The New Creativity: Man and Machines

  • Exhibition

835 N Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Curated by Sylvia Lavin with the UCLA Curatorial Project

From the first house R.M. Schindler designed using a drafting machine to contemporary architects who design digital drawing devices instead of houses, The New Creativity: Man and Machines examined creative practices in relation to the social and technical complexes that support and constrain them. While all forms of art making have been radically transformed by the advent of digital technologies, spaces of creative production are the most telling symptoms of how these transformations reflect deeper changes in the understanding of creativity itself. During the 20th century, for example, domestic spaces have supported ideas of art as the personal expression of talented individuals, while office organizations have reflected conceptions of creativity as information produced by systems rather than people. Some architects, like Charles Eames, celebrated the democratization of creativity, while others, like Paul Rudolph, hid his use of the Xerox machine to generate his famously detailed drawings behind overlays of delicate tracing paper. Focusing on the house, the office, the studio, and the shop, The New Creativity brought together a rich array of designs, documents, and devices that visitors were not only able to view, but that they were able to use and engage as means of testing their own productive inclinations. This experiment in contemporary creativity took place within the landmark Schindler House, which is perhaps the first building in Los Angeles to constitute an experiment in creative space itself.

Architects and artists in the exhibition included R.M. Schindler, Paul Rudolph, George Nelson, Robert Propst, Bruce Nauman, Erin Besler, Greg Lynn, Craig Hodgetts, Peter Vikar, and Refik Anadol.

Victoria Marks and others from the UCLA Dance Department performed in the ‘office’ portion of the exhibition every Friday afternoon.

The New Creativity: Man and Machines was funded in part by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Office of the Dean at UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, and the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. 

Exhibition support from Knowhow Shop.

Image: Robert Propst, “Time Lapse Study Sheet for Action Office System, HMRC-1, Body Location Pattern.” From the collections of The Henry Ford, copy and reuse restrictions apply (2010.83.649, Robert Propst Papers).