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1 Robert Anderson, North American Rockweri 

2 Roy L. Ash, Linon Industries 

3 Larry Bell (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

4 John Brooks, LearSiegler, Inc. 

5 James Byars (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

6 Jerrold Canter, Universal Television Company (photo Bill Brothers) 

7 John Chamberlain (photo William Crutchfield) 

8 Otis Chandler, Times Mirror Foundation (photo John Engstead) 

9 William Crutchfield (photo Barbara Crutchfield) 

10 Justin Dart, Dart Industries 

1 1 Dr. Richard D. DeLauer, TRW Systems 

12 Jean Dubuffet (photo Luc Joubert, courtesy Pace Gallery) 

13 Jean Dupuy 

14 W. D. Eberle, American Standard 

15 Frederick Eversley 

16 Oyvind Fahlstrom (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

17 Alfred Fenaughty, Information International 

18 Sam Francis 

19 Stanley Grinstein, Mifran-Bovwman 

20 Najeeb Halaby, Pan American World Airways 

21 Robert M. Halt, Hall Inc. Surgical Systems (photo Roger M. Short) 

22 Newton Harrison (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

23 Wayne Heath, Heath and Company 

24 William R. Hewlett, Hewlett-Packard 

25 Robert Irwin (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

26 Herman Kahn, Hudson Institute 

27 Edgar F. Kaiser, Kaiser Steel Corporation 

28 R. B. Kitaj 

29 Burt Kleiner, Kleiner, Bell Foundation (photo Gene Daniels) 

30 A. C. Kotchian, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation 

31 Rockne Krebs (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

32 John B. Lawson, Philco-Ford Corporation 

33 Wesley Duke Lee (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

34 Roy Lichtenstein (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

35 Louis B. Lundborg, Bank of America 

36 Jackson MacLow (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

37 C. E. McKittrick, Jr., IBM (photo Leigh Weiner) 

38 Boyd Mefferd (photo William Crutchfield) 

39 J. Irwin Miller, Cummins Engine Company 

40 K. T. Norris, Jr., Norris Industries 

41 Claes Oldenburg (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

42 Jules Olitski (photo Eric Pollitzer) 

43 Milan Panic, International Chemical and Nuclear Corporation 

44 Eduardo Paolozzi (photo William Crutchfield) 

45 William Pascoe, IH, American Cement 

46 Dr. W. H. Pickering, Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

47 Jeff Raskin 

48 Robert Rauschenberg (photo courtesy Gemini G.E.L.) 

49 Jesse Reichek (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

50 Dr. George A. Roberts, Teledyne, Inc. 

51 William E. Roberts, Ampex Corporation 

52 Henry S. Rowen, The Rand Corporation (photo Leigh Weiner) 

53 Roben Sarnoff , RCA 

54 Richard Serra (photo & courtesy Pasadena Art Museum) 

55 Tony Smith (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

56 James Turrell (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

57 Kenneth Tyler, Gemini G.E.L. 

58 H. J. Van der Eb, Container Corporation of America (photo Fabian Bachrach) 

59 Andy Warhol (photo William Crutchfield) 

60 Lew R. Wasserman, Universal Film Studios 

61 Harry Wetzel, The Garrett Corporation 

62 Marvin C. Whatmore, Cowles Communications, Inc. (photo Arnold Newman) 

63 Robert Whitman (photo Malcolm Lubliner) 

64 Richard Zanuck, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation 

Copyright ® 197 I by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74-146884 
SBN: 87587-044-9 

A Report 

on the Art and Technology Program 

of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 


Contents: A&T 

7 Acknowledgments 

9 Introduction: Maurice Tuchman 

43 Thoughts on Art and Technology: Jane Livingston 

49 Participating Artists 

361 Participating Corporations 



The Museum's Contemporary Art Council has sponsored 
and supported /4rt amy Technology from its inception in 
late 1966 to the present time. I am grateful to this 
devoted group, and particularly to its Chairmen during 
the five-year development of the program— Harry Sher- 
wood, Dr. Judd iVlarmor and Mrs. Joann Phillips. 

Mrs. Otis Chandler was the primary figure responsible 
for corporation involvement. She worked indefatigably 
with me to obtain company support for almost three 

David Antin, Director of the Art Gallery, University of 
California, San Diego, was commissioned by Viking Press 
in January, 1968 to write a book about the A&T 
program. He was an important source of information 
about technical matters as well as artistic concerns. 

Dr. Richard Feynman, Tolman Professor of Theoretical 
Physics, California Institute of Technology, served as 
Consultant to A & T. Dr. Feynman met most of the 
artists involved in the more esoteric areas of corporation 
technology and acted as translator and guide. He was 
available to artists who needed him. 

Nina Kaiden Wright, Director of Fine Arts at Ruder and 
Finn, Inc., also served as Consultant to A & T, and, 
among other suggestions, helped enlist the Hudson 
Institute as a Sponsor Corporation. 

In the course of developing this program many individuals 
made helpful suggestions. I want particularly to thank 
Clinton Adams, Michael Blankfort, Paul Brach, Sidney F. 
Brody, Eugenia Butler, James Butler, Leo Castelli, 
Elizabeth Coffelt, Dorothe Curtis, Louis Danziger, 
L. Claridge Davis, Henry Dreyfuss, Monte Factor, 
Edward Fry, Ken Glen, Henry Hopkins, Malcolm 
Levinthal, Dr. Franklin Murphy, Jerald Ordover, Tal- 
madge Reed, Jasia Reichardt, Pierre Restany, George 
Rickey, Barbara Rose, Dr. Daniel Rosenthal, Richard 
Sherwood, Fred Usher, Jan van der Marck, and Robert 

Malcolm Lubliner was commissioned to record photo- 
graphically the encounters between artists and 

In organizing the preview exhibition of eight artists' 
work from the A&T program for the United States 
Pavilion at Expo 70, I worked closely with Jack Masey, 
Deputy Commissioner General, Patricia Ezell, Exhibits 
Project Officer, and Designer Ray Komai. In Los 
Angeles, New York and Osaka, Japan there were con- 
tinual meetings with the designers of the Expo Exhibi- 
tion Design Team, Davis, Brody, Chermayeff, Geismar, 
de Harak, Associates. Designers David Sutton, Yasuo 
Uesaka, Gary Jacquemin and Tom Kuboda were also at 
the site and involved in the installation of that 

Eric Saarinen & Associates were commissioned by us and 
Container Corporation of America to make a film on the 
exhibition at Expo 70. The film will be presented during 
the period of the Museum exhibition. In the sections in 
this book on the eight Expo artists— Newton Harrison, 
Rockne Krebs, Roy Lichtenstein, Boyd Mefferd, Claes 
Oldenburg, Tony Smith, Andy Warhol, Robert Whit- 
man—all quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from 
tapes made by Howard Chesley of Eric Saarinen & 
Associates throughout 1970. 

James Kenion, Art Transportation Coordinator, was at 
the Osaka site with me for the three month installation 
of the "New Arts" exhibition in the U.S. Pavilion. Cecil 
Fergerson, Museum Assistant II, assisted him in Japan in 
dismantling the show when Expo closed. Kenion, Ferger- 
son and Head of Technical Services James Allen will be 
in charge of the Museum installation, along with Elliott 
Hutchinson, Head of Construction and Maintenance, and 
his Assistant Roy Ingalls. The staffs in these sections will 
be called on in unprecedented ways. Ben Johnson, 
Conservator, will supervise the operational aspects of the 

My secretary Florence Hairston worked on A & T from 
its inception in 1966. In typing manuscripts throughout 
this time she was assisted by Barbara McQuaide and 
Diane Turner. In preparing this Report, the manuscript 
was read by William Osmun, Senior Curator, Jeanne 
Doyle, Coordinator of Exhibitions and Publications, and 
Joanne Jaffe, Publications Associate. The writer Frederic 
Tuten also read the manuscript and made helpful com- 

William Crutchfield was commissioned to interpret 
graphically the more significant interactions— his draw- 
ings appear throughout the introduction to this Report. 

James Lowery wrote the descriptions of participating 
corporations in the final section of this book. Manny 
Silverman and Jerry Solomon of Art Services, Inc., 
rendered many gratuities to visiting artists in the course 
of the program. 

In planning the exhibition for the Museum, I benefited 
from the expertise of Lawrence Morton, Curator of 
Music, and Robert Raitch, Audio-Visual Coordinator, 
Educational Services. Vincent Robbins, Head Graphic 
Artist, rendered diagrams of artists Rockne Krebs and 
Newton Harrison. A volunteer worker, Mrs. Grace 
Spencer, helped in research and in maintaining the 
voluminous records on the project. 

At our request, hospitality was generously offered to 

visiting artists in Los Angeles by Dr. and Mrs. Leonard 
Asher, Mr. and Mrs. James Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Monte 
Factor, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Grinstein, Mr. and Mrs. 
Melville Kolliner and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Tyler. In 
New York, London and Paris several individuals gra- 
ciously allowed us the use of their homes for receptions 
and meetings with artists: Mme. Celine Chalem, Mr. and 
Mrs. Ivan Chermayeff, Mr. and Mrs. William Copley, 
Henry Hecht, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lloyd and Nina 
Kaiden Wright. In Paris, Jean-Franqois Jaeger, Director 
of the Galerie Jeanne Bucher, and Denise Rene' were also 
helpful in arranging meetings. 

James Monte and Hal Glicksman, both former Assistant 
Curators of Modern Art, each worked on A & T for 
approximately a year. Irena Shapira served as Coordina- 
tor of A & T in its early stages and until January, 1969. 
The planning and execution of A & T, and the extensive 
documentation of the program in this book, is the result 
of close and continual interaction over the past three 
years between myself and Associate Curator Jane 
Livingston, Assistant Curator Gail Scott and Special 
Assistant Betty Asher. It has been a pleasure for me to 
work with them. Each of us is responsible for the 
accounts of artists' involvement in part 3 of this 
book, which was finished in November, 1970, but the 
primary drafting of narratives on James Byars, John 
Chamberlain, Jean Dupuy, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Irwin- 
Turrell, Rockne Krebs, Jackson MacLow, Tony Smith, 
Andy Warhol and Jesse Reichek is by Jane Livingston; 
the accounts of Newton Harrison, R. B. Kitaj, Roy 
Lichtenstein, Boyd Mefferd, Robert Morris, Robert 
Rauschenberg, Richard Serra and Robert Whitman are 
by Gail Scott; and Betty Asher selected and collated 
most of the photographs and other materials on artists. 

Maurice Tuchman 
Senior Curator, Modern Art 
Director, Art & Technology 


Maurice Tucliman 


In 1966, wlien Art and Technology was first conceived, I 
had been living in Southern California for two years. A 
newcomer to this region is particularly sensitive to the 
futuristic character of Los Angeles, especially as it is 
manifested in advanced technology. I thought of the 
typical Coastal industries as chiefly aerospace oriented 
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Aircraft); or 
geared toward scientific research (The Rand Corpora- 
tion, TRW Systems); or connected with the vast cinema 
and TV industry in Southern California (Universal Film 
Studios). At a certain point— it is difficult to reconstruct 
the precise way in which this notion finally emerged 
consciously— I became intrigued by the thought of 
having artists brought into these industries to make 
works of art, moving about in them as they might in 
their own studios. In the beginning, as I was considering 
this idea as just an abstract concept, I had few concrete 
visions of what might actually result from such ex- 
changes. Indeed I was not certain whether artists of 
calibre would desire such involvement with industry. 
And if they did, and an organized program could be 
instituted to give them such opportunities, I had no idea 
how to go about persuading corporations to receive 
artists into their facilities— nor for that matter, why they 
should want to. 

In reviewing modern art history, one is easily convinced 
of the gathering esthetic urge to realize such an enter- 
prise as I was envisioning. A collective will to gain access 
to modern industry underlies the programs of the Italian 
Futurists, Russian Constructivists, and many of the 
German Bauhaus artists. Within these movements, no 
intensive effort was made directly to approach industrial 
firms in order to harness corporate machinery or tech- 
nology, or systematically to expose artists to their re- 
search capabilities. Still, the impulse to do this is well 
documented. A need to reform commercial industrial 
products, to create public monuments for a new society, 
to express fresh artistic ideas with the materials that 
only industry could provide— such were the concerns of 
these schools of artists, and they were announced in 
words and in works. 

During late '66 and early '67, I began studying the 
nature and location of corporate resources in California. 
In November, 1967, I went to the Museum's Board of 
Trustees, members of which were significantly involved 
with over two dozen West Coast companies, to outline 
my proposal and to elicit advice and support. As individ- 
ual entrepeneurs, the Board members were rather indif- 
ferent to the experiment, and as Trustees they resisted 
having the Museum commit itself, and me, to such an 
undertaking. The proposal appeared to them too vague 
and open-ended, and the budget almost impossible to 
predict. I argued that I would raise personally the great 
majority of funds to get the project underway, and that 
if I failed to do this, we would then simply drop the 

scheme before it was made public, avoiding any embar- 
rassment or significant financial loss to the institution. 
Other than on a practical level, I maintained that this 
project was a proper undertaking for a Museum, and 
represented an opportunity to play an innovative role. It 
would draw attention to the acknowledged need in the 
U. S. for institutions responsive to the interests of 
society— in this case, the interests of artists, and perhaps 
even businessmen. The Board gave me tacit consent to 
go ahead and study the possibilities, with the program 
still subject to their approval. 

I prepared a case with which to solicit corporation in- 
volvement, centered on three main lines of approach 
which I calculated to be of interest to the business com- 
munity. I argued that corporate donations to the arts, 
which were infinitesimal compared to support of medi- 
cal and educational facilities, should be enlarged. This 
would benefit them, as much as the recipient museums, 
operas, theatres, etc., since businesses benefit from prox- 
imity to thriving cultural resources in attracting talented 
personnel. I also pointed out that the companies' collab- 
orations with artists might well result in major works of 
art, and I decided that one work of art made with any 
significantly cooperative corporation should be offered 
to that corporation. (It became clear very early that a 
high proportion of the companies would view this pos- 
sibility as a salient motive for collaboration.) Most im- 
portantly, I argued that companies might benefit im- 
measurably, in both direct and subtle ways, merely from 
exposure to creative personalities. 

These arguments may have been substantive, but there 
remained the problem of presenting them to the right 
people. I had drawn up lists of corporations I felt should 
be solicited, but it was difficult to obtain appointments 
with their presidents. (I realized then that it would be 
fruitless to see public relations people, or anyone other 
than the man at the top who could sign the check and 
delegate authority.) In spite of the aegis of the Los 
Angeles County Museum of Art, it would typically take 
six phone calls and two letters, over a period of six 
months, to effect a meeting, and even with such protrac- 
ted efforts few interviews were arranged. When I did get 
past the front door, the response from corporation 
executives was usually encouraging, but the overall rate 
of progress was much too slow. 

In June, 1967, an article in the Los Angeles Times 
mentioned my plan to "bring together the incredible 
resources and advanced technology of industry with the 
equally incredible imagination and talent of the best 
artists at work today." Mrs. Otis Chandler, wife of the 
Times' publisher, was intrigued with the story and 
telephoned me about it. I asked Missy Chandler for her 
assistance in arranging appointments with corporation 
executives. She asked whether the Museum's Board was 


not the appropriate vehicle for this operation. Informed 
that no Trustee had shown much interest in participa- 
tion when I had presented the Board with my idea, she 
agreed to help. Mrs. Chandler's intervention proved 
immediately effective. She became primarily responsible 
for the involvement of over a dozen corporations in the 
now accelerated program. 

contracts with each participating company, as it was to 
have identical contractual agreements with the artists. 
We naturally wanted to avoid setting any advance 
financial limits on collaborations. Obviously a key 
motive in the program was to allow the chance of one or 
both parties being stimulated to extend their commit- 
ment out of sheer enthusiasm. 

In late 1967, we began the process of contacting over 
250 companies, of which eventually thirty-seven joined 
the program in various ways. As encounters with corpor- 
ation executives took place, the logistical guidelines and 
the scope of the program were gradually clarified. I soon 
realized that, for practical reasons, the program would 
have to be limited to companies located in the state of 
California. (Much later, we were able financially to 
extend outside the state, and companies located in 
Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and New York State joined Art 
and Technology.) We could not, in the beginning, know 
how much money a company might donate to the 
Museum's general fund on Art and Technology, before 
an artist took up residence. We discussed various figures 
from three to fifteen thousand, before settling on 
$7,000 as the amount we would request as each corpora- 
tion's initial financial obligation. This somehow emerged 
as the optimal sum, beyond which very few companies 
would commit. Later, we learned that many corpora- 
tions calculated their pledge in a ratio of two to one: the 
$7,000 donation to the Museum suggested to them an 
expenditure of $14,000 to the artist. There was also the 
question of how long the companies would agree to have 
artists in their facilities. We realized that most com- 
panies, before signing a contract, would want an escape 
clause in writing to which they could refer should they 
desire early termination of the project. It would have 
been preferable to keep this open, allowing the artist and 
company to themselves decide when to end the relation- 
ship. Unfortunately we were forced to see that no 
company would initially agree to have an artist in 
residence for longer than three months. Many execu- 
tives, however, indicated that if the collaboration devel- 
oped interestingly, they would allow it to continue 
naturally. In fact, when the artist wanted to extend his 
residence he was able to do so. Still there was an in- 
trinsic sense of limitation suggested to certain artists by 
the expectation of a three month project. Anticipating a 
restricted time span, some artists undoubtedly inhibited 
the scope of their esthetic conceptions. 

Yet another factor needed clarification before we could 
outline the terms of company obligations. Many execu- 
tives wanted to know rather precisely how much fi- 
nancial support and staff time would be expected from 
them after an artist came to work. But it would have 
been impossible to estimate budgets from companies as 
diverse as, for example. Rand and Lockheed or JPL and 
Kaiser Steel. And it was imperative to have identical 

Few corporations questioned our total right to select 
artists for them. It should be noted that corporations 
had the option to "approve" the artist before he took up 
residence: such approval is of course implicit, but by 
making it explicit a certain degree of company wariness 
was eliminated. 

In April, 1968, I met with the Board of Trustees for the 
second time to deliver a progress report. I anticipated 
that we could enlist the financial support of at least 
twenty corporations, to the amount of $140,000 as a 
straight donation to the Museum for use as needed in 
operating the program— to cover artists' payments, 
transportation and installation costs. According to my 
prospectus these twenty companies additionally would 
each take an artist into residence. I requested $70,000 
from the Museum as its share in supporting Art and 
Technology for the 1968-69 fiscal year. (Perhaps uncon- 
sciously, I had adopted the businessman's strategy— but 
in reverse ratio.) The Board sanctioned the plan, pro- 
vided that I obtain written agreements from ten corpora- 
tions before announcing the program officially. I drew 
up a contract which took into account three different 
kinds of corporation participation. I knew that certain 
companies would be eager to have an artist in residence, 
but for various reasons, often having to do with anticipa- 
ted stockholder reaction, would elect not to write a 
check to the Museum. Other companies would financial- 
ly support the program and might desire collaboration, 
but an artistic use of their facilities was technically 
unlikely. We established categories of corporate involve- 
ment: Patron Sponsor Corporations, who would agree to 
take an artist into residence, and also donate $7,000 to 
the Museum; Sponsor Corporations, who would take an 
artist into residence but who donate less than $7,000 or 
nothing at all; Benefactor Corporations, asked to simply 
donate at least $7,000 to the Museum; and Contributing 
Sponsor Corporations, who would donate only services, 
or less than $7,000. Patron Sponsors had the "option to 
receive one principal work of art resulting from the 
collaboration"; the other categories of corporations did 
not have this option. See Appendix I, p. 31, for the 
complete text of the Patron Sponsor contract, which 
differs from the others only in regard to the factors just 



A brochure was drafted and printed at this time for 

corporation executives: 

Art and Technology is the worl<ing title* of a major 
project now being planned at the Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art. The purpose of this enterprise is to 
place approximately twenty important artists "in 
residence" for up to a twelve week period within 
leading technological and industrial corporations in 
California. Works of art resulting from these coopera- 
tive endeavors will be exhibited at the Museum in the 
Spring of 1970. 

International developments in art have provided the 
impetus for this project: much of the most compel- 
ling art since 1910 has depended upon the materials 
and processes of technology, and has increasingly 
assimilated scientific and industrial advances. Never- 
theless, only in isolated circumstances have artists 
been able to carry out their ideas or even initiate 
projects due to the lack of an operative relationship 
with corporate facilities. Our objective now is to 
provide the necessary meeting ground for some 
eminent contemporary artists with sophisticated 
technological personnel and resources. Naturally we 
hope that this endeavor will result not only in signifi- 
cant works of art but in an ongoing union between 
the two forces. It is our conviction that the need for 
this alliance is one of the most pressing esthetic issues 
of our time. 

corporation's contribution. 

Corporations are asked to participate in one of five 

1 . A Patron Sponsor Corporation takes an artist into 
twelve-week residence within one of its corporate 
facilities to work in a specific area with the cor- 
poration's personnel and materials. A Patron 
Sponsor Corporation also contributes $7,000 to 
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to help 
defray the extraordinary expenses of the project. 
As noted above. Patron Sponsor Corporations 
have the option to receive a work of art issuing 
from the collaboration. 

2. A Sponsor Corporation is a manufacturer who 
arranges to have an artist work within its plant, 
using specified personnel and materials, but makes 
a smaller contribution to the Museum's special 
fund for the project. 

3. Contributing Sponsors donate materials and/or 
services to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
for this project but do not take an artist into 

4. Service Corporations provide specialized services 
such as transportation, housing facilities for 
visiting artists and technical consultation. 

During the past six months, we have made numerous 
preliminary contacts with corporation presidents in 
California. These discussions have served to corrobor- 
ate our feeling that the advantages to participating 
corporate concerns are manifold. Since the project 
will be fully documented by CBS television for a 
network special, as well as being systematically 
publicized through other media, promotional benefits 
to industries can be considerable. It is expected that 
collaborating technical personnel may gain experience 
directly valuable to the corporation, as indeed has 
already occurred in the plastics industry. All ex- 
penses, including corporation staff time and ma- 
terials, are tax deductible; in addition. Patron Spon- 
sors will have the option to receive a work of art 
issuing from this collaboration. In many cases, the art 
works will exceed in value the total expense of the 

*The reader will note reference to "Art and Technology" as a 
"working title." This nomenclature was never comfortably 
accepted by us. Years later, after lists of other titles were drawn 
up and discarded, we could not improve on Art and Technology. 
Terms like "synergy" and "interface" were considered, but 
abandoned for obvious reasons. We wanted to include reference 
to industry, but this word invariably summoned misleading 
evocations of industrial design, and that was a confusion we were 
determined to avoid. 

