American English version of Terezakis website
Terezakis collected works and projects in Art and Technology including Sacred Sky Sacred Earth, Healing Light, Interactive Environments, All the Names of God, and other constructivist works of art and investigation from 1974 to today, including performance, dance, and original music. This site includes secure shopping, books, limited edition prints, music, original and limited series objects, posters, and videos.
Greek Version of Peter Terezakis website Terezakis website
 
Bio
Contact
CV
Family History
Friends
Home
Mailing List
News
Performance
Photography
Projects
Shop
Text
Works

Up One Level

3/20/04

Billy Kluver's memorial was today.  It has been one of my life's high points to have been able to meet and work with Billy and Julie for nearly ten years. Billy was a true Visionary, in every sense of the term.  His contribution to contemporary art of the mid to late nineteenth century has been grossly and unfairlly undervalued and underdocumented.  Because of this his influence on conetmporary culture goes unnoticed.

Billy first entered art historical discourse after being invited by Pontus Hulten to help Jean Tinguely create his Homage to New York for the historic 1960 exhibition at New York City's Museum of Modern Art titiled, "The Machine."  Due to the interest eveloped through , Billy formed Experiments In Atrt and Technology (EAT) with Robert Rauschenberg,  1966 by engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and artists Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whitman

Nonetheless it was honored to have been invited to NYC's Judson Church by Julie Martin to gather with family and friends to share in a very special moment.  It was great to meet the many people I have read or heard about.  Billy's daughter, Maya, and son Christian Kluver chief among them.  There was Theodore W. Kheel the negotiator extrodinaire of Pavilion fame (and more) who defended EAT from a wrathful Pepsi-Cola board.   Elsa Garmire, the brilliant optical engineer and scientist who Billy recruited so many years ago for EAT was also present.  It was she who designed the spherical mirror inside the Pavilion and it was good that she was the one to speak inspirationally of Billy's accomplishments as an engineer.

Julie Martin Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros performed a transcendent raga, "For Billy and David," which spanned lifetimes and seemed to last only an instant. 

John Giorno performed two extraordinarily moving pieces of his poetry -one of which was Demon in the Details written for William Burroughs and "some others."  Billy is now one of the "others."

Madelaine and Jonathan Piel (the retired publisher of Scientific American) spoke of Billy's achievements from the perspective of someone who has lost a friend very much admired.

Jonathan Peel Lisa and Nicole Abhani (students of mine from SVA!)

Touching anecdotes along with words of thanks and support were read by Julie on behalf of Roberts Breer and Rauschenberg who were unable to attend for reasons of health. 

Robert Whitman created a brilliant and lyrical memorial installation piece using colored crepe dropped by artists (and ex-students of mine!) Lisa and Nicole Abhuni who performed with a solemnity and grace that honored everyone present and not. 

I also met many wonderful people including artist Ultra Violet, engineer-artist Robert Kieronski, and Randall Paker.

After the party at Judson a core group retreated to a South of Canal bar to decompress a bit further.  There I met a woman who lived in an apartment across the street from One World Trade Center who was in her home when the first tower collapsed on September 11.  She saw and heard the crashing and falling and nearly suffocated in her apartment from the dust and smoke. 

Billy Kluver was the catalyst for a series of ongoing changes in art and culture that had its official start with Jean Tinguely's Homage to New York in 1960 and will continue until the end of civilization.   Not a bad legacy for one man's life.  There were other contributors in this process.  The stars we know; Roberts Rauschenberg, Breer, and Whitman along with, Jasper Johns, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Claes Oldenburg, and many others.   But so much of this history would be lost if it were not for the quiet support and continuing strength of Billy's wife, Julie Martin.  

I met Billy and Julie on January 14, 1991 at their cozy, secluded home in New Jersey, not far from Bell Labs or New York City.   While Billy spoke volubly of EAT related events and its history, Julie was always present, listening and adding key bits of information when appropriate.   

Billy was an inspiration and a friend.  His passing bookended a unique period in the history of contemporary art and I will miss his voice, his vision, and his enthusiasm.

John Giorno
Christian Kluver and Mimi Gross
Elsa Garmire, EAT collaborator and scientist
Robert Whitman
John Giorno and Robert Kieronski, artist and friend



Billy Kluver, visiting the seals in La Jolla
Billy Kluver memorial at Judson Church, NYC
 
 
Up One Level