Abstract- Eva Moraga

The Computation Center at Madrid University

My paper is a contribution to the history of peripheral pioneer art & technology centers (non-located in the Anglo/American/German sphere). In 1966 Madrid University and IBM set up a ground-breaking computation center in Madrid (Spain) where an interdisciplinary team of mathematicians, physicians and technicians tried to find new fields for automatic computers, working together with professionals from different domains (architects, philosophers, linguists, artists, etc). Those scientists and experts were deeply interested in researching jointly language processes from diverse scientific and humanistic perspectives and implemented objective and systematic work methods to reach that goal. They initiated, among others, three relevant annual study workshop/seminars, where they explored together possible links and ways of collaboration between cybernetics and computer science and other disciplines as linguistics (“Mathematical Linguistics”), architecture (“Automatic Generation of Architectonic Spaces”) and visual arts (“Analysis and Automatic Generation of Art Forms”). However, their interests were not well understood at that time. In particular, this last seminar had to face multiple critiques from different sectors in Spain. My paper is about the history of this computation center at that time, its innovative work and research methods, its results, its role in an international context, and the debates that generated about the interaction between art, science and technology at that time.