5. Benefactors are non-technical, non-manufacturing 
firms who donate $7,000 to the Museum's special 
fund for "Art and Technology." 

Industries located primarily in Southern California 
are now being approached for their cooperation. By 
May, 1968, a preliminary list of ten corporations 
should be made public. Beginning at this time and 
throughout 1968 and 1969, artists will be contacted 
by the Museum and asked to submit project pro- 
posals. Artists will be approached largely on the basis 
of the quality of their past work and expressed 
interest in specific technological processes. Projects to 
be implemented will be chosen by the Museum on the 
basis of both potential esthetic stature and practical 
feasibility. Corporations will be presented with an 
appropriate work proposal for their approval in 
principle; scheduling will then be arranged by the 
corporation, the artist and the Museum. The initial 
proposal submitted to corporations will be sufficient- 
ly clear to indicate the extent and nature of the 
corporation's involvement. It is understood that this 
preliminary plan may change considerably during the 
course of the collaboration between corporative 
personnel and artist. 

Participating artists will sign a contract drawn up by 


the Museum setting forth rules and conditions. 
Non-local artists receive round-trip economy air fare 
plus $20 per diem expenses and Honorarium of $250 
per week. Local artists receive the same Honorarium. 

Corporations will enter into a written agreement with 
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in advance of 
the scheduled residence periods. 

In May, 1968, IBM and American Cement Corporation 
signed Patron Sponsor contracts and became the first 
contracted participants in Art and Technology. In 
October we officially announced the program. Press 
coverage in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times 
occasioned by this announcement were to help us in 
attracting most of the remaining corporations we re- 
quired to make the program work. Two months later we 
listed the companies contracted to date in the first of 
eleven monthly reports: 

counter. I had, for example, a particularly emotional 
conversation with Robert Irwin, who told me that many 
artists resented certain aspects of the program as they 
understood it: they felt that it was unfair for the 
Museum to take possession of the works created; that 
the Museum was primarily interested in producing an 
exhibition, rather than in arbitrating the process of 
interaction as an end in itself; that artists would be 
pressed by the Museum into making works for these 
reasons; and that they would not in fact be given access 
to experimental situations within companies which were 
not demonstrably related to the materials or processes of 
their past work. It was not difficult to disabuse Irwin 
and others of their misconceptions about property rights 
to the works of art, since the Museum, under the terms 
of the contracts, had no right whatever to receive works 
of art; this was made clear both in the corporation 
agreements and in the contract we were to make with 


1 . American Cement Corporation 

2. Ampex Corporation 

3. International Business Machines Corporation 

4. Kaiser Steel Corporation 

5. Litton Industries 

6. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation 

7. Teledyne, Inc. 

8. The Garrett Corporation 

9. Universal City Studios, Inc. 
10. Wyle Laboratories 


1. Eldon Industries, Inc. 

2. Hall Inc. Surgical Systems 

3. Hewlett-Packard 

4. Norris Industries Inc. 

5. Philco-Ford Corporation 

6. The Rand Corporation 

7. TRW Systems 


1. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation 

1. Bank of America 

2. North American Rockwell Corporation 

Much of our energy now shifted from negotiations with 
companies to the task of selecting and touring artists. 
Our discussions with artists were often strangely intense, 
and there was more opposition on their part to the goals 
of Art and Technology than we had expected to en- 

The issue of our intended exhibition of the works made 
through Art and Technology was more complicated. My 
primary motive in attempting to make the resources of 
industry available to artists was emphatically not to 
simply mount an exhibition. I thought it would be 
fascinating to observe a potentially vital reciprocal 
process, and expected personal and professional gratifi- 
cation from my role as catalyst in establishing the 
vehicle for such connections. I believed that it was the 
process of interchange between artist and company that 
was most significant, rather than whatever tangible 
results might quickly occur. Obviously the probability 
that works of art would be created was not to be ig- 
nored—I knew that many artists would want nothing 
more than physically to realize esthetic ideas that may 
have remained in their minds only because of the tech- 
nical difficulty of executing them. In short, one could 
reasonably expect that from twenty artists, each work- 
ing several months in twenty corporations, some kinds 
of exhibitable things were likely to emerge. I did not 
regard the "success" or "failure" of the project as resting 
mainly with the quantity or even quality of the 
"results." But I also tried to indicate to Irwin that, given 
the rationale for such an experiment (which he admitted 
willingly), and given that we were an art museum of the 
county of Los Angeles, it was only reasonable that the 
institution would attempt to show something to its 
audience for its efforts. I did not feel that this would 
result in undue pressure being placed on the artists to 
produce certifiable art objects. Interestingly, Irwin 
himself was to provide perhaps the outstandingly valu- 
able example of a purely interactive situation, issuing in 
no exhibitable object, although he did seriously contem- 
plate making an environmental work based on his 
research at the Garrett Corporation's Life Sciences 
Department. I firmly believed, moreoever, that to 
schedule an exhibition, and thus work toward consign- 

Roy Lichtenstein and Universal City Studios 




merit deadlines, would not only give us an advantageous 
psychological goal, but would prove helpful in eliciting 
cooperation from industry. By gearing our efforts 
toward a culminative event, a quality of excitement and 
an increased dedication were brought to bear on our 
labors for this nebulous and prolonged endeavor. Art 
and Technology was an experiment— and it had to be 
made coherent and explicit in order to be validated. 

The question of selecting artists for participation and 
deciding which artist should go where was a difficult 
one, and relates critically to the problem of making 
possible true "collaboration" as opposed to mere "art- 
making." We wanted viable, productive connections to 
come about, but it was important to us that these 
reciprocal endeavors be challenging and rewarding to 
both the artist and the scientist or engineer, by pro- 
voking them to reach beyond habituated patterns. 
However, we did not suppose that artists of character, 
accustomed to working with a particular vocabulary of 
forms, would be likely to abandon suddenly the esthetic 
means developed over a lifetime, merely because they 
were cast into an unfamiliar situation by taking up 
residence in a company. It was our intention simply to 
offer uncommon opportunities for those artists inclined 
to exercise them. How these opportunities might be used 
was exclusively the artist's concern. 

burg had been devoting considerable energy to the study 
of artists' contracts with dealers, galleries, printmakers, 
etc., over the previous year. He is possessed of a forensic 
acumen that makes attorneys— including his own- 
envious. He wrote to me on January 27, 1969. 

These are my recommendations for a changed con- 
tract for the artist involved in the Art and Tech- 
nology project. I want to emphasize again that the 
contract is an integral part of the collaboration of art 
and technology. To ignore contract-making would be 
to remain with the old separation, where the artist 
says: I don't care as long as the thing gets done, a 
snobbish attitude which I don't feel fits the present 
and very American context of artist-industry coopera- 
tion. We're not engaged in creating property for the 
County Museum, but working out terms which are 
bound to influence future collaborations of this sort. 

1. Travel. 

I'll have to travel out to L.A. several times (see my 
proposed schedule letter of January 18). 
I have already taken my allowed round trip (coach! 
which I changed to first class, paying difference 
myself) just to meet with Disney reps. According to 
Museum further trips will come out of my combined 
honorarium/diem (letter of January 17). 

Our intention from the outset of Art and Technology 
was to pay artists for time spent on the project, while 
they were in corporate residence, and later when instal- 
ling works at the Museum if their presence was needed. 
Funds raised from company donations allowed us to 
remunerate artists at a considerably higher rate than was 
conventionally allotted by non-profit institutions— inter- 
national symposia, print workshops, etc. We also attemp- 
ted to structure a situation whereby most of the works 
of art made collaboratively would become the property 
of the artist. To overcome any potential conflict be- 
tween the property rights of artist and company (the 
issue arises only with Patron Sponsor, not Sponsor 
Corporations), we advised artists concerned with owner- 
ship of works to plan their work in series, so that they 
would acquire most of the results. At the same time, 
companies were informed that they should expect artists 
to make multiple works if the artists so desired. The 
decision as to what constituted the "principal work" 
(the term stated in the contract for Patron Sponsor 
ownership) resided with us. 

We drew up a contract for artists to include these points 
and to make clear that they were connected to the 
Museum, rather than the company, in terms of monies 
and possible obligations. See Appendix II, p. 36. 

Most artists signed the contract, but Claes Oldenburg 
dissented and raised some interesting questions. Olden- 

* I demand that each round trip be paid for, first 
class, not from the hon./diem. 

* I also demand transportation be paid for materials 
I may bring out and their return. Don't corporations 
get spec, rates? 

* Also that transportation back be guaranteed for 
works not acquired by the Museum though made 
during the Museum project. 

* Also for the "principal work" in the event it is 
rejected by the patron sponsor and the museum. 

2. In working with the unknown quantity of an 
industry, the artist engages in a risk esthetically, and 
he must have safeguards which assure him complete 
control over the result. 

* I demand that the artist should have the option to 
resign from the project at any time if he is not satis- 
fied with its progress. 

* Also that the artist should have the option to reject 
the "principal work" or any work made that does not 
meet his standards, and refuse the exhibition of the 
work by the Museum. 

* Problems in installation of the piece may arise and 
the installation of work by the Museum, if the 
Museum exhibits it should be subject to the artists 
approval. Also, if installation help is needed, the 
Museum should pay the artist's trip to LA to help 
plus expenses. 

Claes Oldenburg and Gemini G.E.L. 



3. Paragraph 8 has been amended so that the artist 
retains ownership of work made during the project 
not "integral" to the "principal work." "Integral" 
should be defined as part of the work, or essential to 
it. Not for example preparatory sketches or models. 

* Also, the artist does not sign over his copyright of 
any work made during the project including the 
"principal work." 

4. The artist takes a risk in exposing himself and his 
work to commercial exploitation promised in the 
prospectus to industry: ". . . promotional benefits 
can be considerable." Not however to the artist. 

* Therefore, publicity by the Museum or industry 
must be subject to the artist's approval and/or guaran- 
teed not to violate his best interests. An example of 
this occurs in the Times article where a spokesman 
for the industry (Disney) states his expectations of 
what will occur: "I think show-biz is a good thing for 
an artist to learn. It helps him to clarify his ideas . . ." 
Granted, this info was obtained by the Times re- 
porter, not from a release, but seems to me ominous. 

5. A reading of the prospectus to industry will 
indicate how much the burden of sacrifice is on the 
artist, not on the other collaborators. Industry gets a 
tax deduction for help and materials provided, and 
presumably also for their donation of $7,000 to the 
project and their donation of the "principal work" to 
the Museum. That they will donate the work is tacitly 
supposed, though they are also promised the benefit 
of receiving art works (plural) which "will exceed in 
value the total expense of the corporation's contri- 

out of which no other expenses are to be lifted, such 
as plane tickets. 

* A realistic per-diem expense of $40, considering 
hotel rooms, eating out, need of a car to get to 
Glendale. This to be paid any time the artist is in LA 
working on the project including installation time in 

One should consider that the artist may be thinking 
about the project in his home base before, during or 
after his execution of it in LA— this is time not 
mentioned in the contract. Also that no studio 
facilities or housing arrangements are guaranteed or 
provided, and that a certain amount of time will be 
used up in just getting settled. 

* If it is at all possible to arrange, the artist should 
participate in any tax benefits of the gift to the 
Museum of his work. He should definitely receive a 
percentage in the event the work is sold by the 
Museum, especially if it is to a private party. 

replied to Claes on February 11,1 969, 
Let me address myself to your comments point by 
point. The four starred points you make in "1 " 
cannot be accommodated for any artist under the 
present budget of the project. Changes of this nature 
would have to hold, of course, for all of the artists, 
and if these changes were made, the complications 
and added— unpredictable— expenses would obviate 
the project entirely. Considering that all the expendi- 
tures made by the Museum, including preparations of 
different kinds and fund-raising, are for the purpose 
of a single exhibition, and not for acquisition of 
works of art, I think that the provisions for artists are 

The other "collaborator"— the Museum, receives free 
a work of the artist it might otherwise have had to 
buy, depriving the artist and his agent of a sale. This 
gift comes with no strings attached and the right to 
resell— without any percentage to the artist— to 
anyone, after five years, the right to exhibit or not, 
etc., all the benefits had they bought a piece. 

The artist receives no tax breaks, and is to work at a 
reduced rate for three months, supporting himself in 
a foreign place at an impossible per diem rate, and in 
addition, expected to pay his own transportation etc. 
Say he will work at approximately one fifth his 
normal rate. This is not a "collaboration" and is not 
set up to encourage the artist to do his best, rather to 
get it over with as quickly as possible, if he was 
unfortunate enough to sign the contract. 

* Therefore, I demand an increased "honorarium" of 
$6,000, which may be paid on an installment basis 

In regard to "2": The artist has implicitly the 
"option to resign" in his contract, and to "reject the 
'principal work' or any work made that does not 
meet his standards, and refuse the exhibition of the 
work by the Museum." If you would like these points 
stated more explicitly in your contract, we can do 
this. So far as installation is concerned, I know you 
understand that in any exhibition of a number of 
artists' works, every artist could not and has never 
had the right to place his work where he wants it 
regardless of other works. However, in some cases, 
specific works may be designed with a particular 
installation area in mind, and thus the artist would of 
course have that location reserved for his work. If 
you wish to select a site in advance of the completion 
of your project, we shall do our best to accommodate 
you. We would naturally solicit the advice of artists as 
to placement of the works in any event, and if help is 
needed, of course the Museum should pay the artist's 
trip to Los Angeles for this purpose plus expenses. 



Re "3"; "Integral" clearly does not refer to prepara- 
tory sketches or models; and there can similarly be no 
doubt that the artist "does not sign over his copy- 
right . . ." 

Re "4": Beyond the safeguards taken by the 
Museum on the artists' behalf, it would be impossible 
to guarantee that some independent journal will not 
negatively criticize an artist's work or in any number 
of ways "violate the artist's best interests." I know 
you realize this and I doubt that you would want it 
otherwise. So far as comments by corporation person- 
nel go, which is what you have in mind, the Museum, 
while it cannot require that every company man clear 
an answer to a press question with us, has emphasized 
and will continue to request of corporations that 
every reasonable effort be made to clear public 
statements with the Museum. 

Despite a certain suspiciousness of the project on the 
part of some artists (exclusively American artists, inci- 
dentally, and particularly Los Angeles ones), only three 
artists, out of the total of sixty-four we approached, 
were categorically opposed to association with the Art 
and Technology program from the outset. They are all 
extraordinary artists, and I was at considerable pains to 
make certain that they did not misunderstand the 
premises of Art and Technology. Frank Stella simply 
couldn't abide even the idea of working in an industrial 
plant. Jasper Johns felt similarly; he patiently explained 
to me that the content of his art is about the move of a 
hand from one point in space to another nearby, and 
that to him the possibility of moving in a social situation 
to make art was unthinkable. Ed Kienholz, on the other 
hand, though not opposed to the idea in principle, could 
not imagine what industry could do for him that he 
couldn't do for himself. 

Re "5": It's not clear to me what you mean by 
corporations "are also promised the benefit of receiv- 
ing art works (plural) . . ." since a Patron Sponsor has 
only the option to receive a single work. Other works 
automatically belong to the artist; moreover, all 
works executed by Sponsor Corporations (as opposed 
to Patron Sponsors) go to the artist. Almost half of 
the corporations involved do not stand to receive any 
work of art. Furthermore, it is quite posssible that 
none of the Patron Sponsors will offer a work to us. 
This should indicate that we have not structured the 
project to gain "free" art works for the Museum. 
Your point about the Museum's right to resell a work 
should it be offered as a gift to us can be changed to 
suit you, since it is most definitely not our intention 
to sell any major works from the collection. If you 
like, you may stipulate that any gift of your work 
made to the Museum may not be sold in your life- 

The honorarium figure was the maximum sum the 
Museum could budget and it will not be possible to 
change it at this time for any, and therefore all, of the 
artists. I very much agree that a $40 per diem expense 
is more realistic than the present expense, but our 
figure is based on County of Los Angeles regulations. 
This has always been a serious problem for Curators 
and to date an insoluble one. I can only offer to 
alleviate your expenses by covering them as much as 
possible while you are here, and by arranging to pay 
you for a special event or two which could make up 
the monetary difference between your desires and 
what is called for in the contract. I do not think that 
time spent in planning the project can be estimated or 
budgeted. I do think that any possible tax benefits 
accruable to artists should be encouraged, but I 
cannot yet conceive of how this might be effected. 

Every other artist we approached was in theory willing 
to pursue the collaborative opportunity at least to the 
extent of touring corporations. Personalities as diverse as 
Jean Dubuffet and James Byars, Jules Olitski and George 
Brecht, Roy Lichtenstein and Jackson MacLow, were 
interested in exploring the notion of coming to Cali- 
fornia to work in a corporate setting. I had expected 
resistance from artists, aside from the reluctances discus- 
sed above, on "moral" grounds— opposition, that is, to 
collaborating in any way with the temples of Capitalism, 
or, more particularly, with militarily involved industry. 
This issue never became consequential in terms of our 
program, perhaps because the politically conscious artist 
saw himself, to speak metaphorically, as a Trotsky 
writing for the Hearst Empire. However, I suspect that if 
Art and Technology were beginning now instead of in 
1967, in a climate of increased polarization and organ- 
ized determination to protest against the policies sup- 
ported by so many American business interests and so 
violently opposed by much of the art community, many 
of the same artists would not have participated. 

As we set about contacting artists we had certain defi- 
nite guidelines. First of all we were determined to 
involve artists of quality, regardless of their style of 
work, and we were not especially seeking artists whose 
approach was "technologically oriented." If anything, 
we may have been prejudiced against those artists who 
had been deliberately employing the tools of new 
technology for its own sake, because so many recent 
exhibitions centered on this notion had been of little 
interest artistically. We were also determined to discuss 
Art and Technology with as wide a range of artists as 
possible— Europeans and Americans, Japanese and South 
Americans; artists of great repute along with unrecog- 
nized figures; artists in their sixties and artists in their 
twenties. We felt that only by exposing diverse types of 
artists to corporations could the value of the premises of 

Oyvind Fahlstrom and Heath and Company 



Art and Technology be tested. Therefore we tried to 
approach not only painters and sculptors but poets and 
musicians (thus involving Karlheinz Stockhausen and 
Jackson MacLow). We tried to prepare for unanticipated 
requests from artists, and fortunately the structure of 
Art and Technology permitted us a degree of flexibility 
when necessary. For example, certain artists we ap- 
proached wished to collaborate with a fellow artist 
(Irwin and James Turrell, Stockhausen and Otto Piene, 
Robert Morris and Craig Kauffman) at a particular 
company; or an artist might extend his period of resi- 
dence over a year, or even two, by leaving and returning 
to the plant several times (as did Lichtenstein, Rauschen- 
berg, Richard Serra and Jesse Reichek). 

helpful. Cal Tech physicist Dr. Richard Feynman.who 
served as Consultant to Art and Technology, might 
attend, and one of us— Jane Livingston, Gail Scott, 
James Monte, Hal Glicksman or myself— was always 
there. It was quickly apparent that the presence of a 
congenial company representative was a critical factor. 
With an alert, sympathetic engineer, the tour was likely 
to be lively and stimulating. Without such a person to 
lead us into interesting areas of discourse, the facility 
itself would have to be intrinsically compelling, with an 
obvious potential art medium, for the tour to succeed. 
Generally one or the other of these conditions prevailed. 
If they did not, the tour could be a lugubrious and 
wearying exercise. 

Over a period of more than two years, from late 1967 to 
1970, while we were contacting artists, we also received 
seventy-eight unsolicited proposals from artists who had 
read or heard about Art and Technology. All of these 
proposals were studied carefully and many were recon- 
sidered several times with various companies in mind. 
None, in the end, were accepted. These projects in- 
volved, most often, the areas of transduction; of plastics 
used in a variety of ways; of computers; and of lasers 
and holography. Many artists wanted to make total, 
elaborate and integrated environmental situations. 
Generally, the unsolicited proposals were made by 
relatively unknown artists. There was a rather high 
percentage of proposals received from pairs or groups of 
artists wishing to work together. There was also a high 
proportion of women artists. Few engineers or scientists 
approached us. There were one or two cases of eccentric, 
"primitive" or folk-traditional artists who wished to 
make mad machines through Art and Technology. We 
were usually reluctant to follow through on proposals 
which seemed too completely designed, or thought out 
in advance, so that the corporation's role would simply 
be a question of executing a previously conceived plan, 
rather than collaborating actively in both the conception 
and execution of an idea. The most interesting proposals 
are described in the artists' section, part 3. 

Our method of approaching artists did not substantially 
vary from the outset of the program. Each artist was 
visited, or came to the Museum, and was shown material 
on one or more (usually four) corporations that we 
thought might be of personal interest. Each artist was 
invited to tour corporations before deciding on the 
nature of work he might wish to do. 

These tours were usually conducted by a corporation 
public relations man, often a former engineer, who 
would introduce the artist to department heads in each 
division. Often a conference of these departmental 
chiefs, along with other executives, would be held to 
answer the artist's questions. Sometimes a film on the 
company's total operations was shown— this was often 

In originally considering appropriate artist-corporation 
matches, certain apt connections came to mind readily 
and with forcefulness: Dubuffet at American Cement 
Corporation, Vasarely at IBM, Oldenburg in Disneyland, 
Lichtenstein at Universal Film Studios, Andy Warhol at 
Hewlett-Packard (for holography). These five combina- 
tions seemed natural but not too pat. We expected other 
matches to come about less on the basis of our sugges- 
tion than through the process of exposing artists to 
various companies. Many of the observations made in 
regard to these few artists apply as well to other collab- 
orations; I cite them as key examples of the kinds of 
issues and problems confronted throughout the program. 

Each of these artist's work suggested to us a process 
which was then available in a contracted company. For 
several years Dubuffet had been working with cement, 
making sculptures and bas-reliefs on a limited scale. 
Vasarely's plotted paintings called to mind a computer 
company like IBM. Oldenburg's proposals for monu- 
ments and his anthropomorphising of objects and 
animals made the facilities at Disney seem almost neces- 
sary. Roy Lichtenstein had started making his first 
sculptures, and Universal's exceptional capacities for 
non-load bearing construction (with staff, a material 
made of plaster and fibre) seemed of likely interest. (In 
fact, the artist ignored this possibility and went directly 
to work with film.) Warhol's work suggested to me a 
latent relationship to holograms. 

