Art Library IMRC Posts


Artist List

Valentino Braitenberg,

Ed Ruscha,

Dieter Roth,

Martha Rosler,

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov,



Valentino Braitenberg

Today I am reading “Vehicles: Experiments in Sythetic Psychology” by Valentino Braitenberg. I found the book pleasantly suprising. Not only is in an interesting subject, it is also very well written. It is organized and witty. Reading it is both enlightening and entertaining.

Braitenberg was a neuroscientist and cyberneticist. His research focused on the ways that machines can mimic the human brain. He believed that this could help to explain the evolution of brain function. Braitenberg’s thought experiments offers insight into the ways that simple mechanisms can produce complex, life-like behaviors.


Vehicles by Valentino Braitenberg Summary: These imaginative thought experiments are the inventions of one of the world’s eminent brain researchers. They are “vehicles,” a series of hypothetical, self-operating machines that exhibit increasingly intricate if not always successful or civilized “behavior.” Each of the vehicles in the series incorporates the essential features of all the earlier models and along the way they come to embody aggression, love, logic, manifestations of foresight, concept formation, creative thinking, personality, and free will. In a section of extensive biological notes, Braitenberg locates many elements of his fantasy in current brain research.


Off-site Links

Biography of Valentino Braitenberg

MIT Press, “Vehicles”

“Tentacles of the Mind”: Book about Valentino Braitenberg

You Tube Video on Simple Robots Modeled after the Braitenberg Vehicles




Ed Ruscha

Look in the Artist Monograph section of the Art Library for information on Ed Ruscha. His work spans a variety of mediums. It focuses on popular media. It is thought-provoking and sometimes satirical. It shows a portion of the familiar environment from an unfamiliar perspective.


Ed Rushca Summary: One of the most consistently inventive artists of recent times, Los Angeles-based Ed Ruscha has been a pioneer in the use of language and imagery drawn from the popular media. From his early powerful word paintings to his influential artist books of the sixties and seventies to his recent colorful views of generic mountains, Ruscha has investigated the spaces between highways and journeys, images and words, abstraction and representation, public imagery and the contemporary landscape. In this publication, which accompanies a major retrospective exhibition organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, Neal Benezra, Kerry Brougher, and Phyllis Rosenzweig focus on all aspects of Ruscha’s career, revealing him not merely as an artist closely linked with Los Angeles, but as an important international figure in contemporary art.


Off-site Links

Ed Rushca Home Page

Art Space, Ed Ruschca Artist’s Bio & Works



Dieter Roth

Consult the Museum of Modern Art webpage for “Roth Time” a Dieter Roth Retrospective. Then come to the library and peruse the selection of related Artist’ Monographs. There are several excellent compilations of the work as well as artist commentary and biography.


Off-site Links

Museum of Modern Art, Dieter Roth Exhibit Dieter Roth

New York Times: Dieter Roth, Reclusive Artist And Tireless Provocateur, 68



Martha Rosler

Visit Martha Roslers website. Then come to the Library and have a look at her book, “In the Place of the Public: Observations of a Frequent Flyer.” The book offers a unique perspective on the psychology of International Airports.

I found the work compelling. Airports are among my favorite places in the world.  It was fascinating to see someone else create art from them. Take a look and see if your favorite airport was a subject in the book.


Off-site Links

Martha Rosler Home Page



Ilya & Emilia Kabakov

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov are Russian conceptual artists who immigrated to the west in 1987. They do largescale installations inspired by the theatre world.  The book, “Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: Installations & Theater” contains a collection of both color and black and white illustrations which formed the foundation of their installations.


Off-site Links

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov Homepage

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Biography