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Biography

Nicolas Schöffer

Nicolas Schöffer in his studio, Paris, France

(Kalocsa, Hungary, 1912 -  Paris, France, 1992) 

Nicolas Schöffer is considered the founder of Cybernetic art, his work merges aesthetic and cybernetic concepts with great success. He studied painting at the School of Fine Arts in Budapest and later at the School of Fine Arts in Paris, where he resided for most of his life. The metallic sculptures that he created in the nineteen forties have references in Constructivism and Neoplasticism, and through them, he began to explore the relationships between tridimensional sculptural forms and the fourth dimension of time and movement.

Schöffer’s innovation was to bring the theories of Cybernetics (particularly those of Norbert Wiener) to the process of artistic creation, conceiving the works no longer solely as art objects but as systems of organization that produce diverse forms of feedback between themselves and spectators. His sculpture “CYSP 1” (1956), conceived with electronic computations, detected the variations in its surroundings, which then produced mechanical reactions in the rest of the piece. From then on, Schöffer’s sculptures used light, movement and sound to show Kinetic principles in action.