Cybernetics and Sculpture

  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Wednesday, 8 March 2017
  • Discussion between Roy Ascott and Kate Sloan in the Institute's seminar room, starting at 6pm

An in-conversation between artist Roy Ascott and Kate Sloan (Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Research Fellow) on the subject of cybernetics in sculpture.

Roy Ascott (b. 1934) is the UK’s foremost cybernetic artist, having worked with cybernetic ideas since 1961. In an extraordinary career spanning six decades, Roy has maintained his belief in cybernetic theory and its continuing relevance to contemporary life. It also informed his revolutionary ‘Groundcourse’, an art foundation course that incorporated cybernetics, behaviourism and play. Roy has been at the vanguard of art using technology during his career, but this use of technology is not the defining feature of his practice. Rather, it is his sustained interest in the field of human communication that led him to explore the potential of new technologies. Technology, Roy argues, is the product of desire; it is there to fulfil a human drive.

In this conversation with Kate Sloan, Roy will discuss his early work in relation to the living, communicative and biological identity of early cybernetics, concentrating on his education and early years, pursuing the interrelationships between cybernetics, biology and sculptural form. It will also cover the position of cybernetics in the increasingly systematised art practices of the 1960s, while focusing on evolutionary moments in Roy's own practice.

Kate Sloan was a Henry Moore Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow 2015-17. She is in the final stages of completing a book about Roy Ascott’s teaching and early career.  She also has wider interests in post-war art and communication technologies. In 2017, Kate will be working on a new monograph that surveys cybernetics in the visual arts, particularly in relation to bio-feedback. She is a teaching fellow at the University of Edinburgh. 

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

The Henry Moore Institute will be reopening from Tuesday 18 May.