About 9 Evenings & 9e2

Fahlstrom performance: "Smoking man throwing head of LBJ"

The year 1966 saw a legendary and pivotal event in the history of technology-driven art. Called “9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering,” the project brought together 10 artists and 30 scientists and engineers from Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Flash forward to 2016, the fiftieth anniversary of this iconic event: 9e2 teams artists with scientists and engineers, in a festival of performances, installations, exhibits, and discussions. By examining contemporary themes that are poised to change the way we experience life on this planet, 9e2 will shine a spotlight on the next 50 years.

Put together by the artist Robert Rauschenberg and visionary Bell Labs engineer Billy Klüver, the original 9 Evenings of performances were based on the newest technologies of the time (particularly in the areas of communications and cybernetics). Held at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan, the performances paired artists as Rauschenberg, John Cage, Deborah Hay, and Yvonne Rainier with a scientist or engineer from Bell Labs. They were assisted by a number of other engineers, artists and performers, including Frank Stella, Cark Andre, Robert Morris, and Meredith Monk. Over the nine evenings, more than 10,000 people came through the doors of the Armory.

9e2 draws together artists, engineers, and scientists from across the United States, as well as from Seattle’s art community, technology companies, and schools. We highlight and celebrate Seattle’s place as a center for creativity and exploration of new technologies, build connections between artists, scientists, and the community, and commemorate a half-century of the artistic traditions engendered by the original 9 Evenings. At the same time, we expect 9e2 to leave a forward-looking legacy: new work, new bonds between artists and technologists, new ways of looking at and using technology, and a new awareness of the interconnections between science, technology, and art.

More on the history of 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering here.

moon phase graphic