We approached each of these artists primarily with the 
companies noted in mind, and each was responsive. Most 
of these artists became deeply involved with Art and 
Technology and eventually made unusual works of art as 
a consequence of their connections to companies, 
although not always with the particular company with 
which they were first associated. Lichtenstein stayed 
with Universal, but Oldenburg and Warhol were to work 
with different companies and techniques than those 
visualized originally. The other two artists also became 
involved in the program but did not develop work to a 
point of resolution. The experiences of both Dubuffet 

Rockne Krebs and Hewlett-Packard Company 




and Vasarely were similar. Each is European and over 
sixty. They responded to my presentation of Art and 
Technology with a carefully planned proposal for a 
monumental work. Their plans called for fabulous 
expenditures, straining even the grandiloquent capacity 
of American industry; but there was a distinct reluctance 
on these artists' part to engage with engineers and 
administrators in a true give-and-take manner. The 
concept of personal dialogue— critical to the nature of 
Art and Technology— was not at all intriguing to these 

In contrast to the Europeans, most American artists 
chose— often from a bewildering array of possible tech- 
niques—a relatively simply process, approaching the 
problems implicit in it with single-minded tenacity. This 
was clearly observable early in Art and Technology in 
the experiences of Lichtenstein, Oldenburg and Warhol. 
American artists tended to focus on a single technical 
principle or device. To do this properly, it was found, 
was no easy matter. Lichtenstein's project at Universal 
seemed "primitive" to their sophisticated technicians, at 
least until the real nature of his desire became apparent, 
for Lichtenstein wanted a pictorial quality many times 
more precise than is needed by Universal for their own 
purposes. Andy Warhol finally opted to reveal an in- 
tegrally imperfect mechanical system, rather than make 
a virtuoso display by any conventional definition. 
Oldenburg was exclusively concerned with making 
mechanized versions of monumental sculptures: "make 
mechanics obviously stated," he wrote to himself at one 
point. Such a frank, or even ironical, attitude toward the 
machine has long been characteristic of many American 
artists (Sheeler, Schamberg, Rube Goldberg), albeit with 
a certain romantic or comic nuance. 

Aside from these artist-company connections, which got 
the program underway, we generally went to artists with 
less specific notions than these in mind. Few artists we 
approached (Donald Judd may be the sole exception) 
expressed interest in reducing possible action with a 
company to in absentia fabrication. An artist might 
indicate to us his interest in a specific process, as, for 
example, Robert Morris who referred to heating and 
cooling devices, leading us to research our companies for 
this capacity. More often an artist would have no notion 
at all about what a corporation might have to offer, but 
almost all wanted to have a look at them. After touring 
several companies most artists formulated a more or less 
specific plan of attack, either a proposal for an art work 
or a request to explore a particular facility in depth. 
There were actually only four exceptions to this, that is, 
artists who toured companies but saw nothing to inspire 
an idea or a desire to work within them. These four 
artists were Philip King, who flew from London to visit 
Kaiser Steel, Wyle Laboratories and American Cement, 
James Rosenquist, who toured Container Corporation of 
America, Ampex and RCA; Peter Voulkos, who went to 

Morris Industries and John McCracken who visited 
Morris Industries, Litton Industries and Philco-Ford 

Most of those artists who became acquainted with 
corporation facilities wanted to take up residence at a 
particular firm. Over fifty artists wished to collaborate; 
twenty-three of those actually did, spending varying 
periods of time at a company or companies. (This was 
roughly the percentage of successful matches we had 
anticipated achieving when we drew up the budget a 
year earlier.) We can now conclude that two factors 
largely determined whether or not a collaboration would 
result from our preliminary efforts. The first considera- 
tion had to do simply with the artist's personality, most 
particularly his ability to communicate with diverse 
kinds of people. This was of course a subtle factor, not 
quantitatively definable, but observable nevertheless. Les 
Levine's somewhat casual, free-wheeling manner, for 
example, did not ingratiate him to the people at Ampex; 
lain Baxter's seeming frivolity was worrisome to Garrett; 
Len Lye's definiteness about his demands and im- 
patience with apparent technical limitations did not 
inspire the Kaiser personnel. But of course each com- 
pany responded differently: IBM personnel were perhaps 
offended by Jackson MacLow's unconventional appear- 
ance and dress, and possibly by his politics, but another 
computer company (Information International) found 
him entirely acceptable. Much depended on whom the 
artist might meet at the start, while touring a company: 
Robert Whitman met optics engineer John Forkner at 
Philco-Ford, and the two personalities were immediately 
sympathetic, despite a general doubt on the part of the 
company itself, while Robert Morris could never find a 
true line of communication with anyone at Lear Siegler, 

Often contracted corporations would hesitate to take an 
artist into residence when, for technical reasons, they 
anticipated having to sub-contract a major part of the 
project. They wished to utilize indigenous techniques 
and materials. This was the second key factor determin- 
ing the ease or difficulty of setting up collaborations, 
and was basically more important than the issue of 
personalities. This problem occurred frequently, but it 
could not have been avoided. The central premise of Art 
and Technology rested on a one artist-one company 
nexus. Early in the program, the need for a number of 
back-up companies to provide raw materials was antici- 
pated, and in fact we sought commitments from firms 
such as Rohm and Haas, for plastics. But it was quickly 
apparent that companies required singular identification 
with an artist in order to produce and perform signifi- 
cantly. Companies would not give impersonally, so to 
speak, any more readily than patrons of museums make 
donations anonymously. To alleviate this problem we 
invented the category of Benefactor Corporation: we 

R. B. Kitaj and Lockheed Aircraft Corporation 




solicited $7,000 donations from banks and other non- 
participatory firms to be allotted largely for the acquisi- 
tion of materials or specialized services not made avail- 
able by a sponsoring corporation. However, we per- 
suaded only three companies to enter Art and Tech- 
nology in this category. 

The factor of anticipated sub-contracting implicit in an 
artist's proposal was primarily instrumental in the failure 
of Michael Asher, Hans Haacke, Max Bill, Stephan Von 
Huene, Takis, Otto Piene, Karlheinz Stockhausen, 
Eduardo Paolozzi and others to make corporation 
connections. Some corporations also rejected project 
proposals for reasons of excessive in-house expense, of 
course, but this happened less often: IBM studied 
Vasarely's plan for weeks and concluded that it might 
cost up to two million dollars to build, and then would 
only have a life of four years (due to the narrowing life 
expectancy of successive computer generations); Litton 
declined Vjenceslav Richter's plan, claiming it would 
cost over a million dollars; RCA similarly declined to 
work on Glenn McKay's project, the cost of which was 
anticipated at $500,000. 

Most of the vital collaborative work done under Art and 
Technology took place during 1969 and early 1970. 
Within this period of time, some artists toured the 
company, returned home, formulated a detailed pro- 
posal, entered into residence at a corporation for about 
three months, executed as much work as time allowed, 
and left. This was basically the experience, for instance, 
of R. B. Kitaj, Oyvind Fahlstrom and Jean Dupuy. These 
were the comparatively simple exchanges to consum- 
mate, partly because the corporations with whom these 
artists collaborated, or specific divisions within them, are 
primarily industrial (Lockheed, Heath, Cummins) and 
partly because of the orderly and sequential manner of 
working characteristic of these particular artists. 

Few cases were so simple. Most artists, as has been 
stated, extended their residence at a company over a 
year-long period, leaving and returning several times. 
This rhythm allowed for generally advantageous results. 
We observed a definite strengthening and maturing of 
concepts in the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Rockne 
Krebs and Tony Smith, for example. Rauschenberg first 
visited Teledyne in September, 1968, beginning an 
unusually long series of visits to the company, entailing 
discussions, the gathering of particular data, acquisition 
of materials from all over the U.S., testing, etc.: it was 
not until October, 1970, that a final period of residence 
occurred, and work accelerated; the project is to be 
realized in February, 1971. Krebs' and Smith's experi- 
ences with companies were also protracted and concom- 
itantly enriching. However, there were dangerous 
moments in these prolonged collaborations, for the 
absence of the artist from a company tended to reduce 

corporate availability. It was at such times that the 
Museum's active role was necessary to keep the connec- 
tion viable. 

Since Rauschenberg, Krebs and Tony Smith each 
worked with the company they had originally selected, 
there was a certain coherence in these collaborations in 
spite of the unusually lengthy period of time involved. 
With virtually all of the others, however, substantial 
involvement on our part was mandatory to keep the 
"marriage" together. Often artists had to leave one 
company for another. After contracting with us, John 
Chamberlain developed an ambitious scheme for a work 
involving diverse odors at a division of Dart Industries' 
Riker Laboratories. The president of the company 
rejected the plan. After other trials. Chamberlain became 
the Rand Corporation's artist-in-residence (following 
upon Larry Bell's stint there). Wesley Duke Lee came 
from Brazil to work at Hall Surgical Systems. After two 
months the company declined further participation, 
prompting thereby the Odyssey of Wesley Duke Lee 
through Southern California: the artist worked at over a 
dozen small sub-contracting firms to develop his project, 
which had been defined at Hall, racking up fourteen 
thousand driving miles, in a project that was to last eight 
months. It is still not completed. 

The outstanding case of a project taxing the limits of our 
capacities was that of Robert Whitman at Philco-Ford. 
Whitman is probably the most experienced "collabora- 
tive" artist in the U.S., and, as I noted above, he had the 
good fortune of locating a brilliant and engaging optics 
engineer, John Forkner. With the implicit support of the 
company, a Patron Sponsor, plans for a radical work- 
technically innovative and esthetically compelling— were 
drawn up, only to have the company administration 
flatly refuse any funds for construction. The realization 
of this work required far-flung resources: the artist 
redesigned his work; the engineer came up with entirely 
altered plans for construction; a display-fabricating firm 
was hired to create certain parts; the Laguna Beach 
Unitarian Church Fellowship pressed one hundred 
citizens into voluntary service; and finally the United 
States Information Agency provided scores of laborers 
(when the work was first shown at Expo 70) for the 
final stages of construction. Similar nightmarish compli- 
cations threatened to inhibit the construction of works 
Oldenburg researched and defined at Disney Produc- 
tions, but in this case we induced Gemini G.E.L. to take 
over the production of one of Oldenburg's several 
models, and they did so with unusual efficiency and 

Andy Warhol and Cowles Communications, Inc. 


Jackson MacLow and Information International 




Given such obstacles as these, twenty artists nevertheless 
are expected to bring projects to a state of culnnination. 
In virtually every case there was a particular corporation 
individual who made himself responsible, along with the 
artist, for the success of the collaboration. Such a man 
might be primarily an authoritative officer, who dele- 
gated responsibility, such as R. H. Robillard at Lock- 
heed, or a genuine technical collaborator, such as Fork- 
ner at Philco-Ford. In many cases, when a company did 
give generously of its resources, we came to find hidden, 
if not unusual, motives for its doing so. Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory's involvement with Newton Harrison is 
probably accountable, in part, to the company's desire 
to move out of space exploration exclusively and 
identify itself with the larger area of environmental 
research. Some corporations apparently became involved 
with us in order to promote a particular product or 
process (Cowles' Xography) or an area that the company 
wished to make better known (Garrett's Life Sciences 
Department). General Electric was eager to modernize 
their image. Two major companies— involved, not coinci- 
dentally, with consumer-type products— contracted with 
us because of their presidents' social connections with 
Mrs. Chandler. Three companies— the smallest ones- 
joined with us solely for the publicity. Some companies 
were exceptionally cooperative because of a tradition of 
cultural support dating back for years (Container Cor- 
poration of America, IBM, Cummins), but other com- 
panies, whose presidents are art collectors, proved 
difficult to work with, precisely because that knowledge 
of art created a restrictive bias. 

In April, 1969, after reading a second article on Art and 
Technology by Grace Glueck in the New York Times, 
Phyllis Montgomery of Davis, Brody, Chermayeff, 
Geismar, DeHarak, Associates— the Exhibition Design 
Team for the United States Pavilion at Expo 70— called 
me to discuss the possibility of my organizing an exhibi- 
tion including works made under Art and Technology 
for the Pavilion. Accordingly, we entered into extensive 
negotiations with the USIA's Commissioner General 
(later Ambassador) Howard Chernoff and Deputy 
Commissioner General Jack Masey, and the Exhibition 
Design Team. In a formal contract, signed on May 30, 

1969, we consented to postpone the Museum show for 
one year, and draw from it a smaller preview exhibition 
for Expo. 

The commitment to deliver in time for Expo 70 was a 
distinct gamble. Our original deadline was tightened, 
since we had planned to exhibit results of the collabora- 
tions in April, 1970, at the Museum, whereas all works 
for Expo had to be installed— in Japan— by March 15, 

1970. Also, certain inherent conditions restricted the 
range of potential works for Expo: only American artists 
could be selected; and a traffic flow of up to 10,000 
persons per hour was expected throughout the seven-day 

week, six-month long run at the Fair. (This astonishing 
estimate proved to be correct: 10,800,000 visitors 
poured through the Art and Technology Exhibition in 
the U.S. Pavilion before Expo closed in mid-September.) 

I felt that the risk was worth taking. A fundamental 
belief in the necessity of giving artists access to industry 
lay at the heart of Art and Technology, and Expo 70 
seemed to me a perfect occasion for demonstrating the 
validity of this concern, to an international as well as an 
American audience. We had six months' time in which to 
deliver eight "rooms" of art, for that was basically the 
way the art exhibition space was designed in the Pavil- 
ion. Inevitably those six months were crisis-fraught. The 
complexity of the logistics involved may be indicated by 
the fact that when these eight remarkable works were 
shipped to Osaka, they comprised 15,000 separate com- 
ponents, occupying eighty crates and weighing forty 
tons. Installation in Japan took ten weeks and involved 
my continual presence, extended visits by five of the 
participating artists, several U.S. engineers, a team of 
designers and architects and hundreds of workmen. 

The only "object" in the Expo exhibition was the first 
work encountered outside the main entrance door of the 
New Arts Section: Claes Oldenburg's Giant Icebag, 
which was in complex motion for nineteen minutes and 
forty-five seconds and rested for fifteen seconds. This 
was the only work that actually existed before the Expo 
installation: it was tested, and performed perfectly, in 
Los Angeles in January, 1970. Each of the other seven 
works arrived in Japan in the form of disconnected sys- 
tem components, which were never entirely combined 
and put into operation until their mounting at the Expo 
site. The fact that none of us could accurately visualize 
the Expo show beforehand— even the artists did not 
know precisely what their works would do in the unfore- 
seen conditions— caused a certain amount of understand- 
able anxiety, as well as excitement. Inside the exhibition 
space the viewer first found himself in Boyd Mefferd's 
room. One hundred twenty wall-mounted strobe units 
flashed in program, causing intense, apparently halluci- 
natory retinal images (provided the viewer took at least 
fifteen seconds to allow this to happen: very few did). 
One next entered Tony Smith's cave, made entirely of 
corrugated cardboard, and illuminated from above by 
shafts of light. Thousands of octahedra and tetrahedra, 
shipped to Japan in scored flat sheets, were individually 
assembled on site and mounted architecturally according 
to a complicated twelve foot model the artist had made. 
After the viewer traversed ninety feet through the Smith 
tunnel, he came up against Robert Whitman's optical 
tour de force: a twenty-three foot semi-circular space 
containing various illusionistic phenomena. Placed 
against the semi-circular wall from floor to eye-level 
were one thousand corner-shaped mirrors which reflect- 
ed to each viewer, regardless of where he stood or 

Tony Smith and Container Corporation of America 


Robert Whitman and Phjico-Ford Corporation 




walked, on/y his own image, repeated a thousand times. 
Mounted above eye-level were five pairs of five by seven 
foot pulsating mylar mirrors, in front of which hovered 
ten eerily bright three-dimensional objects (a pear, drill, 
goldfish bowl with live fish, a knife, a clock, ferns, etc.). 
From Whitman's room one stepped into Newton 
Harrison's forest of five thirteen-foot high plexiglass 
columns, each filled with glowing gas plasmas, pro- 
grammed to create varying color-shapes of pure light. In 
Harrison's room, as in Whitman's area, the viewer was in 
the dark, seeing mysterious shapes being formed out of 
light. So too in Krebs' laser room, entered from 
Harrison's, one perceived light patterns in a dark envi- 
ronment: the piece formed a complex web of red and 
blue-green pencil-thin beams, crossed, interlaced and in 
one place extended (through two enormous parallel 
mirrors) "into infinity." The sense of immateriality in 
Krebs' sculpture was strengthened by the fluctuation of 
the light patterns. Into a large alcove at the far end of 
Krebs' room were placed two 35mm rear projectors for 
Roy Lichtenstein's two movie screens. Each screen meas- 
ured seven by eleven feet; the projected film image on 
each screen was a "moving picture." One image com- 
bined film footage of ocean and sky; the other screen 
depicted ocean surface and a dot pattern above; both 
screens were split with a horizon-like black line, and the 
images rocked. From this paradoxically anti-filmic evo- 
cation of "nature" one turned to Andy Warhol's work, 
which also dealt with man's transformation of nature 
Into artifice: it was a giant field of three-dimensional 
printed flowers, seen through sparkling transparent cur- 
tains of water, falling like rain. 

Even with the wide diversity of artistic styles presented 
in the Expo exhibition, certain singular characteristics 
were shared by the eight artists. In fact, many of these 
qualities now seem to apply to most of the other artists 
in the Art and Technology program, such as Robert 
Rauschenberg and Jesse Reichek. Primary among these is 
an emphasis on transient images and evanescent phenom- 
ena. At Expo, there was no object which sat in a tradi- 
tional relationship to a ground. Flicker and vibration 
were omnipresent— but not in the pretentious manner 
endemic to much mechanical art. Distinct and tangible 
images presented themselves but they would become 
transformed or disappear. Much depended on one's par- 
ticular vantage point— your neighbor was never seeing 
what you were seeing at the same time. This was true 
even though certain of the works, which had potential 
for individual participation, were forced to relinquish 
this aspect because of the enormous crowds at Expo. 
There was a notable absence of visible housing for each 
work, allowing a purity and directness of confrontation 
with technique rather than mechanics. But no works 
were designed to parade technique; almost every artist in 
the program displayed a certain reserve before the tools 
of technology. As the artists de-emphasized the look of 

the machine, they were able to maximize a sense of pen- 
etrating psychological immediacy. One did not feel a 
palpable sense of virtuosity in these works, but rather a 
character of restraint and esthetic sureness. 

After Expo opened, I reported to the Museum's Board 
of Trustees on our experience with Art and Technology 
in Japan, and we turned to the consideration of the 
Museum's exhibition. Our budget, estimated in 1968, 
had been proving close to the mark. We had raised over 
$40,000 more than expected from corporations and had 
therefore been able to place several more artists in 
residence than anticipated. 

Based on what we learned from the Expo experience, a 
further, and even an unprecedented commitment is now 
required by the Museum to mount the new exhibition. 
Virtually all the works produced through Art and 
Technology are conglomerates of component parts, 
dependent for their very existence on elaborately con- 
structed formal matrices. The works shown at Expo will, 
with the exception of Oldenburg's Icebag, be fundamen- 
tally reworked due to the much greater design flexibility 
of the Museum space. Moreover about twelve additional 
artists' projects are expected to be resolved for the Los 
Angeles show. 

The accounts of interaction among seventy-six artists, 
over 225 corporation employees, and Museum staff 
members comprise part 3 of this Report. Both the 
emotional complexities and the sheer logistical difficul- 
ties implicit in this five-year engagement emerge cumu- 
latively through these accounts. 

October 30, 1970 

Appendix 1 A&T 


IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between 

(hereinafter Patron Sponsor) and MUSEUM ASSOCIATES, INC. (hereinafter Museum), 
as follows : 

1. Museum operates the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Museum is pre- 
sently planning an exhibition tentatively entitled "Art and Technology" to be 
held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the spring of 1970. 

2. Patron Sponsor desires to participate in and assist Museum in the 
development of said exhibition. 

3. Museum has advised Patron Sponsor that Museum will proceed with the 
development of said exhibition if it obtains agreements, comparable to this 
agreement, with no less than ten Patron Sponsors (or with other types of spon- 
sors representing the monetary and resource equivalent thereof). 

4. Museum has advised Patron Sponsor (a) that any work of art created in 
the development of said exhibition may, in the sole discretion of Museimi, be 
deemed inappropriate for inclusion in said exhibition, and (b) that Museum may, 
in its sole discretion, conclude that the totality of works created in the 
development of said exhibition make it inappropriate to hold said exhibition. 
Patron Sponsor is aware that in the event of either of these alternatives, or 
if for any other reason except for failure to obtain ten Patron Sponsors (or 
the equivalent) the exhibition is not held, or work undertaken or produced at 
Patron Sponsor's facility is not completed or exhibited. Patron Sponsor is not 
entitled to a refund of any money or services or other things of value which it 
has expended in connection with said exhibition. 

5. Patron Sponsor agrees to contribute $7,000, of which one-half will be 
paid at the time of execution of this Agreement but no later than • 



The remaining one-half will be due on or before . In addition, 

Patron Sponsor agrees to commit siifficient materials, working space and techni- 
cal assistance for a three-month period or until completion of the artistic 
project (as hereinafter defined), whichever is shorter, at a time to be specified 
by Museum. Said commitment of materials, working space and technical assistance, 
together with the precise time, will be subject to mutual agreement between 
Museum and Patron Sponsor, but each agrees to use its best efforts to reach such 
agreement , 

6. Museum, in its sole discretion, will select an artist and an artistic 
project for development and execution at the facility of and in cooperation with 
Patron Sponsor. 

7. Museum, in its sole discretion, may select and exhibit at the Los Angeles 
County Miiseum of Art any or all works of art created at Patron Sponsor's facility 
as a result of said artistic project. Said exhibition may be scheduled at any 
time diiring the year 1970. In addition, Museum may arrange for the exhibition of 
any of said works of art at other museums or public exhibitions in the United States 
or abroad at any time until December 31, 1972. Patron Sponsor will cooperate with 
Museum in any such exhibition or exhibitions and will not display any of said 
works of art before December 31, 1972 without the prior written consent of Museum. 

8. The principal work of art created as a consequence of any artistic pro- 
ject at the facility of Patron Sponsor will, at the option of Patron Sponsor and 
without further payment, become the property of Patron Sponsor at the conclusion 
of the exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (or at the time of noti- 
fication to Patron Sponsor that said work will not be exhibited). In the event 
Patron Sponsor does not choose so to acquire any such work, then it will become 
the property of the artist creating it. If either Patron Sponsor or the artist 
wishes to make a gift of said work to Museum, Museum may, in its sole discretion, 
elect to accept or reject said gift. 


