interactive cybernetic sculptures of vibrating stainless-steel rods, stroboscopic light, and audio feedback control. Several artists exhibited machines that drew patterns that the visitor could take away, or involved visitors in games. Cartoonist Rowland Emett designed the mechanical computer Forget-me-not, which was commissioned by Honeywell.

Another section explored the computer's ability to produce text - both essays and poetry. Different programs produced Haiku, children's stories, and essays.

Computer generated movies were represented by John Whitney's permutations and a Bell Labs movie on their technology for producing movies. Some samples included images of teseracts rotating in four dimensions, a satellite orbiting the earth, and an animated data structure.

Computer graphics were also represented, including pictures produced on cathode ray oscilloscopes and digital plotters. There was a variety of posters and graphics demonstrating the power of computers to do complex (and apparently random) calculations. Other graphics showed a simulated Mondrian and the iconic decreasing squares spiral that appeared on the exhibition's poster and book. The Boeing Corporation exhibited their use of wireframe graphics.