Klüver, J(ohan) Wilhelm 1927-2004 (Billy Kluver)

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KLÜVER, J(ohan) Wilhelm 1927-2004
(Billy Kluver)


See index for CA sketch: Born November 13, 1927, in Monaco; died of melanoma January 11, 2004, in Berkeley Heights, NJ. Electrical engineer, artist, and author. Klüver is best remembered for his collaborations with artists during the 1960s to create a unique fusion of art and technology. Born in Monaco to Swedish parents, he earned electrical engineering degrees from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1952, and from the University of California at Berkeley, where he completed his doctorate in 1957. After teaching for a year at Berkeley, he was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey, where he worked for the next ten years and held ten patents on his inventions. Klüver's interest in film from a young age—his graduate school project was an animated film featuring streaming electrons—led to his becoming president of the Stockholm University Film Society; he also was a founder of the Swedish Alliance of Film Societies. It was through these activities that Klüver was eventually drawn into the art world, and met such artists as Jean Tinguely, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol. He collaborated with them to create groundbreaking pieces of art that combined the artists' visions with the engineer's technological expertise, including a sound sculpture by Rauschenberg called "Oracle" and Warhol's "Silver Clouds." Together with engineer Fred Waldhauer and artists such as Rauschenberg and Bob Whitman, in 1968 Klüver founded and was president of Experiments in Art and Technology. He was the author or coauthor of several books about art and artists, including E.A.T. Bibliography, 1965-1980 (1980), What Are You Working on Now?: A Pictorial Memoir of the 60's (1983), and A Day with Picasso: Twenty-four Photographs by Jean Cocteau (1997).



American Men and Women of Science, 21st edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.


Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2004, p. B9.

New York Times, January 13, 2004, p. B7.