33 A&T 

9. In the event of a gift to Museum of any work of art. Museum will retain 
the option to donate or lend said work to any other museum or public institution, 
or, after a five-year interval, to sell or otherwise dispose of said work to any- 
one. Museum will further retain the right to exhibit or not exhibit any such 

10. If an artist creates additional works of art (beyond the "principal 
work" described in paragraph 8), the artist will retain ownership of any such 
additional works unless they are preparatory to or an integral part of said prin- 
cipal work, in which case their ownership will be subject to the provisions of 
paragraph 8. 

11. Museum will carry liability insurance on artists during the period that 
they are working at the facility of Patron Sponsor. During such time, they will 
be regarded as "consultants" to Museum. 

12. Museum will not insure any works of art produced in connection with 
any artistic project, except liability insurance for injury or damage caused 

by said works of art while they are in transit to or on display at the Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art. 

13. All arrangements and charges for the moving of objects from Patron Spon- 
sor's facility to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (or to other museums or 
exhibitions) and return to point of origin shall be the responsibility of Museimi. 
Any moving anywhere else shall be the responsibility of the person requesting 
said movement. Patron Sponsor agrees to store any works created in connection 
with said artistic project at its sole expense, until Museum requests that said 
works be moved to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the event Museum 
makes no such request on or before the opening date of the exhibition. Patron 
Sponsor may make its own arrangements for disposition of said remaining works 

at its own expense. If an artist becomes the owner of any works, shipment from 
Patron Sponsor's facility or from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the 



artist's obligation and must be accomplished promptly upon conclusion of said 
exhibition or the artist will have no further rights to any such work and neither 
Patron Sponsor nor M\:iseum will have any obligation to return or account for any 
such work to the artist. 

14. Patron Sponsor agrees that any works in the process of creation or 
created at its facility, together with said facility, may be photographed and 
reproduced in a catalog, press releases, slides or other photographic materials, 
and that all such photographic materials will be the property of Museum. Patron 
Sponsor further agrees that all matters relating to publicity for said exhibition, 
said artistic project, or the artist involved will be under the control of Museum, 
and that any publicity to be released by Patron Sponsor must be approved in 
advance by Museum. Museum will, in its sole discretion, give Patron Sponsor 
appropriate credit and recognition in any exhibition display, catalog or publicity. 

15. All notices and other instruments which may be or are required to be 
given or made by Patron Sponsor or Museum to each other shall be in writing. All 
notices and other instruments by Patron Sponsor to Museum shall be sent by regis- 
tered mail, postage prepaid, addressed as follows: 

Kenneth Donahue, Director 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

5905 Wilshire Boulevard 

Los Angeles, California 9OO36 

or to such other addressee and to such other place as Museum shall from time 
to time designate in a written notice to Patron Sponsor. 

16. All notices and other instruments by Museum to Patron Sponsor shall be 
sent by registered mail, postage prepaid, addressed as follows : 

35 A&T 

or to such other addressee and such other place as Patron Sponsor may from 
time to time designate in a written notice to Museum. 

17. No rights \inder this Agreement may be assigned by Patron Sponsor or 
Museum without the prior written consent of the other (except that Museum shall 
have full discretion, pursuant to paragraph 7, in arranging for exhibitions and, 
pursuant to paragraph 9, in dealing with any works of art that it accepts by 
way of gift). Subject to the foregoing, the covenants and agreements contained 
herein shall be binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of Patron Sponsor 
and Museum and their respective successors and assigns. 

18. In the event that Museum does not obtain comparable agreements from ten 
Patron Sponsors (or the equivalent) on or before June 30, 1968, Museum will refund 
to Patron Sponsor the unexpended portion of its initial $3,500 payment, this 
Agreement shall be of no further force or effect, and the parties shall be released 
from all obligations to each other. 

19. This Agreement embodies the entire understanding between the parties 
hereto, and no change, alteration or modification hereof may be made except in 
writing signed by the party to be charged thereunder. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed and delivered this 
Agreement this day of , I968. 

Patron Sponsor 



Kenneth Donahue 

Appendix 2 36 


IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between 

(hereinafter Artist) and MUSEUM ASSOCIATES, INC. (hereinafter Museum) as follows: 

1. Museum operates the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Museum is pre- 
sently planning an exhibition tentatively entitled "Art and Technology" to be 
held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1970 or 1971. 

2. Artist desires to participate in and assist Museum in the development 
of said exhibition. 

3. Museum has advised Artist (a) that any work of art created in the 
development of said exhibition may, in the sole discretion of Museum, be deemed 
inappropriate for inclusion in said exhibition, and (b) that Museum may, in its 
sole discretion, conclude that the totality of works created in the development 
of said exhibition make it inappropriate to hold said exhibition. Museimi agrees 
not to exhibit any work the artist deems incomplete or not a work of art. 

4. Museum and artist have agreed upon an artistic project, which if accept- 
able to a Patron Sponsor or Sponsor, will be developed and executed at the 
facility of said Patron Sponsor or Sponsor. Said artistic project is set forth 
in Exhibit A to this Agreement and is incorporated herein by reference. Artist 
agrees to work diligently on said artistic project during the time specified for 
a consecutive or non-consecutive period of up to three months if necessary for 

Mxjseum will provide artist (a) one roundtrip economy class air ticket from 
his residence to Los Angeles; (b) for Artists who are not residents of Los Angeles, 
reimbursement for all other travel expenses incurred by the Artist in connection 
with this project, so long as any such travel arrangements have been made by the 

37 A&T 

Museum and approved in advance in writing; (c) for Artists who are not residents 
of Los Angeles, a per diem of $20, to be paid in installments of $1M.0 at the 
beginning of each week of actual work in Los Angeles j (d) a $250 honorarium for 
each week's actual work on the project, to be paid in installments of $500 at 
the end of each two weeks of work. The total sums payable by the Museum to the 
Artist under items (b), (c) and (d) shall not exceed $4,800. 

The foregoing is the only financial obligation of Museum to Artist. Artist 
acknowledges that Museum is under no other or further obligation to Artist for 
any debts or obligations incurred by Artist, and that Artist is an independent 
contractor, not an employee or agent of Museimi. 

5. Museum, in its sole discretion, may select and exhibit at the Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art any or all works of art created by Artist as a result of 
said artistic project. Said exhibition may be scheduled at any time during the 
year 1970. In addition, Miiseum may arrange for the exhibition of any said works 
of art at other museums or public exhibitions in the United States or abroad 

at any time until December 31, 1972. Artist will cooperate with Museum in any 
such exhibition or exhibitions and will not display any of said works of art 
before December 31, 1972 without the prior written consent of Museum, but this 
restriction shall not apply to any works of the Artist which are not selected for 
exhibition in the Museum's "Art and Technology" exhibition. 

The installation of the work and supporting technological equipment at all of 
such exhibitions shall be the sole responsibility of the Museum. The Artist will 
assist in the installation of the work at the initial exhibition, but he shall not 
be obliged to do so at any subsequent exhibitions. 

6. The principal work of art created as a consequence of the artistic project 
will, at the option of Patron Sponsor and without further payment, become the 
property of Patron Sponsor at the conclusion of the exhibition at the Los Angeles 



Coimty Miiseum of Art (or at the time of notification to Patron Sponsor that said 
work will not be exhibited). In the event Patron Sponsor does not choose so to 
acquire any such work, then it will become the property of Artist. If either 
Patron Sponsor or Artist wishes to make a gift of said work to Museum, Museum 
may, in its sole discretion, elect to accept or reject said gift. 

7. In the event of a gift to Museum of any work of art. Museum will retain 
the option to donate or lend said work to any other museum or public institution, 
or, after a twenty-five year interval, to sell or otherwise dispose of said work 
to anyone. Museum will further retain the right to exhibit or not exhibit any 
such gift. 

8. If Artist creates additional works of art (beyond the "principal work" 
described in paragraph 6), Artist will retain ownership of any such additional 
works unless they are an integral part of said principal work, in which case 
their ownership will be subject to the provisions of paragraph 6. 

9. Museum will carry liability insurance on Artist during the period that 
Artist is working at the facility of Patron Sponsor or Sponsor. During such time 
Artist will be regarded as a "consultant" to Museum. 

10. Museum will not insiire any works of art produced in connection with the 
artistic project, except liability insurance for injury or damage caused by said 
works of art while they are in transit to or on display at the Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art. Miiseum will repair any damage to said works of art while on 
Museum premises which does not result from their normal functioning or ordinary 
wear and tear. 

11. All arrangements and charges for the moving of objects from Patron Spon- 
sor's or Sponsor's facility to the Los Angeles Coiinty Museum of Art (or to other 
museums or exhibitions) and return to point of origin shall be the responsibility 
of Museum. Any moving anyAfhere else shall be the responsibility of the person 

39 A&T 

requesting said movement. If Artist becomes the owner of any works, shipment from 
Patron Sponsor's or Sponsor's facility or from the Los Angeles County Museum of 
Art is the Artist's obligation and must be accomplished promptly upon conclusion of 
said exhibition (or within 30 days of the opening date of the exhibition as to any 
work Museum does not include in the exhibition) or Artist will have no fiirther 
rights to any such work and neither Patron Sponsor or Sponsor nor Museum will have 
any obligation to return or account for any such work to Artist. Musexmi agrees to 
give Artist 30 days advance notice of his obligation to remove any art work to 
which he has received ownership. 

12. Artist agrees that any works in the process of creation or created in 
connection with the artistic project may be photographed and reproduced in a cata- 
log, press releases, slides or other photographic materials, and that all such 
photographic materials will be the property of Mx:iseum. Copies of the foregoing 
shall be given to the Artist. Artist further agrees that all matters relating 

to publicity for said exhibition, said artistic project, or Artist's involvement 
therewith will be under the control of Museum, and that any publicity to be 
released by Artist must be approved in advance by Museum. Museum will give Artist 
appropriate credit and recognition in any exhibition display, catalog or publicity. 

13. If Artist resides outside the United States, Artist agrees to obtain, 
before coming to Los Angeles and at his sole expense, a temporary visa and work 
permit as well as legal liability insurance classifying artist as a "Consultant". 

li+. All notices and other instruments which may be or are required to be given 

or made by Artist or Museum to each other shall be in writing. All notices and 

other instruments by Artist to Museum shall be sent by registered mail, postage 

prepaid, addressed as follows: 

Kenneth Donahue, Director 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

5905 Wilshire Boulevard 

Los Angeles, California 9003 6 



or to such other addressee and to such other place as M\iseum shall from time to 
time designate in a written notice to Artist. 

15. All notices and other instr\jments by Museum to Artist shall be sent by- 
registered mail, postage prepaid, addressed as follows: 

or to such other addressee and such other place as Artist may from time to time 
designate in a written notice to Museum. 

16. No rights under this Agreement may be assigned by Artist or Museum with- 
out the prior written consent of the other (except that Museum shall have full 
discretion, pursuant to paragraph 5, in arranging for exhibitions and, pursuant 
to paragraph 7, in dealing with any works of art that it accepts by way of gift). 
Subject to the foregoing, the covenants and agreements contained herein shall be 
binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of Artist and Museum and their 
respective successors and assigns. 

17. This Agreement embodies the entire understanding between the parties 
hereto, and no change, alteration or modification hereof may be made except in 
writing signed by the party to be charged thereunder. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed and delivered this 
Agreement this day of , I969. 




Kenneth Donahue 


Thoughts on Art and Technology 

Jane Livingston 


Art and Technology hias had as one of its first premises 
the assumption that it is possible, and perhaps valuable, 
to effect a practical interchange between artists and 
members of the corporate-industrial society. The various 
cultural attitudes surrounding such a premise are deeply 
ambivalent. On virtually every level, including the popu- 
larly shared ideas and fears about the influence of "ad- 
vanced technology" on the life of the masses, as well as 
the many subtle analyses of writers and critics evaluating 
the relationships between art, or the humanities, and 
technology, qualities of emotionalism and partisanship 

Without delving extensively into recent historical ante- 
cedents to some contemporary aspects of the art/tech- 
nology issue, one or two skeletal observations are called 
for. The attempts to embrace a socialist technology by 
the Russian Constructivists and by the Italian Futurists, 
during the early part of this century, were guided by a 
U':opian (if nominally iconoclastic) view of progressive 
technology, but did not fully succeed in transcending a 
romantic and somewhat anachronistic level of awareness 
on the part of its exponents. The Constructivist and 
Futurist artists seldom achieved Internal stylistic mani- 
festations of new technology, but instead represented 
the appearances of industrial/mechanical things. A seri- 
ous ideological limitation holds also for the Bauhaus 
precept regarding the relation of art to technology, in as 
much as technology was equated with craft; one might say 
that the Bauhaus theorists were aiming to reduce art to 
craft, in a sense, and reversing the proposition, that the 
role of organized technology would be to elevate craft to 
art. The impulse which informed the Bauhaus rationale 
and its antecedents in European Constructivism toward a 
socialization of art in a public context has developed to 
the present time, but insofar as it survives in its original 
spirit has to an extent continued to remain identified 
with a European sensibility. Victor Vasarely's conviction 
that art should evolve out of its traditionally aristocratic, 
"unique object" framework and be mass-produced for 
public consumption is an extension of a classically 
Bauhaus idea. (A certain reaction to the "precious object 
syndrome" has certainly become a part of the American 
art scene in the 60's and early 70's, but is manifested in 
approaches which generally differ in kind from that of 

To some extent, artists currently are discouraged from 
engaging in "collusive" relationships with organized 
technological concerns by pressures from the intellec- 
tual/critical circles of which they are inescapably a part. 
The contemporary pressures, both internal and external, 
against collaborative activity between artists and indus- 
try are of two sorts; first there is antitechnological senti- 
ment on political grounds and second, there can be 
argued substantial precedent militating against common- 
ly held images of "technological art" on esthetic 

grounds. I shall deal here more extensively with the sec- 
ond than the first factor. My thought is to point selec- 
tively to a few components of what is an intricately 
complex subject. With reference to the overtly political 
question, the fact is that, despite a certain amount of 
reluctance by some of the artists we dealt with through 
Art and Technology to participate with "war-oriented" 
industries for reasons of moral objection, there were no 
final refusals to participate in the program on this 
ground alone. 

The question of esthetics in relation to technological/in- 
dustrial art works is bound up with certain attitudes 
about collective artistic activity. These attitudes devolve 
naturally upon several definable antitheses. 

One of the fundamental dualisms inherent in the ques- 
tion of technology's uses in a humanist context has to 
do with the conflict between the belief that, in a word, 
technology Is the metaphysics of this century, and there- 
fore has to be accommodated from within, and the view 
that technology is somehow self-perpetuating, implac- 
able and essentially inhuman, and that therefore human- 
ist and artistic endeavor must function separated from it 
and even in opposition to it. Nearly all the positions 
taken by artists and by their scientific counterparts with 
respect to the art/technology relationship are condi- 
tioned by one or the other of these antithetical beliefs. 

An increasingly prevalent concern of many artists and 
scientists is to overcome the traditional and presumably 
obsolete separation of academic and professional disci- 
plines. Systems analysis, with its assumption that only 
by starting from an interdisciplinary or total-context 
approach can social institutions be made to operate pro- 
ductively, provides procedural methods and models for 
such reform. In principle, the espousing of a systems 
esf/iet/c— illustrated preeminently under Art and Tech- 
nology in the Irwin/Turrell/Garrett Corporation endeav- 
or—represents a less rhetorical theory than any (includ- 
ing the Constructivist, Bauhaus and "socialized art" 
manifestations) which has preceded it. It implies the 
grasp of a powerfully efficacious means for revolution- 
izing art within the total cultural setting. (Jack Burnham 
gives an extended analysis of what I am terming a sys- 
tems esthetic throughout his book Beyond Modern 
Sculpture, Braziller, 1969.) 

Although the "systems-conscious" attitude is increasing- 
ly felt to influence artists of various persuasions, cer- 
tainly including some of the artists who worked in Art 
and Technology, it is not by any means a shared attitude 
among all or most artists. One of the characterizing sen- 
timents expressed by both those artists and scientist/en- 
gineers who are resistive to an information or systems 
esthetic, has to do with a suspicion harbored by virtually 
everyone at times that we are all victims of a techno- 


cratic macrostructure over which no one or no institu- 
tion has real control. In the light of this inescapably 
sinister possibility, the traditional privilege enjoyed by 
the artist to function independently, and to remain, in a 
sense, one of the last freelance agents in society, is not 
easily relinquished. 

A natural outcome of an artistic/technological endeavor 
which employs a systems philosophy might be an art 
which conditions human sense perception and radically 
sensitizes people. Along with this might develop possibil- 
ities for esthetic forms that would in effect cultivate and 
enrich the "man-made" nature which has already re- 
placed nature to such a remarkable degree. For those 
who firmly believe that society is undergoing a gradual 
but radical reshaping of patterns of consciousness, the 
changes predicted as issuing from a generation of drug- 
users and the increasing body of Western initiates into 
the various Eastern meditative practices appear to repre- 
sent an inevitable and potentially corrective metamor- 
phosis. Artists who wish to explore the means and conse- 
quences of perception-expansion need specialized 
information; and, reciprocally, scientists gain insight 
from artists in this enterprise. Both parties might main- 
tain that anything less than directly "manipulating" 
human sensory response to advance new esthetic terms 
constitutes merely a superficial elaboration of existing 
esthetic conventions. 

Again, in reaction to this kind of pursuit, with its poten- 
tial for subliminal coercion, there are many artists who 
unequivocally eschew this kind of activity. I have heard 
the area of "systems" or "information" esthetics dis- 
missed as a "Fascist game." 

Seen against most recent efforts in the area of techno- 
logical art, which are generally identified with electronic 
light and sound media, the results of Art and Technol- 
ogy are unlike anything we could have predicted. They 
far transcend the genre of work ordinarily called to mind 
by "tech art." Owing to the great variety of techniques 
and processes and materials made available by the cor- 
porations contracted with us, the program issued in not 
one esthetic type of work, but in several. 

A longer tradition attaches to the first category of activ- 
ity than to any other manner of endeavor undertaken 
through Art and Technology. Sculptors have for cen- 
turies enlisted the assistance of heavy industrial methods 
and materials to make monumental works. Yet we have 
observed a significantly greater sense of anxiety and 
discernibly more recalcitrance on the part of those art- 
ists engaged in industrial execution than has been con- 
veyed by the artists using advanced scientific media. 
Oldenburg, KItaj, Fahlstrom and Tony Smith all experi- 
enced some amount of frustration, and expressed occa- 
sional skepticism, during the course of their projects. 
(Oldenburg's enumeration on page 269 of "comparative 
attributes" between the qualities required of the studio 
versus the technological artist distills the substance of 
these doubts.) The special difficulty for artists depend- 
ing upon industrial execution relies on the fact that 
they have usually in the past worked alone and thus 
carefully controlled every stage and every nuance of 
their works' making; thus the intervention of middle- 
men, not only handling the components but making 
occasional technical decisions, is difficult to accept. The 
artist under these circumstances is automatically placed 
at a greater remove from the process of execution than 
would follow if his esthetic end required a process of 
developmental research in close communication with a 
technical counterpart. These artists found themselves 
coping rather frequently with a command chain of bu- 
reaucratic procedure. Possibly for just the reason that 
neither the artist nor the Museum was a paying client of 
the various corporations, the art projects were not given 
especially high priority, and thus often moved forward 
at an exasperatingly slow pace. In short, a definite cum- 
bersomeness attended the several ambitious industrial 
collaborations. But even given these natural adversities, 
something remarkable happened. Smith, Oldenburg and 
Fahlstrom all saw the realization of artistic inventions of 
the grandiose type which generally never exist beyond 
sketches or models. Oldenburg's Icebag and Smith's cave 
sculpture especially represent critical milestones in their 
respective careers. Fahlstrom and Kitaj both established 
rapport with the specialized craftsmen who built their 
tableaux. One would not expect these artists necessarily 
to make a career of collaborative endeavor, but unques- 
tionably they and other artists would utilize more often 
than has been possible the resources of industry were 
they more readily available. 

On reviewing the development of Art and Technology, 
three kinds of collaborative experience seem to me dis- 
tinguishable. First there is the approach taken by those 
artists interested basically in industrial or industrial- 
mechanical fabrication. Second is that relating to the use 
of more esoteric technological media; and finally, that 
marked by a participatory, informational esthetic with- 
out primary regard for object-making. 

In the context of heavy industrial fabrication it is worth 
considering the approach taken by Richard Serra at 
Kaiser. Serra regarded the availability of Kaiser's steel- 
producing plant as an opportunity basically to experi- 
ment in huge scale. In using the company's formidable 
scrap resources and men and equipment he did not at- 
tempt primarily to come away with a permanent, or a 
transportable art work, but instead to learn what he 
could in a few weeks' time about making sculpture com- 



prising thousands of tons, rather than pounds, of 

Roy Lichtenstein's film project certainly does not be- 
long in the class of industrially fabricated art works, but 
neither was it conceived in a spirit of philosophical com- 
mitment to the principles of technological or industrial 
coaction. He expressed even more strongly than the 
foregoing artists an attitude of real doubt and hesitation 
about his very association with the Art and Technology 
program. Lichtenstein, like many other artists in Art and 
Technology, has repeatedly worked in a collaborative 
manner in his various printmaking and multiple sculp- 
ture series. The making of a lithograph, for example, is 
an operation requiring an intensive cooperation between 
at least two people. Lichtenstein's engagement in the 
cinematic project undertaken with us was not, it seems 
to me, very different in essence from his manner of 
working to produce prints and multiples. It is true that 
he (or indeed any other artist) has never before utilized 
cinematic technique in precisely the way he did in this 
endeavor; and certainly the technical difficulties and 
expense inherent in his Art and Technology film project 
were far greater than are ordinarily entailed by print- 
making methods. Nevertheless, Lichtenstein determined 
early exactly what he was after in the cinematic works, 
and once he had established his criteria he strove mostly 
to refine and perfect the quality of the images much as 
he would in making lithographs. 

A second general category of work done under Art and 
Technology includes those artists, like Robert Whitman, 
Newton Harrison, Rockne Krebs and Boyd Mefferd who 
sought to exploit the kinds of techniques ordinarily 
regarded as typifying advanced technology. The ap- 
proach taken by such artists necessarily depends to a 
greater or lesser degree on a working relationship with 
engineering specialists whose expertise they themselves 
could not acquire without years of research and training; 
it often depends as well on the equipment and labora- 
tory facilities available only in large corporations. In 
using media such as lasers, advanced mirror optic sys- 
tems or gas plasmas, artists are venturing into areas 
which are without much esthetic history. However, in 
evaluating such art works, it seems to be the case that 
the more directly and the more purely the medium is 
handled, and the less the artist relies on extraneous hous- 
ings, the better the result. It was our conscious intention 
to include in Art and Technology artists whose past 
production specifically in the domain of advanced 
technology conformed to this evaluative guideline and 
the works accomplished by them with us are commen- 
surately remarkable. 

