Century of Light Shines for Twenty-Five Years
Abstract

Jim Pallas, an artist who pioneered the use of technology in art, collaborated with computer sage Rene Vega and programmer Randy Mims in 1979 to create Century of Light, one of the earliest interactive public sculptures. In this article, Pallas describes an earlier struggle to incorporate technology into sculpture, the selection process that led to this, his first public commission and the collaborative process. Sited within a pedestrian mall in downtown Detroit, the sculpture sensed viewers' movements, sounds and light. Unfortunately, the sculpture was located in an ill-conceived plaza. Although the city administration mismanaged the site and allowed the sculpture to be destroyed 25 years later, the electronics and program were rescued and remain intact.


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