Seminar on the Generation of Plastic Forms (1969-73) at the Computing Centre of the University of Madrid
Ignacio Gómez de Liaño and José Luis Alexanco
One of the ideas highlighted in the exhibition ZIN EX. From abstraction to algorithm is the way in which artists, engineers and programmers from around the world began to collaborate in the investigation of the potential of computers in the 1960s and 1970s. Although society at that time was fascinated by their possibilities and capabilities, the truth is that these technological resources were only available in the research laboratories of companies and universities. An example of this was the Computing Centre of the University of Madrid, one of the first and most remarkable places where computer language was investigated in Spain. During its most productive years, the Computing Centre applied the automation of experimental forms to fields such as plastic arts, music, architecture, medicine and library science. In order to do this, it established connections with some of the most pioneering and inquisitive
intellectuals, artists, scientists and corporations of the time.
In this online meeting we will focus on the Seminar on the Generation of Plastic Forms (1969-1973), a collective attempt to respond to the ways in which computing might affect the artistic field, through prototyping, serialisation and automation of production processes.
These are the issues that we will address with three of its protagonists: the coordinator of the seminar, the philosopher and poet Ignacio Gómez de Liaño, and the visual artist José Luis Alexanco. The latter one participate in the exhibition with works created at this time and diverse documentation on their experiences during their time at the Computing Centre.