There was an important element of simple luck involved 
in locating individual scientists and engineers, within the 
vastness of all these companies, who desired to enter 

into prolonged collaboration with an artist. Art and 
Technology was not, after all, a situation like the one 
structured by E.A.T, through which engineers so in- 
clined voluntarily make themselves available to consult 
with artists. Once those fortunate connections were 
made, the several advanced technology projects set in 
motion were characterized by a strong sense of mutual 
commitment. The artists consistently demonstrated 
qualities of pragmatism, efficiency and singleness of 
purpose toward the end of realizing their projects. We 
sensed in these exchanges very little communicative 
difficulty on the practical, one-to-one level of exchange. 

There are by now several American artists who can be 
considered fairly experienced in the field of collabora- 
tion with engineers. Robert Whitman stands out in this 
connection; so does Robert Rauschenberg, though he 
has of course continued to work "traditionally" as well. 
Experience in dealing closely with technical personnel in 
making art probably does give an artist a certain advan- 
tage in expediting the progress of a given undertaking. 
But interestingly enough, those artists inexperienced at 
collaboration with scientists, such as Harrison, Jesse 
Reichek and Jackson MacLow, worked equally 

It should be noted that the use of technological media 
by artists has not by any means always implied inter- 
dependency with scientists or engineers. Both Krebs and 
Mefferd, for instance, have in the past accomplished 
much of their work unassisted, finding out on their own 
about their equipment and its potential by reading, ex- 
perimenting and consulting only occasionally with man- 
ufacturers or engineers. One of the principal benefits of 
Art and Technology for an artist like Krebs was the great 
speeding up of information accession made possible by 
his contact with corporation personnel; he conveyed 
great excitement about the "luxury" of being offered 
instant access to data and expertise it would have taken 
years to acquire on his own. This sort of advantage was 
given similarly to Harrison, Whitman, MacLow and 
Reichek, but has so far been largely denied Mefferd for 
whom we never really found the fortuitous personal 

There is little doubt that a number of serious artists will 
continue to assimilate technical knowledge and will 
evolve an increasingly sophisticated and refined body of 
technologically-oriented works of art. It is, however, 
open to question whether or not this development will 
find sustained impetus from organized corporation sup- 
port or must tend to rely perennially on the contingen- 
cies of sporadic intervention by scientists and the deter- 
mined self-education of artists. 

In considering a third order of artist-corporation inter- 
change in Art and Technology no inclusive term or con- 


cept suffices to define the situations being encompassed. 
A few artists shared an attitude which is distinguishable 
from the ascendant, short-term concerns of the others. 
These artists from the outset wished to investigate a 
psychological or experiential mode of act\\i\t\ primari- 
ly, instead of occupying themselves fixedly with tech- 
nics. Two assumptions are, in retrospect, implicit in 
these artists' projects. One is that the function of gather- 
ing and exchanging information is important as an end in 
itself; the other is that participation should be made 
self-aware and be used as a form of esthetic endeavor. 
Behind these assumptions may lie another one— that 
there potentially exists in any collaborative situation 
between scientists and artists a special dynamic, and that 
if the particular conflicts and sympathies inherent in this 
dynamic can be made to surface, one can learn and state 
and do something with them. The artists referred to here 
further may be said to have regarded the people with 
whom they dealt as themselves "media," rather than 
viewing them as personnel, or as simply parts of a larger 
machine dedicated to the end of engineering and fabricat- 
ing systems or objects. 

element of participation came to issue in a startlingly 
literal way. Warhol agreed to design a work incorpora- 
ting Cowles' 3-D printing process. But he ended by 
acting really as a kind of legitimizing aegis for the 
enterprise rather than its sole author and designer. 
Although he conceived the work's basic structure, he 
then proceeded to function as an agent, prompting 
crucial involvement in actual esthetic decision-making 
phases by his technical colleagues and even by ourselves. 
Despite the fact that his piece at Expo was a disting- 
uished, if somewhat bizarre, work of art, the object itself 
was in some ways less important than what it represen- 
ted of the multilateral esthetic participation behind its 
creation. In a sense Warhol has not done anything 
fundamentally unprecedented through the program: he 
has for years used technique unofficially, as it were; it is 
after all Warhol who, more than any other artist, made 
respectable commercial methods for art making such as 
inexpensive screen-printing techniques. 

The Robert Irwin/James Turrell/Garrett Corporation 
project is the preeminent example under Art and Tech- 
nology of an endeavor based on a directly systems- 
conscious premise. Irwin, Turrell and the scientist Dr. Ed 
Wortz have not only made it their business to explore 
and assess the dynamics of their interchange, but were 
explicitly engaged in researching aspects of perceptual 
psychology. Their mutual investigations were not ter- 
minated at the end of an arbitrarily set time interval, but 
have continued organically to develop. John 
Chamberlain at Rand and James Byars at the Hudson 
Institute set about to establish participatory events; both 
in a high spirit of "unofficial playfulness" proclaimed 
themselves as gatherers of information. They made 
themselves subtly effective catalysts in a process of evok- 
ing attitudes. The compilations of actual "data" re- 
sulting from their efforts, in contradistinction to those 
accumulated in the course of the Irwin/Turrell/Wortz 
researches, are poetic and inconclusive: they do not at 
all reveal the dense complex of occurrences stimulated 
through the respective processes of obtaining them. Both 
Byars and Chamberlain treated their periods of residence 
in two of the nation's leading think-tanks as self- 
validating, purely participatory events. The work ac- 
complished together by Jesse Reichek and IBM's physi- 
cist Jack Citron represents a consummate prototype for 
a truly informational exchange. Reichek and Citron 
succeeded in organizing a computer program which func- 
tions as a powerful image-producing tool. Both would 
confirm that the principles involved in their discoveries 
transcend any immediate results materializing from 

With Andy Warhol at Cowles Communications, the 

The concept of unofficialness in the artist's mode of 
working with corporate technology is of pivotal conse- 
quence to the overall dynamics of Art and Technology. 
It corresponds immanently to the notion of what may 
be termed a participatory esthetic. 

Wylie Sypher, in his book Literature and Technology: 
The Alien Vision, (Random House, 1968; pp. 177; 216; 
249) speaks of the state of "alienation" and "maladjust- 
ment" faced by technological personnel on every level in 
our society. He suggests that the goal priorities assumed 
within the corporate job structure run counter to the 
positive nature of technological endeavor, which is in- 
nately a form o^ play and participation. The artist, who 
has maintained his traditional "prerogative to use science 
and technique unofficially," might become a catalyst 
toward the end of humanizing technique. Though 
Sypher's contentions in the abstract too far overreach 
the practical sense of what occurred through Art and 
Technology to extrapolate here in extenso, his hypo- 
theses offer the single point of correlation uniting every 
artist who worked with us. Each of them— some more 
overtly than others— approached their various projects 
with a sense o^ playfulness, or "unofficialness." It was 
their option to serve in multifarious ways as humanizing 

One thing none of us foresaw when we embarked on Art 
and Technology was what now amounts to a nearly 
unanimous disregard for permanent, officially installed 
art monuments. If many of the corporations initially 
hoped their participation would result in an icon repre- 
senting their products and able to be owned and dis- 
played by them, those hopes were unfulfilled. The signif- 



icant fact is that the companies did not insist upon pro- 
prietary rights to the works made— and usually the 
proposals accepted by them for realization were known 
beforehand to be inappropriate for such purposes. The 
program did not become or even threaten to become a 
vehicle for commissioned works of art. If anything, the 
artists were more concerned than the companies to come 
away with a finished work— yet most of the artists made 
works transitory by definition. 

The development of the various experimental inter- 
changes in Art and Technology was on the whole a poly- 
morphous, discursive and nonorganic process. Indeed it 
now appears simply that the relationship between artists 
and technological corporations is an intrinsically non- 
organic one— at least on an a priori basis. The circum- 

stance of corporation involvement in Art and Technol- 
ogy failed to embody a unified patronal ethic compa- 
rable to that kind of already "humanized," and 
standardized, morality inherent in past systems of Aca- 
demic sponsorship. Concomitantly, the artist— in the by 
now established absence of either academic or avant- 
garde provinces— is startlingly free from imposed sanc- 
tions. Contrary to the myth of the "corporate image," 
there is seen to be no programmatic framework in the 
present condition of corporation patronage to support 
an official art of any description. A situation allowing 
room for play and participation— the latter term denot- 
ing a mode of activity in which inheres a self-sufficient 
esthetic statement— is established through the paradoxi- 
cal open-endedness of the present state of corporate life. 
The artist retains his options. 



Participating Artists 


50 Stephen Antonakos 

50 Avigdor Arikha 

52 Michael Asher 

53 John Baldessari 

53 lain Baxter 

54 Larry Bell 

55 Max Bill 

55 Ronald Bladen 

56 George Brecht 
58 James Byars 

67 Greg Card 

68 Anthony Caro 

68 John Chamberlain 

78 Christo 

79 Ron Cooper 

80 Frangois Dallegret 

81 Channa Davis 

82 Ron Davis 

82 Walter de Maria 

85 Mark di Suvero 

86 Jean Dubuffet 
95 Jean Dupuy 

101 Frederick Eversley 

102 Oyvind Fahlstrom 

114 Dan Flavin 

115 Sam Francis 

116 Hans Haacke 
118 Newton Harrison 

126 Erich Hartmann 

127 Robert Irwin 

143 Donald Judd 

144 Aleksandra Kasuba 
146 Ellsworth Kelly 

146 Philip King 

147 R. B. Kitaj 

164 Piotr Kowalski 

165 Rockne Krebs 
186 Wesley Duke Lee 


Les Levine 


Roy Lichtenstein 


Len Lye 


Jackson MacLow 


Robert Mallary 


Charles Mattox 


John McCracken 


Glenn McKay 


Boyd Mefferd 


Michael Moore 


Robert Morris 


Bruce Nauman 


Claes Oldenburg 


Jules Olitski 


Eduardo Paolozzi 


Otto Piene 




Jeff Raskin 


Robert Rauschenberg 


Jesse Relchek 


Vjencenslav Richter 


James Rosenquist 


James Seawright 


Richard Serra 


Tony Smith 


Robert Smithson 


Karlheinz Stockhausen 




Gerhard Trommer 


James Turrell 


Victor Vasarely 


Stephan Von Huene 


Peter Voulkos 


Andy Warhol 


Robert Watts 


Martial Westburg 


Robert Whitman 


William T.Wiley 

Stephen Antonakos 

Born Southern Greece, 1926 
Resident New York City 

Avigdor Arikha 

Born Bukovina, U.S.S.R., 1929 
Resident Paris and Jerusalem 


On November 22, 1968, after reading the first A & T press 
release, Stephen Antonakos wrote us and expressed a desire 
to participate in the program. In March of 1969 the artist 
sent the following project proposal: 

The basic look of this unit will be a 10' by 20' area made 
of 3,000 tubes, each 4' long. The entire area will be over- 
head, the bottom surface of the tubes ending about 7' 
from the floor, or 1' above your head. 

A practically identical area will be beneath your feet. 
You will be separated from it by a plastic floor, although 
no such 'ceiling' will be present between you and the 
tubes overhead. All the tubes will be red, and they will 
all be vertical, so you will be engulfed with 3,000 tubes 
hanging down over your head and 3,000 tubes projecting 
up under your feet. 

Neon was the first obvious choice for these tubes, but 
with neon, contact with electric current is needed at 
both ends, so the tubes would have a 'U' shaped, or 
double vertical shape. This is not what I wanted for this 
piece, but just one single vertical rod: a single aggressive 
thrust. Since I cannot use neon, I would hope to work 
with some large electrical company such as Westinghouse 
or G.E., to try to develop a 4' or 5' tube (something like 
a fluorescent tube) with an electrical contact at one end 
and just the round glass end at the other. Something like 
this has been developed in Europe, and I think this could 
be worked out here. 

In October, 1968, Avigdor Arikha wrote to MT at our re- 
quest proposing to make a labyrinthine environment, main- 
ly of mirror and polarized glass. There was no participating 
company equipped to do this kind of research and con- 
struction. In August, 1970 Arikha sent us the following 
elaborated proposal with sketches: 

Project For An Environmental Structure (Labyrinth) to 

be erected in a park or public garden 

The idea: 

A labyrinthal structure composed from without by black 
and white shapes and from within by a series of color- 
zones. The outside will be composed by two elements: 
the blackest black and the brightest white— a sort of a 
non-reflective mirror. The inside will be constituted by 
zones (rooms) made of pure color and following each 
other in a rhythmic order, from cold to warm, from 
warm to cold, from dark to light, from black to color, 
from color to white. The spaces of those zones are to be 
of different dimensions and will be conceived like music, 
each dimension corresponding to a tempo, and each 
tempo being contradicted or heightened by a color. Each 
zone (room) will be made of one color, all around, 
ceiling and floor. 

The materials: 

Outside, the shapes which will constitute the outer walls 
will have to be cast or cut as whole shapes and assem- 
bled. The material should be mat, the black being the 
blackest black and the white, a non-reflective mirror. 
They could be made of a composite-material which 
could be laminated (downwards profile for the black, 
upwards for the white) in order to increase its intensity. 
(It could be made of a resin-glass?) The inside color- 
zones could be obtained chemically and included in the 
building-material. In this case, it may be possible to cast 
the rooms one by one in a composite, sound-proof and 
fire-proof material. 

Conclusion: The black and white outdoors will be the 
monumental part, a sort of a 'guardian' of the labyrinth 
itself (the attraction of black and white in a colorful 
garden being obvious). The labyrinth will permit wander- 
ing and passages through various intensities, which 
should allow the walker a 'color-bath' and a contrasted 



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Michael Asher 

Born Los Angeles, 1943 

Resident Venice, California 


in the early stages of our planning for A & T, during the fall 
of 1968, we had several discussions with young Los Angeles 
artist Michael Asher about doing a project with Hughes Air- 
craft. Asher had for several months been consulting inde- 
pendently with Hughes engineer Alex Jacobson, of the 
company's Exploration Studies Department, about making 
a work involving holography. Asher wanted to create a long 
strip of light, about three feet high and up to forty feet 
long, which would seem to hover freely in space: one would 
not see the holographic plates which produced the image, 
but merely the image itself. Jacobson had tried unsuccess- 
fully to obtain a commitment from Hughes to finance the 
project— they needed several kinds of lasers not available at 
the company at that time, and outside studio space to set 
up the piece. We made many attempts, also unsuccessful, to 
obtain Hughes' contracted participation in A & T so that 
Asher could continue his collaboration with Jacobson. 
Since this channel was definitely closed, we arranged, in 
November, 1968, for Asher to visit Ampex. Asher described 
his ideas to our contact man at Ampex, Dr. Charles Spitzer, 
and toured their Redwood City facility. Although Ampex is 
engaged in research on holography, the company did not 
feel that they were capable of producing the kind of effect 
the artist wanted within reasonable financial limits. Asher 
wrote to us in late December, 

The proposal that I showed Ampex dealt with a phe- 
nomenon which was essentially the same phenomenon 
we talked about last summer. Basically, this was light 
floating in space and having the quality of being hap- 
pened upon or elusive. 

The essential reason why Ampex believed they could not 
handle this project was that they could not implement 
unknown phenomena. In other words, if I had a project 
which required syrup to run up a 45° incline, Ampex 
would supply the pumps that would draw the syrup up 
but would not have the technical facilities to show me 
how to make my syrup run uphill. Light in space would 
be analogous to the syrup running uphill and the light 
fixtures needed to produce the phenomenon would be 
analogous to the pumps .... 

I am still most excited (about this idea) and would like 
to discuss at further length my project with other 
companies .... 

In March, 1969, Asher visited Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
and spoke with physicist Dr. Richard Davies. The proposal 
Asher had in mind at this time was basically an extension of 
the idea he had developed for Ampex: rather than produc- 
ing p/anes of light, he presented to Davies the notion of 
creating a hovering, light-filled cube, room-sized, which 
would be entirely comprised of light; he was adamant that 
it not be illusionistically created with solid materials, such 
as glass or plastic. Davies felt that the only way to achieve 
this would be with the use of dust-particles, smoke, or some 
sort of vapor or mist, which could perhaps be controlled to 
occupy a specific configuration in space and illuminated 
from within or without. Asher felt that such devices would 
negate the sense he was after of pure light, disembodied and 
unattached to artifically produced matter of any sort. 

John Baldessari 

Born National City, California, 1931 
Resident Santa Monica 

lain Baxter 

Born Middlesborough, England, 1936 
Resident Vancouver 


John Baldessari sent us several proposals and subsequently 
toured Heath and Company. Three of these proposals, 
listed as follows, were potentially feasible, but none were 

1. Work with outdoor advertising companies to provide 
space, sign painters, and photo enlargement service. I 
would like to explore half-tone photo silk-screen 
color process to do large scale full color blowups of 
photos. The idea of mass art by conventional means I 
find intriguing. These billboards would continue the 
work I have already done with bus stop signs, seat 
posters, etc. 

2. I would like to work in a botany lab. I have various 
ideas I would like to work out, such as coloring 
plants, changing growth patterns, etc. Basically, the 
idea is to explore living materials as opposed to inert 

3. You are already familiar with my ideas of transmitted 
art, invisible art by radio waves one could receive if 
one wished. I have several variations currently. 

lain Baxter, President of N.E. Thing Company (the name 
Baxter has assigned to identify his output of art in numer- 
ous areas— research, graphics, photographs, events, objects, 
happenings, etc.), came to Los Angeles in May, 1968 and 
toured The Garrett Corporation. He was primarily interest- 
ed in remote-controlled inflatable sculptures. Before leaving 
town he presented us with the following sketchy outline for 
a project possibility: 

Inflatable structures: take form of clouds, lightning bolts 

(cirrus, cumulus); large-300' to 100'; multi-colored; 

helium filled; remote controlled apparatus; Sky-Dog— 

flying car, shaped like hot dog bun. 

Remote the thing, so it or they can hover over Museum 
—over country— large tube on desert of tough material, 
inflated with Ya helium, 14 air— remoted, so can roll over 


1. Floating cloud, remote controlled to be over 

Museum, Watts, parks, deserts, Pasadena— San 

Marino, etc. 

a. On commercial radio or TV, an art section of the 
news amidst international, local news and sports. 
There would be, perhaps, an ART ROUNDUP. 

b. A radio transmitter would be exhibited pre-pro- 
grammed with tapes to broadcast art messages at 
various days and intervals. The title of the piece 
would be the call letters of the broadcasting band 
used; or a licensed station could be used, either 
FM or AM and anyone with such equipment could 
pick up the messages; or cheap receivers could be 
sold and a citizens band could be used. The piece 
would include a program guide for the month. 
The program notes would be part of the piece. 

2. Rolling, tumbling inflated shapes for desert— remote 
controlled movement. 

3. Buried shape, inflated to raise the ground above it- 
may be under glass, sand, etc.,— time sequence? 

Large Sculptures: 

4. Discovery pieces— to be placed by helicopter in the 
woods— on the desert— on a remote lake— in the ocean 
or other remote places. Problems involved are dura- 
bility of material for various weathers— also porta- 
bility—should have remote controlled inflation. 

5. Sky Dog— flying car— lift weight of a human, yet col- 
lapsible and portable. 

6. Large shape to move down a large river— various navi- 
gation problems involved— could use ocean currents- 
could also be submarine with remote controlled 

Materials to investigate would include vinyl, coated 
materials such as canvas, rubber, cement (inflatable 

Seeing [further] resources of the company would stimu- 
late all other possibilities. 

The Garrett staff with whom we had discussed these flying 
inflatables maintained that the remote control devices re- 
quired to operate them could not be built by their 

Larry Bell 

Born Chicago, 1939 
Resident Venice, California 


MT described various available corporations to Larry Bell in 
December, 1968. The artist was most intrigued with the 
Rand Corporation, which is located near his Venice studio. 
He had the impression (a "romance," he later called it) that 
top-secret research in the area of "mind-reading," and other 
"1984-type" propaganda techniques were being carried on 
at Rand. 

As an artist whose work has become increasingly dependent 
upon perceptual psychology. Bell's interest in Rand was 
certainly related to his current esthetic thinking. But his 
concern about Rand's activities, whether naive or informed, 
was also obviously a moral one. He liked the idea of work- 
ing in a non-manufacturing situation, "with a bunch of guys 
removed from my knowledge area." 

Brownlee Haydon, Assistant to the President at Rand, 
agreed to take the artist into residence. He later wrote us. 
During Larry Bell's experience with Rand, we dealt with 
his visits on an ad hoc basis. We arranged for three semi- 
nars with groups of interested persons on three occa- 
sions, and deliberately kept attendance to about fifteen 
(several interested non-Rand artists who knew about the 
program attended a couple of these meetings). The usual 
consequence was of two sorts: Larry returned to visit 
with interested individuals or to lunch with them, or 
these individuals visited Larry Bell at his studio— during 
their lunch hour, after work, or on weekends. Several 
individuals established continuing personal relations with 
Larry— and some, I believe, still see him. 

Unfortunately, nothing very interesting happened. Bell felt 
that Rand's attitude toward him was, "Let's all pitch in and 
make something for the patio." He was distressed by the 
lack of interest he felt expressed in him or his work, but 
confessed that he was "probably as much at fault" as they, 
because he was "not capable of maintaining an openness" 

In the fall of 1970, through the request of Rand's commun- 
ications department, several people who had had contact 
with Bell at Rand talked about the collaboration. The 
comments of a chemical engineer and an engineer who 
works on the electrical activity of neural networks are given 
respectively as follows; although they certainly don't give a 
complete picture of Bell's activities at Rand, they indicate 
certain attitudes on the part of those with whom he con- 
sulted which are of interest: 

I met with Bell a number of times, individually and in 

groups and I felt there was a lot of interesting potential 
in Larry's continuing here. Several of us were intrigued 
with the idea of working with him, but nothing material- 
ized. The biggest difficulty was that he was looking for 
something specific and wanting someone to describe a 
joint project immediately while we felt that we should 
take more time in exploration. Some of us who are 
working in visual perception and the mechanics of 
human color vision, for example in computer color dis- 
play and image enhancement, thought there was some 
real potential in a joint effort .... Things like how you 
can create color sensation with white lights just by flick- 
ering them at different frequencies. 

The second engineer commented. 

