György Kepes. Interthinking Art + Science

„With the scientist’s brain, the poet’s heart and the painter’s eye”—this was the proverb of the Hungarian-American artist, educator, and impresario György Kepes, a forgotten precursor of media art. Kepes was among the first who used the term „visual culture” as an independent research subject in a contemporary sense. As the architect of the Light Workshop at the New Bauhaus/School of Design in Chicago in 1937 and as the founder and first director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at MIT in 1967, Kepes’s enterprise was to fill the gap between the humanities and the sciences. The powerful new tools he offered to „intersee” and „intercommunicate” knowledge on a participatory basis proved to be the foundations of a program that defined the aesthetic agency of the ecological consciousness.

Can technology save us from technology? Can the self-serving fetishes of technological innovation be used to enhance the inner richness of the individual? Can prosthetics replace the lost pageantry of nature and be the substitute for a more sustainable, better world?

Márton Orosz’s documentary film is the first comprehensive assessment of György Kepes’s animated life, which introduces him not only as a shapeshifter of modernism but also as a polymath and visionary thinker whose legacy and faith in "optical democracy" grants him a pioneering role in the history of the Art and Technology Movement.

  • Márton Orosz
  • University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • László Zsolt Bordos
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    documentary, art and science, art and technology, Art +Tech, kinetic art, abstract art, light art, lumino-kinetic art, phtography, painting, environmental art, media art history
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 36 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 3, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    France, Germany, Hungary, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • DA2 – Design and Architecture Film Festival
    October 29, 2023
    Croatian premiere
    Best Award
  • MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    United States
    October 21, 2023
    US premiere
    CAVS / MediaLab
Director Biography - Márton Orosz

Márton Orosz is the Curator of the Collection of Photography and Media Arts he founded in 2012 at the Museum of Fine Arts–Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest. Since 2014 he serves as the Director of the Vasarely Museum affiliated with the same institution. Over the last decade, he curated a handful of exhibitions, such as the (Film) Experiments Brought to Life. The First Cinema of the Avant-Garde (2014); Alan Sonfist: Time Landscape (2014), and Moon Museum 1969. Art and Space (2019). He curated Meeting Picasso. Twenty-nine Photographs by Jean Cocteau (Vaszary Villa, 2015); LanguAges of Light (Kepes Institute, 2015) and Vasarely. The Birth of Op Art (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2018), and Light Revolution (Light Art Museum Budapest, 2022).

Orosz studied graphic design and art history in Budapest and earned his Ph.D. in Art History in 2014. During his studies, he was a Terra Fellow at Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C., a György Kepes Fellow for Advanced Studies and Transdisciplinary Research at MIT, an Institute for Cultural Inquiry Post-Doctoral Fellow in Berlin, a Centre for Contemporary Art Curator-In-Residence in Singapore and a Getty Research Institute Grantee in Los Angeles. He has been publishing widely on new media, kinetic and concrete art, photography, and film history.

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