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Survival Research Laboratories: A Dystopian Industrial Performance Art

ED441 Histoire de l’art, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Galerie Colbert, 2 rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Machine as Art (in the 20th Century))
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Abstract

This paper examines the leading role played by the American mechanical performance group Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) within the field of machine art during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and as organized under the headings of (a) destruction/survival; (b) the cyborg as a symbol of human/machine interpenetration; and (c) biomechanical sexuality. As a manifestation of the era’s “industrial” culture, moreover, the work of SRL artists Mark Pauline and Eric Werner was often conceived in collaboration with industrial musicians like Monte Cazazza and Graeme Revell, and all of whom shared a common interest in the same influences. One such influence was the novel Crash by English author J. G. Ballard, and which in turn revealed the ultimate direction in which all of these artists sensed society to be heading: towards a world in which sex itself has fallen under the mechanical demiurge. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomechanical sexuality; contemporary art; destruction art; industrial music; industrial culture; J. G. Ballard; machine art; mechanical performance; Survival Research Laboratories; SRL biomechanical sexuality; contemporary art; destruction art; industrial music; industrial culture; J. G. Ballard; machine art; mechanical performance; Survival Research Laboratories; SRL
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Ballet, N. Survival Research Laboratories: A Dystopian Industrial Performance Art. Arts 2019, 8, 17.

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