This conversation marks the publication of Sharon Irish’s new book, Concerning Stephen Willats and the Social Function of Art: Experiments in Cybernetics and Society (Bloomsbury, 2021).
The London-based artist Willats (b. 1943) has long explored relationships among people, buildings, and urban environments, using social practice informed by cybernetic concepts like feedback and control within living and machine systems. In 1986 he wrote in Intervention and Audience: “The place of intervention itself is perceived as one of the mediums of the work.”
Irish will be joined by Jorge Lucero (artist and Associate Professor of Art Education) and Lou Turner (Clinical Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning) to discuss artworks that Stephen Willats co-created with United Kingdom residents of modernist tower blocks as well as with people living in low-rise and semi-detached houses. How did they describe their current situations? How did they imagine their futures?
This virtual event will take place in English via Zoom. Registration is required. | Register Now
Sharon Irish is a Research Affiliate at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois. She has also been active with the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), the SHOT-affiliated Special Interest Group on Computers, Information and Society (SIGCIS), and FemTechNet, a feminist collective of artists, scholars and activists interested in science and technology. Her previous books include a monograph on artist Suzanne Lacy (2010) and another on the architect Cass Gilbert (1999).