The things he did were a whole new bag to me. He had 
little cubes with semi-transparent sides and different 
densities of coatings on them. They would be placed in a 
bare, white lighted room and an observer would walk 
around them and receive different perceptions, especial- 
ly the fact that they changed as you move around. Now 
these perceptions depend on very complicated signals to 
the visual system. Say we're exploring a project and 
Larry wants to make people have the sense that the ob- 
ject looks more shimmering depending on how fast you 
move around it. I could say, then, I'll build a model to 
try to predict how the visual system would behave with 
different speeds. But this would have been a psycho- 
physical project that should have been in a psychology 
department. Even though there was a great deal of over- 
lap in our interests, and a great deal of fun, when we 
tried to push it through to a project, it got too 

It certainly wasn't anyone's fault that Larry didn't get a 
project. The limitations were inherent in the context. 
Here you have two professions— science and art— both of 
which are creative, but with largely different back- 
grounds and goals. For a truly creative result in either 
profession, you need highly individualized effort. To try 
to blend your efforts is impossible. If I see something I 
want to pursue, I have to go ahead and he can't help me 
very much. The same is true for him. We could brush 
together and perhaps get stimulation from each other, 
but to create, we have to part paths. 

The relationship between Bell and Rand terminated in July, 

Max Bill 

Born Winterthur, Switzerland, 1908 
Resident Zurich 

Ronald Bladen 

Born Vancouver, 1918 
Resident New York City 


In October, 1968, MT met with Max Bill in Zurich to dis- 
cuss possibilities for collaboration between the Swiss artist 
and Kaiser or another of our A&T companies. In April, 
1969, we received Bill's description of a Wind Column, a 
forty-eight foot high piece he had built for the Swiss Pavil- 
ion at Montreal's Expo 67, but wished to execute a second 
time to make it larger and more effective. The tower is con- 
structed of layered steel components turning at different 
rates and in opposite directions, and powered only by the 
force of wind [1, Collection Musee d'Art Contemporain, 
Montreal] . Bill indicated he could not come to California 
until August. By that time Kaiser was committed to 
Richard Serra. 

In the fall of 1968, we asked Ronald Bladen if he was inter- 
ested in submitting an A & T proposal. He was reluctant to 
work in a factory because of the many years he had spent 
in industry as a carpenter. Nevertheless, in May, 1969, he 
sent the following letter accompanied by plans: 

I realize this may be too late. Also, it is a prohibitive 
project and expensive. My other ideas are pieces pure 
and simple, not sufficiently challenging. At any rate, this 
is the idea. It is a building, of course. Although I think 
of it as a sculpture. It has to do only with the contem- 
plation of the inner space of a sphere. It is a meditation 
place. The sphere is 22' in diameter inside. Contained 
within a cube or building 30' long, 30' deep and 26' 
high. Color of sphere white. Color of building black. An 
opening in the wall of the sphere for people to see at 1 1' 

Problems: Whether it can be done at all-in a real practi- 
cal sense. Fabrication expense, etc. Can the sphere be 
illuminated from the inside without any interruption of 
the surface in any way? As I write this out it does seem 
impossible in terms of money and involvement and cer- 
tainly shipping and assembly but it would be beautiful. 

George Brecht 

Born Halfway, Oregon, 1925 
Resident Dusseldorf 


After sending some corporation brochures to George Brecht 
In London, we received in April, 1969, the following two 

Your 'Industrious* Art**' project sounds interesting. 
There are two projects I have been giving thought to 
recently which might fit into that context. The first is 
the development of stereoscopic television. Perhaps CBS 
is doing research on this. I have some ideas for accom- 
plishing this with existing sets, as they have no doubt 
thought of. If the technique is no problem, then this is 
the time to think about how such a development would 
be used— performance aspects, and I have some ideas 
there, too. 

More immediately, as part of my Research Fellowship at 
Leeds College of Art, and working with the engineering 
department at Bradford University, I've started some 
research into the aerodynamics of the alphabet; studying 
the behavior of letters under conditions of subsonic and 
supersonic airflow. I'd also like to work on the hydro- 
dynamics, but that could be a later chapter. (Jet Propul- 
sion Laboratories?) 

I'm afraid you may have gotten the impression in our 
phone conversation that I was not serious about the 
land-moving project. Actually this is a project which I 
have been mulling over for about three years. It was 
reactivated during a visit here by Walter de Maria, when 
we extended plans for research into its feasibility, and it 
remains one of my major concerns. For the 'Art by Tele- 
phone' show, for example, which begins November 1st 
at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, I will ini- 
tiate a survey of public opinion on the project. 

I think you will agree that such a huge project as re- 
arranging a country or state globally would be enor- 
mously facilitated if the capacities of a corporation like 
Rand, with their pool of abilities in geophysical, geo- 
political, and other fields, could be made available. 

For this reason, I was less than enthusiastic about IBM, 
since I can't see immediately how they could fit into 
either this plan, or the alternative two previously de- 
scribed to Mrs. Livingston, i.e., the aerodynamics of the 
alphabet, or stereo TV. 

In June, when both IBM and Rand had become available, 
MT called Brecht in England, asking for further details on 
his ideas to determine if either corporation was suitable. 
Instead Brecht proposed a third notion: to move the land 
mass of the British Isles into the Mediterranean Sea. He fol- 
lowed up this conversation with a letter stressing the 
seriousness of this fantastic scheme: 

Over the next few months, Brecht conducted extensive re- 
search on the land-moving project, and in April, 1970, he 
had a one-man show at the Eugenia Butler Gallery in Los 
Angeles consisting of maps of fifteen relocation projects, 
one of which is reproduced here showing the relocation of 
England and Florida. [1] 

'Industrious— (obs.) Exhibiting or marked by intelligent 

work; skillful. 

**Art— (all meanings, see Webster) 





James Lee Byars 

Born Detroit, Michigan, 1932 
Resident New York City 


The Hudson Institute was the first out-of-state corporation 
to be contracted to A & T. In February, 1969, we wrote to 
Herman Kahn, Director and co-founder of the Institute, re- 
questing Hudson's involvement as a Sponsor Corporation, 
and by mid-March, through follow-up correspondence with 
President Max Singer, an agreement was reached between 
Hudson and the Museum; it was left to our discretion to 
select an artist to place in residence, and a Sponsor contract 
was signed. 

In a brochure published by Hudson, they describe them- 
selves as, 

a private, non-profit research organization studying 
public policy issues, especially those related to long 
range perspectives, to U.S. national security and world 
order, and to social and economic development. Its goal 
is to promote better communications and understanding 
among those working on public policy problems, and 
where necessary, it seeks to develop special techniques 
to aid both research and exposition for this purpose .... 

The Institute strives to bring together a diversity of view- 
points as well as skills in a staff that works together in an 
organized manner, yet in an atmosphere of freedom and 
inquiry .... Hudson tries to provide a degree of time 
and detachment which is rarely possible in the studies of 
an official agency, and a degree of focus and integration 
which is rarely available in a university or center for 
international studies .... 

The Institute's location, at Croton-on-Hudson, offers a 
quiet, pleasant place to work. Situated in open, hilly 
country overlooking the Hudson River, about thirty 
miles north of New York City, it is convenient to rural 
and suburban housing and is less than one hour from 
Manhattan by car or train. 

In April, 1969, Jane Livingston met in this consciously idyl- 
lic environment with Mr. Singer and his assistant, Gail Pot- 
ter. We had already discussed the possibility of working at 
Hudson with James Byars— he seemed a sufficiently extra- 
mundane spirit to deal in such an abstract and rarefied at- 
mosphere as this— and Byars expressed unqualified enthusi- 
asm over the prospect. (We had earlier, in Los Angeles, dis- 
cussed with Byars the notion of working with one of the 
corporations contracted to A & T before Hudson entered 
the project. Gail Scott visited Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
with Byars in January, 1969. They met with JPL physicist 
Dr. Richard Davies, and spent most of their touring time 
viewing the space module displays, which fascinated the 
artist. Byars was not at all interested in working with 
specific objects or materials to make a physical art work; in- 
stead, he pressed Davies about the possibility of sending a 
rocket-propelled vehicle to Mars. This request seems to have, 
struck Dr. Davies as implausible, and the Byars/JPL connec- 
tion ended at that.) 

Therefore, it was with Byars in mind that JL conversed 
with Mr. Singer and Mrs. Potter at Croton-on-Hudson. It 
wasn't in her power exactly to prepare the Hudson person- 
nel for Byars' visitation, and indeed we had no preconcep- 
tion of what he might choose to do. Mr. Singer agreed to 
receive Byars, and to allow the collaboration to evolve as it 
might. JL was given a tour of the buildings and grounds, 
and took away with her a number of Hudson Reports on 
various weighty and unrelated international topics. 

Byars began his collaboration on May 19, 1969. For the 
first two or three weeks, he actually lived at 
Hudson— "They have a dormitory for generals," he said, 
"where they're putting up with me." (Actually this dormi- 
tory houses students, most often, who come during the 
summer to "soak up the atmosphere.") After that, he com- 
muted from New York several days a week; he continued to 
work until July 20, returning after a trip to Europe to work 
periodically through November and December. One of the 
first important events in the collaboration occurred early in 
his residence, when Byars attended a weekend briefing held 
for the benefit of Belgium's King Baudouin, who arrived 
just as Byars did, and at which Herman Kahn presided and 
spoke at length. 

In order for us to keep some record of the course of the 
Hudson/Byars project, the artist and JL devised a schedule 
whereby they would speak by telephone once a week at an 
appointed time. The first of these weekly conversations 
took place right after the symposium, and Byars was elated. 
He was beginning to formulate the terms of the project he 
intended to carry out with, or through, Hudson, and he 
mentioned four points he wished to pursue. Characteristic- 
ally, they are ambiguous in intent and mystifying in style, 
but these ideas were to be the basis of his continuing ap- 
proach. The four points, as dictated by Jim, are these: 
1) "The exultation of being in the proximity of extraordin- 
ary people." 2) "The one hundred most interesting ques- 
tions in America at this time." 3) "The next step after 
E=MC'^." 4) "One thousand superlatives about the Hudson 

Byars talked of making a trip around the country to inter- 
view certain illustrious Thinkers, and perhaps thus invoke 
the one hundred significant questions. This proved to be 
economically unfeasible, so he established a private tele- 
phone World Question Center. He found, in his words, that 
"there is a terrific prejudice against asking questions." It 
occurred to him to state, "axiomatically," as he said: 
"Product: ten thousand pauses caused by asking people for 
questions that they are asking themselves." He conceived 
the idea of prevailing upon the Gallup people to run a poll 
for him, and even went so far as to request promotional 
space in the major U.S. magazines. (This never worked out.) 
At one point, following a phone conversation with James, 
Betty Asher wrote in a memo to MT: "His Three Ambi- 
tions: Artist-in-residence at the Pentagon (a letter from you 


The present Hudson site once bel 
physician. Or, Robert Larnb , who 
in 1920 and designed the seven-b 
special medical care center with 
viding highly individualized att 
tients (especially those requiri 
tion). Wanting to avoid a hospi 
Dr. Lamb planned the hallways in 
\-/ith windov/s on one side and bed 
lending a spacious and open air 
the first and second floor area 
suites consisting of a patient's 
a nurse's room. The third floor 
keeping staff . 

onged to a Nev,- York 
purchased the acreage 
ui 1 d ing complex as a 

the purpose of pro- 
ention for his pa- 
ng mental rehabilita- 
tal-tike atmosphere, 

the ma in bu i 1 ding 
rooms on the other, 
to the rooms. Most of 
was divided into 

bedroom and bath plus 

was for the house- 

Bui Iding Three was completed while work on the main 
building was still in progress. it was used primarily 
as a garage, with living quarters on the second floor 
for male employees. Buildings Four, Five and Six were 
built betv/een 1926 and 193' to provide accommodations 
for a snail number of special patients. Dr. Lamb's 
residence (our Building Two) was finished in 1932. as 
was Building Seven, originally a workshop for the 
ma intenance crew. 


.^C ,. 

Dr. Lamb retired from active practice and closed the 
center In IS'+S, although he lived on the grounds un- 
til his death in 1952. After 19^8 the property was 
leased to several tenants and the renta I i nconie used 
to finance grants to the Albany Medical School and the 
University of Vermont Medical College, as stipulated 
by Dr. Lamb. 

The first tenants were the Maryknoll Sisters, who 
needed interim accommodations while their new convent 
was being built in Ossining. They left in January 
1957 and the estate v;as taken over by the IBM Re- 
search Division, also on an interim basis, until the 
Thomas J. Watson Research Center was completed in 
June I96I . 



contains the offices of the Director and the Presi- 
dent as well as most of the research staff. There is 
a library on the third floor, a dining room and small 
conference rooms on the first floor and a print shop 
in the basement . 

is the ma in 
conference building 
for seminars and 
larger meet I ngs . 
Our largest meeting 
room, furnished v;ith 
aud io-vi sual equi p- 
ment, is on the 
ground floor, with 
three smaller meet- 
ing rooms above. 


houses additional of- 
fices for the research 
staff and a map room used 
primarily by the Economic 
Deve lopment Studies section. 


was originally a garage 
but is now used for storage 
space and a workshop for 
maintenance operations. 


is the Administration 
Building, where the account-^ 
ing, purchasing and service jfi^ m 
departments as well as the ~ *■ 
office of the Controller 
and Assistant Treasurer are 


is now used only as a 
summer dormitory for gradu- 
ate students employed by 
the Institute during their 
summer vacations. 


is the home of one of 
the maintenance crew and 
his fami ly . 


would be helpful). To get the Nobel Peace Prize for Herman 
Kahn. To run Herman Kahn for President." 

Byars' contact with the Hudson Institute personnel seems 
to have consisted mostly of series of statements or ques- 
tions mimeographed or otherwise duplicated and circulated 
in-house. One of the first questionnaires given to the Hud- 
son employees requested "One hundred superlatives on 
Herman Kahn." Byars' own first "superlative" is, "l-fell-in- 
love-with-Herman Kahn-because-l-knew-in-advance-that-he- 
could-speak-four-hundred-words-a-minute." He made a 
number of items not intended to elicit response, but simply 
given gratuitously, such as hundreds of thin strips of paper, 
seventeen inches by one-quarter inch, reading "PUTTING 
PRODUCT." [1] 

JL received a letter from Byars describing his first sub- 
project at Hudson: 

J. I hand delivered to 

every staff member the 

Pink Book (as an attitude note) 

and the exultation slip- 
next day in white suit 

the white questionnaire 

all as intro. J. 

P.S. They loved it. 

According to Gail Potter, who remained fairly close to 
Byars throughout his tenure at Hudson, there was in fact a 
general attitude of hostility on the part of the Institute per- 
sonnel to Byars' presence. There were, in her words, "a lot 
of square people who felt that what Jim was doing was a 


1^ '' '- ■ 


r ^' n 

waste of his time and their time." Mrs. Potter felt that after 
the first two or three weeks, there was not much serious 
interaction between the artist and the Hudson staff. He 
continued to spend more time wandering about in the halls, 
chatting with people at random, than in the small office 
which was reserved for him. 

Byars did spend considerable time with Herman Kahn, 

either at public occasions or in private— he estimates that he 
had, overall, about twenty hours of informal conversation 
with Kahn, at his home or at Hudson. Gail Potter said she 
guessed that Byars "spent as much time with Herman as 
anyone ever does." 

Some months after the Byars/Hudson collaboration ended, 
JL spoke to Herman Kahn by telephone and elicited some 
comments from him on James and his impact at Hudson. 
Kahn immediately observed that the response of Hudson 
staff to Byars seemed to be rather clearly divided between 
the younger people— under thirty— who liked, or were 
amused by Byars, and those over thirty, who were hostile 
to him. (Byars says this is a silly statement.) Asked to give 
his own thoughts as to why this might have been true, Kahn 
replied, "Most people, unless they are very young, still see 
art today in its old fashioned roles: art as religion, art as 
heroic, art for entertainment. Art today is none of these 
things. \t'% happening. That is what Byars is about, and one 
has to accept this to accept Jim." Kahn went on to remark 
in general that "God and Darwin got buried, and once Dar- 
win is buried, the Puritan ethic goes with him. Jim under- 
stands this and is trying to move in this direction. There's 
the question, then, as to whether Jim is symptom or cause. 
Probably he's symptom." 

When pressed for an opinion on the real intellectual value 
of Byars' World Question Center project itself, as opposed 
to the fact of the artist's presence at Hudson generally, 
Kahn said finally, "Well, of course it's a totally undisci- 
plined and uninformed project." Perhaps the most interest- 
ing comments made by Kahn to JL involved a process of 
questioning his own motives regarding Byars' presence at 
Hudson. Kahn asked himself, "Why are we bothering with 
Jim? After all, I want the organization to run right. The 
presence of someone like Jim is theoretically subversive of 
that goal." Kahn never, even by implication, answered his 
own question. Byars, for his part, had some comments in 
answer to Kahn's observation. Significantly, he feels that 
"Herman tends to view things rather categorically; he 
generalizes as a matter of habit. He doesn't, however, see 
art in general as a category of enormous interest for himself 
or for the world— he tends to view it as a luxury." 

Among the people Byars contacted by telephone during his 
first period of residence at Hudson were Alvin Weinberg, 
Director of the Atomic Energy Commission— his question 
was, according to Byars, "Axiology?"— and Marshall 
McLuhan, who responded, "What do you mean, ques- 
tions?" Byars visited Princeton on three different occasions, 
where he met with Physicist Eugene Wigner (there is no 
record of his response that we know of) and astronomical 
mathematician Freeman Dyson, who allegedly said to 
Byars, "We're getting red light from outer space." Whether 
this was intended as a question or a statement is not 




In July, Hal Glicksman visited Hudson for a day; he 
happened to be there during a seminar on U.S. Policies: 
Donnestic and Foreign. [2] Talking with JL about the con- 
ference later, Hal said, "It was one of those meetings that I 
guess Kahn is famous for— bringing together all types of 
people and presenting several different lectures on current 
social problems. We heard Kahn's lecture in the late morn- 
ing and had lunch with him, and then attended part of an 
afternoon session." 

JL: How did you feel Kahn was responding to Byars, or 
was he? 

Byars: I'd be very happy to have whatever analysis you 
would make. 

Kahn: To me an important question, for example, is. 
Can a computer transcend human beings? I suspect the 
answer to that is yes. I find it a very unpleasant pros- 
pect .... The computer may write better poetry than 
human beings, better drama, make more perceptive 
judgements .... I think before the end of the century 
you'll be saying yes to that .... It may turn out that the 
only way you can do this, is that the computer itself will 
have to learn by experience. That seems very clear. 

HG: He was. He was very outgoing, and somehow when 
a person is that rational and is asked a nonsensical 
question, the question and answer just don't jibe. Kahn's 
answers were so straight and so good to the questions 
that were basically ridiculous and supposed to open up 
the person's flow of thinking, and Kahn would answer it 
more or less directly. Like Byars would ask, 'What's the 
most important question of the twentieth century?' and 
Kahn says, 'Well, this question is on three levels. First of 
all there are cosmic questions like. How is the world 
created, does God exist and this sort of thing. We can 
dismiss those.' Then he goes on to outline the three most 
important questions of the current day. I forget what 
they were . . . Viet Nam and this and that. I mean he has 
answers for Jim— that's the important thing. 

Byars felt that although he maintained a stimulating rela- 
tionship with Kahn, Kahn was not particularly helpful in 
supplying interesting questions. (He was not, after all, seek- 
ing answers.) Indeed the artist said, "If I had limited myself 
to Hudson I would have failed. Only by extending myself 
out into the world was I able to gather questions at all." 

The peculiar quality of the dialogue between Byars and 
Kahn when Byars was trying most persistently to invoke 
Questions comes out in fragments of the taped conversation 
between them, made on the occasion of Hal's July visit: 

Byars: I'd really like to ask you for one hundred 

questions .... 

Kahn: Are you going to be around tomorrow at all? . . . 

Byars: It's very interesting how difficult it is to find 
questions. What is an interesting question in 1969? 

Kahn: That's not our problem. Our problem is too many 
questions .... There are different levels. Some say the 
most important questions are religious. Is there a pur- 
pose to mankind? Is there any meaning to existence? 
Now the atheist of course says no, man is the measure of 
himself. But that turns out to be wrong, in some funny 
way .... 

In the selection of questions compiled by Byars at the end 
of his Hudson collaboration and published in book form, 
none was authored by Kahn. In explaining why this is, 
Byars cited a remark made to him by Hudson employee 
Frank Armbruster. Armbruster said, on the subject of 
posing questions, "Most of the world is concerned with 
problems which they think have imminent solutions." 
Byars' response to this was, "I'm not interested in solu- 
tions. No one could get this through his head, including 
Herman Kahn." 

In the spring of 1969, Byars had been in Antwerp to partic- 
ipate in an exhibition there. Through his contact with the 
man in charge of Belgian cultural affairs, he arranged with 
the Belgium Radio and Television network to sponsor a live 
television and radio program, on which Byars would appear 
and hold his World Question Center, simply by telephoning 
certain forewarned people and engaging in dialogue with 
them while being televised. The following letter was sent to 
MT, requesting his availability during the time of the 

On November 28th 69, the B.R.T. will broadcast a live 
program about and with James Lee Byars, the first artist 
in residence of the Hudson Institute, Croton, N.Y. 

James Lee Byars (Detroit 1932) asks questions, asks 
himself questions. It is quite surprising that he need not 
refer to another world or to another reality, but simply 
appears as the reality of our world. He does so in the 
most simple and direct way. His significance does not lie 
in what he says or does, but in the attitude out of which 
he tackles everything, in the man who is behind it. 
Everything he does, even if it seems exceptional accord- 
ing to the usual standards, is so obvious and coherent 
that we easily can approve of his ideas and, with him, 
look at our own behaviour and our own world like a 

You have been chosen by James Lee Byars to be tele- 
phoned during the program, together with a few other 
personalities. So, on the 28th of November, between 10 
p.m. and 1 1 :30 p.m. (GMT), Byars will ask you some 
questions, which he thinks important or about which he 
wants your opinion. All the questions and answers are to 



6:00 p.m. Registration, Cocktails and Dinner 

8:00-10:00 Introduction: A Basic Context for Discussion 

of U. S. Foreign and Domestic Policies 

Herman Kahn 


7:30-8:45 Breakfast 


2:00-3: 3 


More on the Basic Context 
(Coffee break at 10:30) 

Morale and Public Works 
(Coffee break) 

New Elements in American Politics 

Cocktails and Dinner 

Herman Kahn 

Robert Panero 

William Pfaff 
Frank Armbruster 


7:30-8:45 Breakfast 



Some Current Military Issues: 
Vietnam, ABM, Central War Strategies 

(Coffee break at 10:30) 
Lunch and Adjournment 

Johan Hoist 
Herman Kahn 
Max Singer 


be in English. This program might be the beginning of a 
world question center, as Byars puts it. 

