Robert Rauschenberg's nine night electronic tennis match in the dark

Think Silicon Valley has a monopoly on tech disruption? In 1966, New York hosted an art-tech mashup on an unrivalled scale, as John Cage, Yvonne Rainer and friends got plugged in for a spectacular set of public performances

It was one of the strangest games of tennis New York City had ever seen. There, in the cavernous space of the 69th Regiment Armory, the US painter Frank Stella and tennis pro Mimi Kanarek rallied with rackets wired to an electronic network, so that each time they hit the ball, they switched off lights – until complete darkness reigned. A crowd of volunteers assembled in the gloom, and their ghostlike images were projected via infrafred TV cameras – equipment that was classified by the US military at the time – to an audience forced into a surveillance role. The year was 1966.

Related: Together in electric dreams: how the art world embraced modern technology first

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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