Database

Edward Ihnatowicz

Edward Ihnatowicz

Born 1926, Chełm Lubelski
Lived in London (1943 – 1988)
Lived in Oxford (1945 – 1949)
Died 1988, London

Edward Ihnatowicz (b.1926 in Chełm Lubelski – d.1988 in London) was a London-based artist: sculptor and designer working in cast metal techniques. Working during the peak popularity of cybernetics in the late 60s, Edward Ihnatowicz translated concepts of feedback loop and control engineering into an original form of time-based work of art – cybernetic sculptures.
— Anna Olszewska

1926

He was born in Chełm Lubelski in Poland to a family of an army officer.

1939

During the Second World War he fled with his mother to Romania and from there to Algiers, where they were interned in refugee camps. In 1943 Ihnatowicz with his mother left to England.

1950

In the fifties he takes on different part-time jobs. He works at BBC as a TV program documentator, he designs furniture or shop windows.

1960

In 1962 he moved to studio in a garage in London. During the 1960s he started combining organic-like cast forms with hydraulic systems and electronic sensors. His Sound Activated Mobile (SAM) was displayed at the Cybernetic Serendipity at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1968.

1970

At the end of the 1960s Ihnatowicz was invited by James Gardne, on behalf of the Philips technology company, to create a large-scale piece. In June 1970 the SENSTER was shipped to the Netherlands to be installed at Evoluon, Eindhoven. SENSTER is a fine example of early media art. Working during the peak popularity of cybernetics, Edward Ihnatowicz translated concepts feedback loop and control engineering into an original form of time-based work of art - a cybernetic sculpture. Steel skeleton of the sculpture moves delicately corresponding to the sound in its surrounding, the abstract form gains the feeling of a-live creature. In 1970 the piece became one of the major art projects supported by the Philips company, following in the steps of Nicolas Schöffer’s kinetic art sculpture "CYSP 1" (1956) and Le Corbusier, Iannis Xenakis and Edgard Varèse’s “Poème électronique” pavilion and environment (1958). After display cancellation the in mid-1970s, the piece was put on the list of lost media art projects. In 2017-2018 AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow purchased and reactivated the piece in collaboration with fellows from Fine Arts Academy Faculty of Intermedia. At present, it is housed at the Faculty of Humanities. In the 1970s, Edward Ihnatowicz supervised graduate students at University College London. The latest of his cybernetic works – the Bandit was created in 1973. During the last years of his life, the artist picked up experiments with digital animation.
In the 1970s, Edward Ihnatowicz supervised graduate students at University College London. The latest of his cybernetic works – the Bandit was created in 1973. During the last years of his life, the artist picked up experiments with digital animation.

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2021