A number of papers are now available for download that document different aspects of the Maverick Machines exhibition.

Colloquy of Mobiles, an installation Pask exhibited at Cybernetic Serendipity, 1968, ICA, London. Image taken from page 97 of: Gordon Pask, A Comment a Case History and a Plan. In (editor) J. Reichardt, Cybernetics, Art and Idea, Studio Vista London, pp. 76-99, 1971, Colloquy of Mobiles

Peter Cariani has kindly allowed us to use excerpts from his seminal paper on Pask’s electrochemical experiments.

Pask’s Ear and Biological Creativity by Peter Cariani

The papers by Stephen Gage and Usman Haque explore the influence of Pask’s research on architecture. Pask collaborated with Cedric Price on the Fun Palace in the 1960s (which unfortuantely never came to fruition) and with John Frazer in the 1980s at the Architecture Association and his influence continues. Several pieces of Pask-inspired work from the Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop are on show in the exhibition. Usman is also exhibiting work that demonstrates the continuing relevance of Pask’s ideas.

The Bartlett Interactive Architecture Workshop by Stephen Gage

Gordon Pask and Architecture by Usman Haque

George Mallen and David Powell describe their memories of Gordon Pask. George worked for seven years at Pask’s company, System Research Ltd. David was a contemporary of Pask’s at Rydal school and recounts his memory of Pask’s contribution (as a school boy) to the war effort.

Recollections of Working with Gordon Pask by George Mallen

A Distant Memory of Gordon Pask by David Powell

Ranulph Glanville describes the influence of Pask on five of his machines.

Five Machines and One Pask by Ranulph Glanville

Cybernetic Serendipity book cover The cover of J. Reichardt (editor), Cybernetic Serendipity: the Computer and the Arts, Frederick Praegaer, 1969. This book describes the seminal exhibition at the ICA, London, curated by Jasia Reichardt in 1968.

Jon Bird and Ezequiel DiPaolo describe how Pask’s electrochemical research was part of a broader research goal, shared with cybernetician Stafford Beer, of finding a suitable ‘fabric’ or substrate for building maverick machines. They emphasise the radical nature of Pask’s approach by comparing it to contemporary research into adaptive behaviour.

Maverick Fabrics by Jon Bird and Ezequiel DiPaolo

Tim O’Shea gave a talk at the opening of the exhibition where he recounted how he had invited Gordon Pask to come at speak when he was a post doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh and how he benefitted greatly from talking one on one with Pask. However, his colleagues could not understand Pask’s talk and his credibility went down – fortunately, his career recovered as he is now Principal of the university (although he has not returned to the hotel where he took Pask for breakfast…).

Maverick Machines Exhibition Opening Speech by Tim O’Shea