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Article

‘An Element of Perfection’: The Transductive Art of Robert Mallary

Independent Researcher, London W2 1AA, UK
Academic Editors: Marian Mazzone, Marie Vicet, Juliette Bessette, G. W. Smith and Nicolas Ballet
Arts 2022, 11(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11020050
Received: 26 February 2022 / Revised: 25 March 2022 / Accepted: 29 March 2022 / Published: 6 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Review of Machine Art)
In 1969, American artist Robert Mallary (1917–1997) coined the term ‘transductive art’ to describe an approach to art based on the notion of receiving energy from one system and retransmitting it, often in a different form, to another. Long before the realm of techno-art became a recognizable construct, Mallary was interested in a system of relationships, seeking in his words, ‘an element of perfection’ in combinations of materials and technologies to make ‘a beautiful whole’. From his experiments with the Mexican Muralists to assemblage and Neo-Dada sculpture, and finally, his synergistic relationship with the computer, Mallary’s work addressed the place of the human in a technological world. He instigated one of the first American computer art curriculums within a fine art department, developing early examples of software created by artists for use by artists. His espousal of the digital to become a ‘Supermedium’, led him to conceptualise a ‘spatial-synesthetic art’, a multi-media immersive environment combining three-dimensional projected visual elements, motion, and sound. Although unrealised, this system anticipated future VR/virtual reality developments such as the ‘Cave Automatic Virtual Environment’ (CAVE™) system developed at the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1992. The current review will therefore argue, by example, that Mallary deserves a prominent position in the history of techno-art, and by virtue of both the several emerging influences he had the insight to recognise and bring together and his numerous subsequent contributions as simultaneously an artist, a theorist, and an educator. View Full-Text
Keywords: Robert Mallary; computer art; history of new media; art education; art and technology Robert Mallary; computer art; history of new media; art education; art and technology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mason, C. ‘An Element of Perfection’: The Transductive Art of Robert Mallary. Arts 2022, 11, 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11020050

AMA Style

Mason C. ‘An Element of Perfection’: The Transductive Art of Robert Mallary. Arts. 2022; 11(2):50. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11020050

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mason, Catherine. 2022. "‘An Element of Perfection’: The Transductive Art of Robert Mallary" Arts 11, no. 2: 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/arts11020050

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