We kindly request you to take part in the program and 
therefore we would ask you to return the enclosed letter 
as soon as possible (deadline: 22nd Nov.). Five hours be- 
fore the program we will call you for the final checking. 

We should be most grateful if you would cooperate. 

Yours faithfully. 

Program Controller TV.— 
Flemish Department (B.R.T.) 

The program was not entirely successful from Byars' point 
of view in terms of the "profundity or seriousness" of the 
questions elicited, but as an event it came off excellently. 
Byars sat, in costume, in the midst of a group of fifty stu- 
dents from the University of Brussels, who acted as opera- 
tors. About twenty people were telephoned, most of them 
Europeans, some in America. Walter Hopps, at the 
Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., was on hand in his 
office with a group of other gentlemen selected by Byars. 
One of them, a Mr. Rosenkrantz from the National Insti- 
tute of Health, asked what Byars considered the most 
successful question of the hour: "What is the body of the 
cognitive instrument?" At the end of the telephone ques- 
tion period, the students present with Jim in the studio 
were invited to ask questions, and then the viewing audi- 
ence was given a phone number to call the next day if they 
wished to call Byars with questions. The phone was busy 
for hours, according to Byars, and thus the experiment 
ended propitiously. 

On December 8, we received from Byars, on orange painted 
paper cut in the shape of a pronged devil's tail, a message 
saying in part, "M. Babe, the World Question Center on TV 
was sensational in both Belg. and Holland— one most extra- 
ordinary part was an Angelic Belgian voice reading at ten 
second intervals my 100 ?'s (like clone me?) . . . Sorry I 
missed you on the world phone (Telstar was crystal clear)" 

And shortly thereafter he added, on a pink tissue paper tail 
appended to an enormous white paper circle: 

. . . with the World Question Center on TV I asked for a 
min. of intro. without speech or sound— they said 30 sec. 
max.— at the end of a simple quote on the poss. of an 
electronic simulation which may within the decade jump 
all languages and earthpeople 'BEEP' 'BEEP' at U.N. 
Understood radios TV broke down and 4 minutes of 
total silence and perfectly still cameras was transmitted 
to all of Belgium and Holland (50 people in a pink ring 
sitting— looking straight ahead and 5 in a pink pants on 
chairs in the middle on my rt. a transparent blond and 
on my It. a transparent blue girl from Ghana) 



Throughout the course of Byars' project, he was thinking 
about possible ways of participating in the Expo 70 exhibi- 
tion. We received numerous letters from him with sugges- 
tions for such a project. As early as June, 1969, James sent 
us a list of ideas: 



At the end of 1969, BA spoke to James by telephone and 
drafted this memo: 

J. Byars called and would like an answer today or 

tomorrow re his participation in EXPO. 

He claims he is asking so little: 

1 . Opening day or night, he would be present with a 
Sony pocket tape recorder and the voices of Viva, a 
child (ascertained by the child who could whisper the 
highest among those who make up the St. Thomas 
Choir), Herman Kahn and Byars. 

2. Gold sheet or hole in the wall (1 inch) for Byars lips 
through which he would emit one question a minute 
OR a 6' X 3' gold leafed panel for same purpose. 

3. A superwoman (of his choosing) with whom he 
would exchange questions and/or dialogue for an 
hour. (Nothing more, I hope!) 

4. Police protection if we can't include him in the exhi- 
bition in one of the above manners. 

The idea that finally became most persistent in Byars' mind 
was that of presenting his compilation of questions in the 
form of an edible book. In a letter written to us, he said, 

. . . The figs, on the dissolve paper are $3.70 per 100 
sheets for 8V2 x 1 1 (spec, price to me from the Chem. 
who invented it). Maybe I can get it for less and assume 
that Hud. will print it— I do want it to be exquisite how- 
ever . . . the world's first eatable public book . . . The 
cover hopefully will also be eatable .... 

At the time of Byars' request that the Museum help to pro- 
duce the edible book with funds from the A&T budget, 
we had no funds available. Hudson was also asked to pro- 
duce the book; they finally agreed to print an edition of 
100, but on non-edible paper, with one question to a page 
in hairline type. The text is as follows: 

This book is eatable? 

Merry X? 



I'm the self-appointed World Ouestion Center? 

Putting Byars in the Hudson Institute is the Artistic 

I have perfect question? 
This is question theory? 
Say it is yours? 

The question of perfect speed and total elasticity? 
A proposition is public question? 
Clone me? 

Which questions have disappeared? 

Do you have an affection for question? 


What's the difference between asking and telling? 
He grabbed my nose and said what do you want a 

nonlinguistic question? 
Put your hypothesis in general language? 
Imagine the palpability of question? 
Did Plato forget question? 
Is all speech interrogative? 
Ho! Ho! Ho! is the same in all languages? 
Call all earth attention to a signal? 
Arro, is repeat, info.? 
I'll give you 5 min. of face? 
What questions are you asking yourself? 
Think yourself away? 
My business is asking and access? 
I'll get her question grammar? 
Read Plato's nonsensical definition of the Good? 
"Forget it" is a treatise? 
Put your autobiography in a question? 
The question is the answer? 
A Pompidou? 

Is self-conscious option enough? 

I fell in love with Herman Kahn because I knew in 
advance he could speak 400 words a minute? 

What's fancy for those in power (does it keep them 

A '69 question? 

My only desire is to explain everything? 
I listed all the Universal Questions before? 
What's your general honorific sweetie? 
Put question in the Encyclopedia Britannica? 
I am the complete history of the world? 
How to meet a General, "Imagine I have short hair and 

birds on my shoulders like you once had"? 
This question is capable of questioning itself? 
The ghost of question? 

I'm the Unofficial Poet Laureate of the United States? 
Make a soliloquy on question? 
"Well?" was her favorite question? 
Question is Big Art? 

What's the difference between quantity and quality? 
How to fall in love with a phone call? 
Are all people interchangeable at some live level? 
How does he question and how does he eat? 
The world is so fantastic why make up? 
All questions consist of establishing the notion of asking 

followed by a nominative? 


Greg Card 

Born Los Angeles, 1945 
Resident Arleta, California 


The Earth at least? 

His head weighs 25 lbs? 

Exalting question is surprising? 

To present the opportunity of possible response is the 

I can repeat the question but am I bright enough to ask it? 
Multiply a question? 
Find the world question in a week? 
He asks 100 times or not at all? 
Mathematics HaHa? 
Imagine being possessive of a question? 
Questions are gifts? 
I'm full of Byars? 
My work is civil defense? 
You're the person they pretend doesn't exist? 
Herman Kahn'll be a Buber by 50? 
What's the speed of an idea? 
He has the heaviest question in the U.S.A.? 
Question boon? 

I'll be the Artist in the Pentagon, next? 
Make a question was the whole exam? 
Suppose the context around this question? 
I quit you? 

All questions rise in intonation? 
The first sentence I ever read was "I can see you"? 
Israel is a philosophical mistake? 
A ? Zoo? 

Numbers don't count? 
Ask is New English? 
Limit all talk to the sound of 0? 
It takes 5 minutes to come down to your level? 
I'm 1/16 Jewish? 
Drop hello? 

Empty mouth, what's the matter? 
Her questions are her ornaments? 
The world's smartest man got mad when asked for a 

Axiologv? from The Director of Atomic Energy? 
I've done Anglo-Saxon? 
If you ask for something that doesn't exist you deserve it 

on the intelligence of the request? 

Suddenly he's a collar, a necktie, and a lapel? 
Credit is to identify your question? 
My tongue is insured for $50,000? 

In July, 1968 Greg Card sent a project proposal, an excerpt 
of which follows: 

Nine three dimensional paintings, suspended: 


Variations on three colors (Red, Green, Blue) in two 

forms . . . transparent and semi-opaque. 


Polyester resin (crystal clear in original form) and fiber- 
glass cloth or matting. Colors will be mixed in the resin 
according to the formula for each painting. Nylon or 
monofilament wire will be used for the suspension 

Form and Dimensions: 

Cylindrical with cone shaped ends .... These paintings 
to be hollow. All paintings to have a wall thickness of no 
more than % inch and no less than 1/8 inch with a total 
outside diameter of approximately 5 inches and a total 
length of 12 feet. Paintings to be suspended in a horizon- 
tal position. 

Production Process: 

This process is one that I have come to know as spin 
forming or casting. It also has been brought to my atten- 
tion that this process has been used with success by the 
Mattel Corporation and experimented with by a few 
other concerns. 

James Byars has made himself into a work of art. There- 
fore, in the Museum exhibition, we will present a film of 
Byars. In it, he will appear life size, delivering a monologue. 

Jane Livingston 

Anthony Caro 
Born London, 1924 
Resident London 

John Chamberlain 

Born Rochester, Indiana, 1927 
Resident New York City 


In January, 1969, iVlT wrote to Anthony Caro explaining 
A & T, and asked to see the artist in London. Caro replied 
that the program interested him, but he was not planning 
an extended stay in the United States. Then in May he 
wrote to say that after discussing A & T with Jules Olitski 
his curiosity had been aroused. He requested information 
on both the Cdntainer Corporation of America and Kaiser 
Steel Corporation. Kaiser was no longer available, but we 
sent him literature on two CCA plants— the folding carton 
and corrugated cardboard divisions. In a letter of July 28, 
Caro stated that he was extremely interested in visiting 
CCA and wished to come to Los Angeles for that purpose. 
By this time, however, Tony Smith's project was underway 
at CCA. We requested that they take on a second artist, but 
CCA declined to commit their resources further. 

John Chamberlain's name emerged repeatedly during our 
early staff selection sessions, through late 1968 and early 
1969, as an artist whom we felt might do something extra- 
ordinary with— or to— a corporation. We had no special pre- 
conception of what medium he might wish to explore, and 
as it developed he approached the project in ways that 
could hardly have been predicted based on his past work. 

It wasn't until April, 1969, that we finally contacted 
Chamberlain; Jane Livingston saw him at his New York 
studio. Chamberlain at that time had been working on a 
series of written proposals for participatory works. Most of 
these would simply have involved designing and building 
objects or environmental structures of foam, wood or steel, 
within which the spectator would move or manipulate 
props in specific ways. They did not seem especially appro- 
priate to A & T. The notion of doing a film project, with a 
corporation like Ampex, RCA or CBS, was also discussed. 
It seemed worthwhile to have Chamberlain tour Ampex, in 
Redwood City, which he did with us when he came to Los 
Angeles in May. The idea John had chiefly in mind when he 
visited the Ampex facility was something suggested to him 
by Douglas Huebler; Chamberlain called \t 42nd Parallel, 
and it involved making video tapes in each of fourteen 
towns along the United States 42nd parallel, then showing 
these tapes simultaneously on fourteen screens. John saw at 
Ampex a demonstration of their 700 video machine. He 
was left with a feeling of ambivalence, if not indifference 
about seeing through a project there, and the idea was 

The next day. May 9, 1969, Chamberlain visited the Riker 
Laboratories Division of Dart Industries with JL. Riker 
makes and packages several drugs and inhalant medicines. 
He had no specific medium or project proposal in mind, 
but {Patron Sponsor) Dart was still available, in theory at 

On the way from the Museum to the Riker plant in the San 
Fernando Valley, Chamberlain conceived the idea of 
making a multiple work consisting of packaged odors. 
These would be chemically formulated to simulate particu- 
lar odors of his choosing, and manufactured in the form of 
inhalers or sachets, in a large edition. With this newly con- 
ceived proposal In mind. Chamberlain toured the Riker fa- 
cility and asked specifically to consult with a chemist there 
who could gauge the feasibility of implementing such a pro- 
posal. Riker's organic chemist, Francis Petracek, discussed 
the problem at some length with the artist. Petracek indi- 
cated that in principle it would indeed be possible to actual- 
ly gather and distill odors. He mentioned "the smell of 
downtown Tokyo," which prompted Chamberlain to want 
to extend the range of odors beyond simple products or 
substances to locations. Petracek demonstrated to 
Chamberlain samples of chemical odors commonly known, 
notably a potion which strongly evoked dirty socks. We sus- 
pected that the actual process of travelling with technicians 



and equipment and distilling various scents would be 
beyond the capability— or degree of commitment— of Riker 
or any other division of Dart Industries. 

Shortly afterward, Chamberlain left for New Mexico, where 
he was shooting his film Thumbsuck. During this time he 
wrote up a formal proposal for the SniFFter piece and sent 
it to us. Our dealings with Dart Industries on this project 
resulted in the suggestion that Chamberlain might collabor- 
ate with a Florida-based cosmetic branch of the corpora- 
tion, and got no further. The SniFFter proposal was then 
sent to International Chemical and Nuclear Corporation 
with a letter mentioning that it might be used as a giveaway 
multiple during the time of the A & T exhibition. 

SniFFter. SniFFter is an otfactory-stimulus-response 
environment articulated in sets and units proposed by 
John Chamberlain through the research and production 
auspices of International Chemical and Nuclear 

A list of kinds and types of odors (specific as to source, 
intrinsic and project quality and similar categories for 
unit modification) is presented. Researchers then to edit 
and synthesize a given number of odors. The original 
extraction or essence and the produced extraction or 
essence are both utilized in the final articulation. 

SniFFter is proposed as a three-unit multiple: Unit A to 
consist of 100,000 inhalers of 27 different odors; Unit B 
to consist of 1,000 humidors, each containing 69 in- 
halers of various strange, pleasant, unpleasant and other- 
wise uncommon odors; Unit C, a small number of humi- 
dors containing 69 inhalers containing the original ex- 
tractions and essences. 

The numbers involved might be modified as might be the 
types of odors. 

Unit A is proposed as a giveaway, a random occurence 
for the Osaka Exposition. The number is arbitrary and 
may be expanded or reduced. 

Unit B contains a multiple programming of odor 
qualities, perhaps color-coded to indicate the 'tone' 
quality and general area of a specifically included odor. 
Unit B takes its source in the list of apprehended odors; 
Unit A may borrow from that list; and Unit C locates 
the original odor as essence or extract. 

Unit C locates and presents the original odor essence or 
extract from which the others may be derived. The 
common and specific odors are presented here. With a 
the presentation becomes specific and with an uncommon 
odor the designated odor remains specific in itself. I surmise 
that there is a probability that certain odors in the specific 
range would contain the occasion, diet, psyche-factors, and 

other conditional factors, the odor becoming unique at its 
source, and subtle in its difference from the general in that 
area. Similarly, gasoline would be of a particular variety, 
cow manure from a particular place— say, the Chicago 
stockyards in July. 

Certain odors would be undistinguishable from others until 
a sophistication (re-education, orientation) in detection of 
peculiarities of particular odor origin is acquired by the 
sniffer of the SniFFter. 

In SniFFter presentation, a booklet containing the molec- 
ular structure of each component odor on a separate page 
would accompany the unit presentation. IVIore research— the 
sophistication in odor perception among the blind, the de- 
tection of odors by animals apparently unavailable to 
humans and so on— may present many possibilities in the 
restimulation of the adventures of the nose. 

EOP=Extra-Olfactory Perception 

SniFFter list of proposed odors: 

1. Negro revival meeting 

2. baby milk throw-up 

3. Castor Oil 

4. burning cellulose 

5. arsenic 

6. dill 

7. adhesive tape 

8. French roast coffee 

9. Lew Alcindor's tennis shoes after a game 

10. third floor of the L.A. County Art Museum 

1 1. mother's milk 

12. motorcycle race track 

13. downtown Miami Beach 

14. Fulton Fish Market 

15. ozone 

16. reptiles— cobras, etc. could be from a specific zoo 

17. second grade classroom 

18. Campbell's Vegetable Soup 

19. Bowery flop house— NYC 

20. dirty socks— specific 

21. downtown Las Vegas 

22. San Diego Zoo's rarest animal 

23. gasoline 

24. new car 

25. newly lit match 

26. female skin in sun 

27. cocaine 

28. corpse 

29. amyl nitrite 

30. singed hair 

31. sea bass 

32. billiard hall 

33. sweat and copper— (pennies in hand) 

34. marshland. Savannah, Ga. 



air at 11 ,000 feet in New Mexico 




operation room 


electric welding rod 




Chinatown— San Francisco 




cut clover 


German Shepherd 




Siamese cats 


wet paper 


nail polish remover 




photographic fixer 


New York taxi cab 


orange soda 




scorched nylon 


nicotine and skin 




Sicilian kitchen 




Rembrandt painting 


American flag at Pendleton, California 



burnt toast— specif ic 


Chino Women's Prison Cottage #13 


moonshot at Cape Kennedy 


Pittsburgh steel mill 


dirty sponge 


city dump Tampa, Florida 




Catholic Church— Specific 




sauna bath 


dry cleaners 




wrestling arena— specific 




OK Corral -1969 


cough medicine 






wet fur 






oil refinery 




precinct station— specific 




face powder 


bad ale 




Bridgid Berlin's ink pad 




downtown Venice, Italy 










Fillmore East— Concert Night 


Charlie McCarthy 


Larry Bell's studio 


Hostess Cupcakes 




Max's Kansas City disco 


etc. . . . 

International Chemical and Nuclear Corporation, whose 
main research facility is at Irvine, California, referred us to 
their strong, Cobb, Arnder pharmaceutical division in Sun- 
land, California, as a potential facility for collaboration 
with Chamberlain. There were several telephone conversa- 
tions with the manager of this plant, but we were unable to 
elicit a commitment to pursue the project beyond this. ICN 
had, interestingly enough, been most eager to join with 
A & T. Their involvement actually got no further than this 
unsatisfactory exchange and a tour of their facility by Mark 
di Suvero. 

Chamberlain was planning to return to Los Angeles from 
Santa Fe in August, and was definitely interested in pursu- 
ing our open offer to work with a corporation. We suggest- 
ed the availability of two radically different facilities: one 
was a division of Norris Industries which makes porcelain 
bathroom fixtures and enamel coated bathtubs (JL and HG 
had both toured this plant and were intrigued, not just with 
all those toilets but also with the huge kilns used to bake 
them); the other was the Rand Corporation, which had 
already taken Larry Bell in residence but were willing to 



take on another artist. Chamberlain immediately opted for 
Rand, where he was to spend six weeks. He was persistently 
avoiding the idea of making sculptural objects as such, and 
continued to think in terms of participatory works in gen- 
eral. In response to a letter sent in May, 1970, from MT re- 
questing comments about the artists' retrospective views on 
their experience with A&T, Chamberlain said, answering 
the question "Why were you initially interested in partici- 
pating in ART AND TECHNOLOGY?": 

I'm initially interested in anything I don't know about. 
I'm interested because I need something to lean on. And 
any material or physical contact, mental contact, what- 
ever has possibilities for lessons. The idea being that as 
artists we tend to confuse and create chaos involving 
these facilities so as to come out on some other side. 

Brownlee Haydon, Assistant to the President of the Rand 
Corporation, who served as our principle contact there 
throughout our mutual dealings, had said in a letter written 
to us in February, 1968, 

We think Rand has something special to offer the crea- 
tive artist: an intellectual atmosphere and the stimula- 
tion of being amid creative individuals working in many 
disciplines. In this milieu, the artist may find influences 
on his work apart from the other 'materials' that he may 
discover in the Rand environment. 

It would appear that Chamberlain's reasons for working at 
Rand and Rand's attitude in receiving an artist would have 
been fundamentally compatible. 

On August 7, John Chamberlain visited Rand and spent an 
hour or two with Robert Specht (Haydon was out of 
town), during which interview a great deal of mutual baffle- 
ment prevailed. John was then given an office to use as he 
saw fit, and left to his own devices. 

In a letter of April, 1970, Haydon described in brief the 
extent of Rand's contact with Chamberlain from his point 
of view: 

Rand made an office available to John Chamberlain, and 
provided the small amount of secretarial help needed to 
prepare various memoranda circulated to the staff 
inviting their participation, ideas, etc. Some staff mem- 
bers 'dropped in' on John to talk about his and their 
ideas— but it would be difficult to put any number on 
this interaction. 

In a meeting early in September, 1969, Chamberlain talked 
about the progress of the collaboration to date (he'd been 
working for about three weeks). He said, 

I couldn't make any headway in the beginning. I suggest- 
ed that Rand should dissolve the corporation, or cut off 
the phones for one day, or have everyone come out in 
the patios and we'd take some pictures for a day. None 
of these things got any response .... 

I also thought of doing a thing with a blown-up [aerial- 
view] photograph of Rand. I'd airbush out the existing 
building .... But it might not really be all that amusing, 
or mean anything. Because I'm not really against the 
concept of Rand, its uniqueness since 1946, through '56, 
even until 1960. Past '60, it's gotten, evidently, some- 
what stodgy and constricting. The humor [in my ap- 
proach] is supposed to pull some of that constriction 
out. But I don't know about this— and I'm not pretend- 


ing to be some sort of psychiatrist at Rand .... But I'm 
there, and I'd like to deal with them .... I can't get into 
any of their circuits. After all, what do I know about 
weather modification? What do I know about cloud for- 
mations? What do I know about the war in Viet Nam? 
What do I know about the psychology of reflexes in 
New York City when faced with a police car? I don't 
know anything about the police car syndrome in New 
York City. However, it does seem that you can deal with 
the people. The people are uptight, I feel. They're very 
1953 . . . you know, like the girls wear too much under- 
wear. On the other hand, the few under-30 people tend 
to be much more relaxed .... 

the form of "answers," for John's final Rand project. 
Describing the conception and early results of this idea 
during the September 9 taping session. Chamberlain said. 
The next thing I did was sort of muddle around, talk to 
people .... Mostly through talking to Irwin Mann [a 
Rand consultant] , I decided to go for answers. Then it 
occurred to me that they might answer Jim Byars' 
questions [see Byars section] . So I sent out question- 
naires, asking for answers. Yesterday and today I got my 
first office-full. I'm getting everything from 'Drop dead' 
to 'Why don't you leave Rand.' I'm not getting much, in 
short, that I can use .... [1, 2, 3] 

Chamberlain finally decided to arrange several screenings at 
Rand of his film, "The Secret Life of Hernando Cortez," 
starring Ultra Violet and Taylor Mead, because, he said, "It 
represents a piece of work done in defiance of a particular 
structure." The film was run once a day for three days, and 
was then discontinued. According to the artist, "Word must 
have gotten to Washington, D.C. that Rand was showing 
dirty flicks on lunch hour." A detailed version of the 
"banning" of Hernando Cortez was supplied to us some 
months after Chamberlain's experience at Rand by a 
resident Consultant in Rand's Communications office. She 
was interested in and sympathetic to John, and was con- 
cerned that in documenting the project, we not portray the 
Rand personnel as being narrow-minded and hostile in their 
response to the artist. (She freely said, however, "There is 
certainly a large contingent of very prosaic people here who 
are deep into the discipline they practice, and who are 
frightened by play. It was difficult for them to see John as 
a provocateur, an eccentric, a seer— people couldn't make 
the leap out of conventional discourse into his imaginative 

She described the events surrounding the presentation of 
Chamberlain's film. It was originally scheduled to be shown 
on five consecutive days, during lunch hour, for the benefit 
of any Rand employees who wished to view it. It was 
shown for three days, and, she said, "accepted by the 
majority of the people who saw it— on the third day there 
was even some applause." However, there were several 
complaints from staff people who felt it was "dirty, cor- 
rupt, and disgusting." A meeting was held among several 
supervisory personnel who have received complaints, and, 
with the rationale, according to our informant, that "Rand 
must attempt to preserve some sense of decorum"— it was 
decided to hold no further showings of the movie. In any 
event, a considerable number of Rand employees saw the 
film, and judging from the amount and nature of their 
various reactions to it, the experience influenced their view 
of the artist significantly. These reactions were manifested 
specifically in response to a questionnaire circulated by 
John after the film screenings. 

