In 1968, the Institute of Contemporary Art in London organized “Cyber Serendipity”, mentioned in a lot of literature and nonfiction as one of the first institutional exhibition to relate the computers’ potential and the emerging ‘cybernetics’ with art, music and poetry.
The exhibition was formed of three different areas: the first one dedicated to computer-generated graphics, movies, music andpoetry. The second one was reserved for certain derivatives of cybernetics, such as interactive installations, robots and painting machines. The third area is dedicated to the teaching with the aim to explain what cybernetics is and to demonstrate some rules for computers’ application.
Among the artists, Nam June Paik, Jean Tinguely, John Cage and Lowell Nesbitt have exposed a series of monochrome paintings portraying the computers of IBM, sponsor company of the project.
On the occasion of the exhibition, Gustav Metzger realized the project Five Screens with Computer, a drawing for a new hospital, a computer programmed structure and a dance choreography.
In June 2012, the gallery of the prestigious Anglia Ruskin University, formerly the Cambridge School of Art, forty four years after the historical Cyber Serendipity, and on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the famous mathematician Alan Turing, the gallery presented an exhibition that relates poetry, language and computer code, as well as these were appropriated by the artists for their creations in the formulations and with more different results.
Once again the exhibition Cyber Serendipity comes in evidence. The project is also a tribute to the work of the Cambridge Language Research Unit where Margaret Masterman and Robin McKinnon released their first computer based poem in the world. Even the work and memory of Gustav Metzinger reappeared in a novel written in the fifties and the protagonist of the project of Cambridge.