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9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering Fonds

Fonds Presentation


9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering fonds (1966-2005). — 24 film reels, 71 videocassettes, 5 sound reels, 8 props/technical components, 3 cm of textual documents.


In 1965, with the help of Robert Rauschenberg, Billy Klüver sought the expertise of some 30 engineers at Bell Laboratories (Murray Hills, NJ), requesting that they participate in an interdisciplinary project blending avant-garde theatre, dance and new technologies. For the project, artists John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Öyvind Fahlström, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Steve Paxton, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, David Tudor and Robert Whitman each created an original performance. The artists were paired with the engineers, and together they produced the technical components used on stage by the participants (dancers, actors, musicians). The event was originally intended to be presented as part of the Stockholm Festival of Art and Technology in 1966. But when the festival's American program was cancelled, Billy Klüver moved the event to the 69th Regiment Armory (New York, NY), where it ran as 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering from October 13 to 23, 1966.

Custodial history:

Following 9 Evenings, Billy Klüver, Simone Forti (then Simone Whitman), Alfons Schilling and many other participants collected the documentary materials associated with the 10 performances: technical diagrams and sketches, choreographic scores, factual footage, sound recordings, props, technical components, etc. While certain artists chose to retain their own materials for their personal archives, Billy Klüver and Julie Martin kept most 9 Evenings materials until being deposited at the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA) in 1994 and the Daniel Langlois Foundation in 2001. Intellectual and physical processing of the fonds was conducted between 2002 and 2006.

Scope and content:

The fonds consists mainly of original factual footage (16 mm and 35 mm film) of the nine evenings as well as some audio recordings on magnetic tape. These materials can be found in the series: Documents associated with the performances presented as part of 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering (1966-1967). The fonds also include production materials and master video tapes of documentary films produced beginning in 1996 by Experiments in Art and Technology (Billy Klüver and Julie Martin) under the direction of Barbro Schultz Lundestam. These materials can be found in the series: Documentaries on 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering (1995-).


Title proper. — English documents. — The fonds consists of originals and reproductions. — Certain restrictions with respect to consultation apply. — The reproduction and publication of archival materials are subject to directives adopted by the CR+D with respect to the protection of intellectual property and privacy. — The complete press review for 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering can be found in the Collection of Documents Published by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), Daniel Langlois Foundation (Montreal, Canada). Materials related to the event are also housed by the following institutions: Getty Research Institute, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA); New York Public Library (New York, NY); and Archiv Sohm (Stuttgart, Germany). — More instalments are expected.

Vincent Bonin © 2006 FDL