Art historians have generally drawn sharp distinctions be-tween conceptual art and art-and-technology. This essay reexamines the interrelationship of these tendencies as they developed in the 1960s, focus-ing on the art criticism of Jack Burnham and the artists in-cluded in the Software exhibition that he curated. The historiciza-tion of these practices as distinct artistic categories is examined. By interpreting conceptual art and art-and-technology as reflections and constituents of broad cultural transformations during the information age, the author concludes that the two tenden-cies share important similarities, and that this common ground offers useful insights into late-20th-century art.

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Author notes

Based on a paper originally presented at SIGGRAPH 2001 in Los Angeles, California, 12-17 August 2001. The paper was presented in the art gallery theater as part of the Art and Culture Papers component of N-Space, the SIGGRAPH 2001 Art Gallery. An earlier, shorter version of this essay was published in SIGGRAPH 2001 Electronic Art and Animation Catalog (New York: ACM SIGGRAPH, 2001) pp. 8-15. Reprinted courtesy ACM SIGGRAPH.