Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture

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Product Details

MIT Press
Publish Date
7.4 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 2.4 pounds

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About the Author

W. Patrick McCray, Professor in the History Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the author of four other books, including the prize-winning The Visioneers.


"Patrick McCray's excellent new book, Making Art Work [...] provides a comprehensive history of postwar artistic and scientific collaborations in the United States."

"In Making Art Work, W. Patrick McCray asks why and how American artists and engineers collaborated to produce this kind of technological art in the 1960s and 1970s. [....] this book also provokes additional questions. Of what did technological art make people aware? Could it in fact contribute to solving social problems like hunger, homelessness, and war? How did patriarchy and white supremacy shape this art and the awareness it produced? What roles did women and people of color play in constructing and contesting it? Although none of these questions is at the center of McCray's book, he points toward some of the answers."
--Los Angeles Review of Books

"A thoughtful and engaging study that provides a good introduction to the surge of art and technology from the Cold War to the counterculture of the 1960s, offering new insights into the artists of the period that took advantage of the skillset and knowledge of engineers."
--Engineering and Technology

"An insightful and absorbing [book] by the historian W. Patrick McCray reveals the motivations and impact of this idealistic confluence of artistic radicals and mages of the Cold War."
--Jonathon Keats, Forbes

"A well-documented and accessible history of the interrelationship between technology and art that has produced ground-breaking processes, hybrid minds and ideas."

"As McCray shows, the seemingly impermeable barriers between science and art have in fact been highly porous. The two cultures do, it seems, have common ground."
--Physics Today