What if…

Exhibition Floor Plan

… we were meant to create a whole exhibititon around Five Tetrahedra? This was today’s task in our Collections Curatorship Class. In the course of a short and very efficient brainstorming the fivetetrehedra team came up with the following introductory text for its “quasi-exhibition”:

Five Tetrahedra, a letterpress print by Chris Crabtree (b. 1943), is an experimentation. 

The computer technology used in the work’s creation is an example of the adoption and subsequent adaption of war-time electronical developments. 1970s computer artists took abstract concepts and used cross-disciplinary thinking to combine art and science in the realisation of a new artistic expression.

In the face of the popularity of Minimalism and abstract Expressionism this work is indicative of the departure of computer art from other contemporary post-war art movements. At a time when technology was new, technicians, artists, and scientists used to come together to create pioneering and innovative works that subverted the traditional artistic canon.

Although Crabtree created the preparatory drawings and programs for his final image he – like many computer artists of this time – relied on experienced lab technicians to execute the work by operating complicated machinery. The overall iconographic simplicity of the work situates it perfectly within the common perception of computer art at that time, as the complicated and often tedious production processes were not reflected in the basic composition.


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