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adjoining sculptural roulette wheel filled with dicecast shadowy projections on the walls and ceiling, suggesting the more problematic world of chance and fortune. The sculptures ofTed Victoria presented flickeringimagesproduced by an obscura projection system to satirize American political and social preoccupations. Other works in the P.U.L.S.E. show used movement and motorized techniques to create a sense of the mythic, the monumental and the enduring. Clyde Lynds’s Stele XXIX and Stele XLIII-Quetzalcoatl (Fig. 2) were concrete obelisks 89in. high embedded with fiber optics in the shape of ancient glyphs or signs. As the signs slowly changed from blue to green to purple, they evoked the mystery of an ancient, mythic past while also becoming totems of an equally mysterious technological future, presenting enigmatic prophecies of a postnuclear age. Steve Barry’s cone-shaped interactive sculpture Polyphemus (Fig. 3) was a provocative fusion of technology and myth that assimilated past experiments and extended the possibilities of viewerresponsiveartworksin newand unexpected ways. During the past 20 years, artists creating interactive sculptures often invited spectators to become directly involved with seemingly sensitive and ‘humanized’ uses of technology, presenting responsive sculptures that nevertheless remained insistently mechanical: James Seawright’s sculpture Searcher (1966) responded to human presence or sound but laid its mechanics bare; Jean Dupuy and Ralph Martel’s Heart Beats Dust (1968) was a glass cube filled with dust particles activated by the amplified sounds of a human heart, providing a direct, warm connection to the human viewer. Unlike these interactive sculptures, which engaged the viewer in a nonthreatening fashion, Barry’s Polyphemus is both engaging and alienating. The sculpture, a large, dark fiber-and-chrome cone 13ft long and 4ft in diameter, its mechanics fullyencased, rests horizontally like a cannon attached to a motorized, pivoting base. When a hapless viewer steps unsuspectingly overa low barrier on the floor to get a closer look at the sculpture, a video monitor embedded in the cone’s head is activated by a light sensor and projects a startling image of a huge human eye staring at the viewer. Momentarily humanized, the cone after only seconds swivels away from the viewer, its tail swinging precariously behind. Drawing on the imagery of ancient Greek mythology, Barry named the cone Polyphemusafter the man-eating Cyclops in the Odyssey. The one-eyed monster, having trapped Odysseus and his men after they had trespassed into his cave, devoured several of them each day. Ordinarily, the gallery visitor looks at an artwork and then turns away, but here it is the sculpture that seems to devour the viewer with its intense eye, consumes the viewer’s attention with Polyphemus’s monstrousappetite and then rudely turns away. Technology, in Barry’s intriguing view,engages theviewerbut thencontinues on its independent course, suggesting both danger and indifference. Through the fusion of myth and the mechanical, technology and the transcendental, Barry and the other P.U.L.S.E.artists present a potent new dimension in art. P.U.L.S.E.was curated by Tom Finkelpearl of P.S. I in New York and was sponsored by The David Bermant Foundation: Color, Light, Motion. The Art Corn Electronic Network by Carl Loeffler Art Com is a project of La Mamelle, Inc., a nonprofit arts organization founded in San Francisco in 1975. Beginning as a publisher of an art magazine and an experimental gallery for conceptual, performance and video art, Art Com has since initiated projects that utilize cable and broadcast television, interactive satellite transmissions and computer networking. Art Com is active in applying telecommunications to the field of contemporary art. In the spring of 1986 the Art Com Electronic Network (ACEN) was launched as an ‘electronic gathering place’ for the creation and dissemination of art projects employing telecommunications . Art Com shares a large Carl Loeffler, Art Corn, P.O. Box 3123, Rincon Annex, San Francisco, CA 94119-3123, U.S.A. Copyright DCarl Loeffler 1987.Used by permission. multi-user computer with the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link (WELL), an established network that also provides a vast communication capability through long-range telecommunication carriers. ACEN publishes its own magazine, Art Corn, and distributes other publications electronicallythrough the network. ACEN also supports...


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pp. 320-321
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