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In conjunction with the exhibition Let's Entertain and Art Entertainment
Network (aen.walkerart.org), the Walker Art Center is hosting a 12-
week online discussion investigating the reasons we are entertained and
the ways entertainment affects our relationship to art and technology.
EAT is inspired by the 1966 organization of the same acronym: Experiments
in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), founded by engineer Billy Klüver. E.A.T.
sought to pair engineers with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper
Johns, John Cage, and Andy Warhol; some of their collaborative projects
were seen at the World Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. The Walker's EAT is a contemporary
manifestation with an expanded objective that considers the dynamics between
forms of entertainment, mass media, art, and technology.
No matter what your preferred form of entertainment, the consumption of
it is subject to a basic set of tracts. Each of EAT's six tracts--choice,
engagement, competition, mischief, surrender, and sacrifice--will be addressed
for two weeks and led by a different set of invited artists, writers, theorists,
and technocultural producers. Pick your favorite and dig in! EAT will be
digested on the Walker's Web site once a week. Sign
up for the listserv conversation or for the weekly digest.
(WHAT SHALL I DO TODAY?)
EAT IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE BUSH FOUNDATION.
With such a range of options tugging at our desires, we are often identified
by our entertainment choices. Get to the bottom of how and why we choose
the forms of entertainment we do.
ENGAGEMENT (AM I HAVING FUN YET?)
FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 11
Entertainment is always getting bigger, better, and faster. What would
happen if we stopped and asked ourselves if we're having a good time?
COMPETITION (WHO WILL WIN?)
MARCH 12-MARCH 25
Adding competition to any form of entertainment helps make it more spectacular
to both viewers and participants. Take a look at the effects of competition
in a work-hard/play-hard environment.
MISCHIEF (CAN I GET AWAY WITH
MARCH 26-APRIL 8
Popular entertainment is rife with pranksters, hackers, and troublemakers
looking to subvert the rules of the game. Perhaps it's time we paid attention
to those who work against the system to create their own forms of entertainment.
(HAVE I FORGOTTEN THE REAL WORLD?)
APRIL 9-APRIL 22
Slipping away from reality is crucial to the pleasure of entertainment.
Has life become entertainment, with reality now taking the back seat?
SACRIFICE (IS THIS WORTH IT?)
APRIL 23-MAY 7
Entertainment is all about
us and what we are willing to put out for. How much we are willing to
give up if we can't shorten the download time?