Robert Rauschenberg: Mud Muse (1968-71)

In 1966 Robert Rauschenberg and the engineer Billy Klüver staged 9 Evenings: Theater and Engineering, a work that brought the worlds of art and technology together. After the success of 9 Evenings, Rauschenberg, Klüver, the artist Robert Whitman and the engineer Fred Waldhauer set up Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). E.A.T. was a non-profit foundation that promoted interaction between engineers, artists and industry. Rauschenberg continued to experiment with technology. With the work Mud Muse he intended to imitate the blowholes that appear spontaneously along the shore. Mud Muse consists of a large metal tank that contains around 1000 gallons of bentonite clay mixed with water, which bubbles and spurts as air is released in response to the sound levels created by the mud bubbling (a more detailed explanation of how it works can be found at art orbit – merge). The work is part of Tate Modern’s Robert Rauschenberg retrospective (until April 2, 2017.)

Robert Rauschenberg: Mud Muse (1968-71). Tate Modern, London (UK), Press preview, November 29, 2016.

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