In the late 1950s experiments such as the cybernetic sculptures of Nicolas Schoffer or the programmatic music compositions of John Cage and Iannis Xenakis transposed systems theory from the sciences to the arts. By the 1960s, artists as diverse as Roy Ascott, Hans Haacke, Robert Morris, Sonia Sheridan and Stephen Willats were breaking with accepted aesthetics to embrace open systems that emphasize organism over mechanism, dynamic processes of interaction among elements, and the observer's role as an inextricable part of the system. Jack Burnham's 1968 Artforum essay 'Systems Aesthetics' and 1970 'Software' exhibition marked the high point of systems-based art until its resurgence in the changed conditions of the 21st century. This anthology traces this radical shift in aesthetics from its roots in mid twentieth-century general systems theory, cybernetics and artificial intelligence to cutting-edge science in the present. Artists surveyed include Roy Ascott, Frank Gillette, Hans Haacke, Newton Harrison & Helen Mayer Harrison, Ken Rinaldo, Tomas Saraceno, Sonia Landy Sheridan, Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Woody & Steina Vasulka, Stephen Willats and Iannis Xenakis. Writers include Boris Groys, Francis Halsall, N. Katherine Hayles, Caroline A. Jones, Bruno Latour, Niklas Luhmann, William J. Mitchell and Nick Prior.