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Kathryn Farley, Generative Systems

Process I & II

By the seventh year of the program, Sheridan had designed certain Generative Systems classes to “give the student a range of experience, from the artist’s vantage point, in reexamining energy for imaging manually, mechanically, electronically and photonically... and to pull apart and examine dozens of communications machines.“ (1)

The courses, titled Process I and Process II, introduced students to the interactive properties of imaging systems using a practice-based mode of inquiry. These exercises, part of a Process I class, for instance, granted participants the opportunity to understand electrostatic image transfer without the assistance of mechanical instrumentation. (a) In-class activities and take-home assignments, such as lessons involving magnetic production techniques, allowed participants to grapple with complex scientific principles within a practical and participatory context. (b)

Kathryn Farley © 2007 FDL

(1) Sonia Landy Sheridan, “Mind/Senses/Hand: The Generative Systems Program at the Art Institute of Chicago 1970-1980,” Leonardo: Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, vol. 23, no. 2/3 (December 1990) p. 176.