collaboration with Ralph Helmick
dimenensions: 13.5’h 8.5’w 10.5’d
materials: circuit boards, vacuum tubes, video monitors, audio speakers, surveillance camera, fans, oscilloscope, 2000-element LEDs, motion sensors, steel
site: Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting, Univ. of Houston, TX
commissioned by: University of Houston
Starting with a "portrait" of humanity, this sculpture is one of several the artists have evolved based on computer composites of world racial types; it is intentionally androgynous. Over a steel armature, hundreds of components are attached to form a technological skin. These castoff elements are the detritus of our age, much of it taken from the broadcasting center itself.
The work incorporates several active elements, including video monitor "eyes", one of which displays the station's live television broadcast while the other displays activity in the entry hall captured by a miniature surveillance camera. Speakers emit a low-volume transmission of the station's radio programming (including main and sideband signals). Elsewhere, a "halo" of functioning computer fans encircles the head.
Viewers beneath the sculpture can see its interior, dominated by a 2000-element LED map showing a night satellite image of greater Houston. On the perimeter an oscilloscope displays the center's television signal.
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