TO: Everyone at Rand 

FROM: John Chamberlain, Artist In Residence 


I'm searching for ANSV^/ERS. Not questions! 

If you have any, will you please fill In below, and send them to mc 
in Room 1138. 




The purpose of the questionnaire was to elicit material, in 

■'■*-'• Everyone at Rand 

FROM: John Chamberlain, Artist in Residence 


I'm searching for ANSWERS. Not questions! 

If you have any, will you please fill in below, and send them to me 
in Room 1 138 . 








Italent is. 






Everyone at Rand 

John Chamberlain, Artist in Residence 


I'm searching for ANSWERS. Not questions! 

If you have any, will you please fill in below, and send them to me 
in Room 1136. 

Because of some of the responses to his earlier memo 

asking for 'answers,' I think everyone should 


1 . John has nothing to do with the experimental re- 
decoration of Rand's halls and offices (see Roger 

TO: Everyone at Rand 

FROM: John Chamberlain, ArUst-ln -Residence 



f Oavs 


|-\-^\A^m\» H 


... I would have liked maybe to use the answers to 
express a viewpoint about Rand people in terms of their 
intelligence. Because I'm not so sure about it— I mean, I 
see people who speak Spanish and misspell simple words, 
and have sort of dumb fifth grade attitudes about every- 

Though John felt in the beginning that the answers might 
correspond to Byars' questions, and perhaps even be used in 
conjunction with them as an art work, the two artists did 
not actually coordinate their efforts, and partly for this 
reason the end results of their projects are essentially un- 
related. Both were to some degree unsuccessful in drawing 
enough interesting material from their "subjects" to consti- 
tute a satisfactory artistic product, and thus often resorted 
to their own inventions in working out the final 

One of the factors accounting for the depressingly hostile 
tone of many of the replies to John's first questionnaire 
was simply that instead of giving John disinterested (or 
interested) answers, his subjects instead used the question- 
naire as a vehicle for conveying their resentment, or fear, of 
the film. In an attempt to reverse this trend, Brownlee 
Haydon, at John's request, sent out the following memo, 
with a second version of the "questionnaire" drafted by 

Before he left for the East, John Chamberlain gave me 

the attached memo for distribution. 

I would like to thank everyone who has participated in my quest 
(or answers , 

Now, I would like to be rr^ore explicit . I had hoped for a more n^ ' 

specific poetic imagery to Induce, or suggest, an alternative to ^^ 

thinking if or when asked to pair with It, a question or statement, C/^ \ 

The altruistic answer is nice, but less interesting. . .the -y-1 . 

challenging being from without rather than from within, ^ 

While in the East, I expect to visit Rand's New York and Washington 
offices seeking answers . My intention is to return to Santa Monica 
In a week or so. 

John Chamberla: 

2. John is a guest artist-in-residence, sponsored by and 
paid by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

3. His question about answers was not intended to elicit 
reviews of or comments about his film. 

The response to this memo was scarcely more satisfactory 
than the previous round of "answers." [4, 5] 

Finally, John made up a small edition of more elaborate 
"questionnaires," in which he listed a number of "answers" 
formulated principally by himself, and requested that his 
subjects comment on each one. Chamberlain's "answers" 
are in bold type; the subject's responses are written above 
each of the artist's phrases. The following are excerpts from 
one of a dozen responses to this lengthy questionnaire 
received by Chamberlain. [6] 

Mr. Chambci 


One of the functions of Che artlsc Is to ccrrrzirticate. 
I can't find one person who understood either your 
first eonnunlcotloo or your second. We would be 
happy to ahare our aplrttual experiences with you 
IE we knew what you are trying to express. Could 
you please rephrase paragraph 92 (Ernest Hemingway 
vou ain't!) so we con understand what the hell you 
ore driving at — or do you know yourself? 

Now, i wouia use to be more explicit . I had hoped for a more 
specific poetic Imagery to induce, or suggest, an alternative to 
thinking if or when asked to pair with it, a question or statement. 
The altruistic answer is nice , tnit less interesting . . .the 
challenging being from without rather than from within. 

While in the East, I expect to visit Rand's New York and Washington 
offices seeking answers. My intention is to return to Santa Monica 
in a week or so. 

Definition of Habste 

John Chamberla. 

5 Dictionary: "character lied by full clear 

■*i i i rfd iiii ;ma *aMaN»**ii — II - 

So is life. The correspondence between the two is a function of 

self-image. Only an optimist has a heaven. "Adequate" implies fulfillment to some 
degree... how can you be fulfilled and still disillusioned? 

Divinity Is adequate dlsllluslomnent. 

Computers are impersonal fellows. The whirr and cycle and hum of contentment 

comes from knowing that they are digesting a delicious data base. The data is;however, 

a surrogate for truth; hence the disk represents lifelessness. Death is cold and dank. 

, , , . , . . Dirty comes from not dusting. 
Dirty dank cold disk taste. ■ ■ . 

The concept of equality implies a condition of parity and balance. The essential 
consideration; however, is that equality does not mean the same as identicalness. It 
implies equivalence on a scale weighted with different significance vectors. I7e don't 
know how to weigh the vectors; and that is what the argument is all about. 

There is argument only in equality. 

Countries are environments. They have their own sub-sets. Objects are entities and 
concepts. We articulate concepts. We fight in environments. Perhaps we should try to 
articulate environments and fight in concepts. 

Throw the ob.iect from one country to another. 

Look at the edge. Thats what really counts. It is gray. 

Black on one side and white on the other. 

The way through is also the way in. You always go from something to something, 
capturing a bit of each place you have been through. It includes ideas, places, eind 
space. You cannot wait to long in any media. You will suffocate. The way through life 
is also the way into life. 

The way throup.h is the way out. 

Destroying mediocraty while sub-optimizing existence. 

Competitive elimination. 

Are we really big enough to challenge our environment? Cadillacs and expressways 
say yes. Starving people and pollution say no. Are we a population of clubfoots? 

The foot determines the fit. 


There is no doubt that Chamberlain made significant im- 
pact on those Rand people with whom he had more than 
passing contact. Even now, a year after his residence at 
Rand, there keeps emerging commentary about the artist 
from various sources there. 

A mathematician recently characterized the artist's ap- 
proach as, 

. . . thinking maybe there was a way of hunching your 
way through science instinctively or with your emotions 
without bothering with a bunch of mathematical theor- 
ems. Maybe you could get at things through your senses. 
Some people here with more dogmatic and more formal- 
ized backgrounds just didn't want to talk about it ... . 
For me it was a refreshing and welcome interlude. It was 
refreshing to talk with him and see a man more oriented 
to talking with people through impressions, forms and 
sound rather than graphs, mathematical formulas and so 
forth. At the same time, his idea of communicating 
science through art rather than through the written word 
seems remote even though it was definitely worth discus- 
sing and probing. I don't say one day it couldn't be 
done, but that now it seems remote. 

And a computer specialist said, 

I think John's visit came to nothing. In general, the 
interaction was low. He didn't make any effort to meet 
many people. He installed himself in the office he was 
using or out on a patio with a tape recorder and let a few 
anointed come to him. He didn't walk around and just 
talk to a stranger. And not many people came to him. 

People remember his film, but I don't think many dug it. 
We're too literal to get very far into something like that. 
Literalness is the nature of science as a discipline. 

He'd have been a lot better off if they'd put him in a 
place with materials. We have no materials and no pro- 
cess and few who are willing to talk in McLuhanesque 

My opinion is that the artist thinks he can create some- 
thing by turning to technology. He wants the technician 
along to explain how things work, but then he wants the 
technician to stand aside. And he wants the scientist 
only in the role of technician. I guess what happens is, 
they don't want anybody else's help. They just want you 
to show them how to turn on the machine. 

There wasn't much catalytic effect. It's too bad that 
something nicer didn't happen by way of people who 
like art meeting others who like art. 

Most of the ideas around here are not all that abstract. 
We can say pretend such and such is true and let the 
notion carry us where it will. But wondering why a guy 
would crush auto bodies and call it sculpture is a differ- 
ent game. Abstract the way the scientist means it is 
perhaps a different world from the one we live in, but 
nonetheless a well-defined world. I don't really know 
what the artist is doing. Maybe pleasing himself. 

Chamberlain's final Rand Piece consists of statements sug- 
gested to him from various sources (few of his "answers" 
are entirely original, and many can be recognized as, for 
example, McLuhanese in altered form), but the statements 
seldom came to him directly from Rand personnel in the 
course of his questionnairing process. John hoped that 
either Rand or the Museum would publish the Rand Piece 
in a relatively large edition, but neither institution had the 
means to do this. At the time of this writing, the work is 
still unpublished, except for its inclusion here 

The following are eight excerpts from the work, which is 
thirty-four pages long, divided into two sections. The first 
THESE RESPONSES," consists of answers; part two, 
STANCES," consists of questions. It is prefaced by this 
statement by Chamberlain: "The Rand piece is constructed 
to be used by anyone or groups as far as the imagination or 
curiosity can carry it. All possibilities are considered to be 
valid at least by me." [7-14] 



Baby dumpling 

You can find out who your friends are by seeing liow they take it. 

Coal-black habit; empty creature. 

Fairly Kosher. 

His trouble could be yours or mine. 

It's important that everyone cheat. 


Which quantity is purifiable? 

When was congruency established? 

Is arbitration possible under these conditions? 

What are the shades of waiting? 

What will keep the dancers clean? 

Who is responsible for the preservation of rhetoric? 


Once the problem is posed, it is insoluble. 

Go to Atlanta and make a right turn. 

For the size of his attitude, he has quite a stance. 

A hot Danish process. 

The hinge that holds them together is as real as the line that divides 

Freedom to breed will ruin the egg. 

A box of fat. 

Purple, pink and oblivious. 

Fifteen carpeted steps. 

All legs and no backbone. 

The ULTRA naked astronaut. 

Cold grey honey. 


Anguish, remorse and woe. 

They're always doing something Chinese to it. 

Between the sheets. 

By jiggling your horoscope. 

Black is the color— none is the number. 

It was inserted in the wrong end. 


Where is love's mansion? 

Where does the progression initiate? 

Is this the time of the assassins? 

How did you get past the union authorities? 

When was the siege accomplished? 

Have you committed to memory the paradigms of concern? 

Which works do you seek of the ones you serve? 
Is it endlessly extended? 
What will the song be like? 
Is eleven enough? 

How many pictures are concealed in this rabbit? 
Why don't you do what you're watching? 


How is it wise to leave and enter at the same port? 

What is the dialogue of conduct? 

Which map describes the territory? 

In what way is continuity related to direction? 

Which performances are protected by their ambience? 

What are the underlying sentiments of contrivance? 

Jane Livingston 


Born Gabrovo, Bulgaria, 1935 
Resident New York City 

Ron Cooper 

Born New York City, 1943 
Resident Venice, California 


In November, 1968, Christo wrote to us: 

I am very anxious to have a 5600 cubic meter package 
erected in the United States and my friend Bill Copley 
suggested that I interest you in this project. 

I also send you two photographs of another project: 15 
miles packed coast that could be realized simultaneously 
with the erection of the air package. 

These two gigantic projects should be presented by the 
Los Angeles County Museum as an exhibition where the 
Museum's activities go beyond the usual Museum space. 

Los Angeles artist Ron Cooper came to us in October, 1970 
to discuss two proposals for environmental art works. 
Cooper, consulting with various experts on his own, had 
satisfied himself that the projects as he conceived them 
would work technically, but needed financial and technical 

One work involved projecting variously colored light from 
several points around the perimeter of a room so that the 
respective shafts would converge in the center, forming a 
white, cube-shaped configuration [1] ; the second proposal 
entailed projecting colored light into a reflective pan of 
water on the floor, so as to direct mixed light beams from 
the water surface onto a wall, filling a rectangular area with 
white light. [2] 

We were intrigued with the ideas as he presented them to 
us, and it happened that G.E., whose previous collaboration 
with Dan Flavin had ended unfulfilled, was still potentially 
available and willing to take on another artist. We therefore 
sent Cooper to G.E.'s Nela Park Advanced Lighting 
Division, where he presented his projects and consulted 
chiefly with lighting engineer Terry McGowan. Later, G.E. 
indicated that, although they were technically able to real- 
ize one or both art works, they would or could not expend 
sufficient funds to bring it to completion. 



Frangois Dallegret 

Born Morocco, 1937 
Resident Montreal 


In January, 1969, while Frangois Dallegret was visiting the 
Los Angeles area, we invited him to tour several corpora- 
tions. Hal Glicksman accompanied the artist to Ampex Cor- 
poration where they met with Dr. Charles Spitzer and saw 
various laboratories in the Advanced Technology Depart- 
ment. Dallegret was anxious to work on a relatively large 
scale using electronic transducing devices to react to exter- 
nal stimuli. Ampex could not handle a project in the scale 
Dallegret outlined. Next he and HG saw Kaiser Steel, which 
Dallegret found exciting, because of the obvious potential 
for giant scale works. 

In early February he submitted his proposal: 

The idea will consist of setting (in as many different 
ways as possible) in, on and out of the Museum, through 
the plazas and parks around, a series of hard collapsible 
'skins' in tension out of fixed but mobile containers, to 
define directions, areas and volumes . . . and surprises. 

And later in March, he elaborated on this idea in another 
note accompanied by a series of drawings: 

You will find enclosed three sketches— very quick visuali- 
zations of the way I may use metal 'rigid/flexible' . . . 
The structure being hinged and the skin rolled. The final 
concept should come from the result of decisions in the 
analysis of the fabricator and myself and yourself. To 
face the site and its people to come to a right 'dimen- 
sion' of the 'thing.' 
In July, Dallegret wrote saying that two steel manufacturers 
in New York were interested in his proposals; he wanted to 
work with one or both of them under the A & T program. 
This did not prove feasible. 

Channa Davis 

Born Los Angeles, 1932 
Resident Tarzana, California 


Late in 1968, Channa Davis presented a proposal entitled 
Suspension of Vertical Beams Moving in Space, which 
would employ time and light in choreographed movements 
based on a modular grid system. The piece would consist of 
eight cylindrical beams made of clear plexiglass, with pro- 
grammed movements in each. The beams were to be suspen- 
ded by magnetism or jets of air. 

Movement: In a vertical direction one foot for every 
move and each foot of movement takes twelve seconds. 
Beam then remains in that position for a minimum of 
three seconds and a maximum of sixteen seconds. 

Light: Illusion of light beam pushing the beam up from 
lower position, suspending the beam in middle position 
and pushing the beam down from the highest. 

5 intensities of light— 5 movements to beam except at 
completion of cycle. 

4 lights for each beam— 1 sputter and 1 high intensity 
above and below. 

#5 brightest light— #1 weakest light. 

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Ron Davis 

Born Santa Monica, California, 1937 
Resident Los Angeles 

Walter De Maria 

Born Albany, California, 1935 

Resident New York City 


Ron Davis originally spoke with Hal Glicksman in the 
Spring of 1969 about doing a project for A & T. Davis was 
intrigued with the possibility of using computers to assist 
him in plotting complicated geometric figures, of the kind 
he has used for several years in his resin paintings. Largely 
because of Davis' interest in this project, we spent consider- 
able time and effort negotiating with California Computer 
Products, Inc., in an attempt to solicit their participation. 
(Cal Comp had been visited in early April by Eduardo 
Paolozzi.) In May, HG arranged for the corporation to 
make for the artist a sample computer drawing of a com- 
plex geometric shape, identical to a configuration used in 
one of the artist's recent works, showing it in various 
positions, which demonstrated the principle Davis could 
employ in using computers himself. We were optimistic 
about consummating an agreement, but the corporation 
was reluctant to commit the extent of computer and pro- 
gramming time necessary for the artist's needs. In July, 
Davis visited the corporation's Anaheim facility and saw 
several demonstrations of computer graphic output. About 
a month after that meeting, when Cal Comp had still not 
signed a contract with us, we asked Jeff Raskin to consult 
with Davis and the Cal Comp people about the project. 
Raskin visited the company with the artist, and suggested 
that they make available to Davis a console which he could 
operate from his own studio. This suggestion was apparent- 
ly not regarded as feasible by the corporation, and finally 
they indicated to us their decision to decline any 

In July, 1969, when Larry Bell's work at the Rand Corpora- 
tion terminated unsuccessfully. Rand agreed to take on 
another artist. We invited Walter de Maria, among others, to 
submit some ideas for a project at this think tank, but he 
declined on the basis of other commitments. We saw him 
later in the Fall, mentioned several other A & T companies 
still available and asked if he had any further interest in 
developing a project proposal. His response was positive; 
specifically he wanted to see RCA. Thus far in the program 
three artists— Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist and Sam 
Francis— had toured RCA's Van Nuys electronic and com- 
puter division but no match had evolved; in addition we 




had presented the company fully outlined proposals by 
Victor Vasarely, Glenn McKay, and Boyd IVlefferd, none of 
which were acceptable to RCA managennent. 

We arranged for de Maria to tour the Van Nuys facility. 
After this initial visit, de Maria embarked on an intense 
period of preliminary cerebral activity, attempting to form- 
ulate his idea. He reported on December 1, that before sub- 
mitting the proposal to the Museum or to RCA for approv- 
al, he wished to visit the facility on several more occasions 
to gather additional information. Following these subse- 
quent visits, he sent us two proposals, written with felt-tip 
pen on paste board. [1] Accompanying these proposals 

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were six typewritten pages of speculation on A & T, notes 
on his ideas, cost estimates, etc. [2] 

We sent copies of de Maria's proposal to West Coast and 
East Coast management and the following letter from MT, 
dated January 2, to Mr. Julius Haber, assistant to Dr. 

Recently we brought an exceptionally gifted and provoc- 
ative artist, Walter de Maria, to Los Angeles to tour the 
RCA facilities here. As you probably know, since our 
last communications regarding Boyd Mefferd, we have 
considered several possible candidates for RCA in the 
Art and Technology program. None of the artists seemed 
to be right for you or us. Mr. de Maria, however, has 
now come up with a very ambitious and far-reaching 
program. He was inspired to draft the enclosed project 
proposals after two visits to RCA here. There are two 
proposals-a 'private' and a 'public' one. As you will see, 
they are unusual approaches to the Art and Technology 
project, but could be of special significance. 

I am writing you about it, because Mr.^de Maria is back 
in New York, and I suggest that you, and hopefully Dr. 
Sarnoff, could see this artist to discuss the plan. 

During the next three months, in several follow-up conver- 
sations, Haber explained that the decision was being de- 
layed because he had been unable to present the proposal 
to the president. He intimated, however, that despite Dr. 
Sarnoff s decision, there was very little interest or enthusi- 
asm about de Maria's ideas among the RCA staff; indeed, 
his own attitude was one of wry skepticism. Finally, in late 
April, we received word that RCA would not execute the 
project. No further artist/RCA match was attempted. 

Art and the 20th Century 
Art and Technology 


Art and Industry 


Movies, Radio, Phonograph Records, T.V., Video Tape. 

The Automobile, Airplane, 

The Camera Photograph, Magazine, Book. 

There has been a marriage between the new technology and art throughout 
the century. 

Theater + Photo technology = Movies 
Music + Sound technology = Records 

The question then seems to be where do the FINE ARTS. . -painting and 

sculpture. . .meet with the new technology. 

The sculptors have in the sixties been meeting this question 
head on. The use of the new materials stainless steel, 
plastic, fiberglass, lasers, and other light sources .. .has 
already shown that the artists are alive. 

The question seems to be not whether artists can use the new technology 
...for that question has long since been answered, rather the question 
here seems to be the relationship between the artist and INDUSTRT. 

The Artist and Industry 

Industry . . . The Industrial Society. 

A system where energy (money ~ stored energy) 
money, technical knowledge and work energy are 
joined to produce .... in quantity the essential 
things necessary for people. Food. Shelter. 

Statement : The products of the Industry or even the tools of 
the Industry, can be, and often are beautiful in 
themselves ■ 

It is not necessary for an "artist" to modify 
them in any way in order to make them into "art". 

Tools, example: A laser beam. When this device is set up and 
used it is simply beautiful. 
A Motor is beautiful in itself. 
An oscilliscope . 





/ China 200 

1776-1976 China Mind 

The history of China since 1776 to the present, and then for the 
next six years, shall be processed and inserted into an R.C.A. 
computer . 

At the exhibition to be held at the Los Angeles County Museum of 
Art an R.C.A. computer terminal shall be set up with a trained 
person in attendance, so that the visitors to the exhibition shall 
be able to "ask the computer" questions about the history of China. 

The question will then be put through the terminal and the visitor 
shall see the answer "read out," 

Cost and Financing and Return 

The China 200 project is designed to cover a six year involvement. It 
differs from other projects submitted to the Art and Technology program 
in several facets. 

I. The situation/sculpture/project shall have a long life. It is 
not done in a three month period, with just the idea that a 
work will be done for the purpose of the Los Angeles Show only. 

II. The ideas and Facts constitute the body of the work, as much as 
the physical nature of the work. 

First: The Idea of the Whole Project Itself 
Secondly: The Facts stored by the Computer. 

Because the project is set up to cover a six year period the work should 
be in an active state during this entire six year period. 

The artist proposes that the attitude in which the industry 
R.C.A. and the artist enter into the working arrangement, is 
of prime importance. 

It is hereby proposed that the Artist serve as a consultant/supervisor to the 
project during its entire six year term. 

Secondly that the Artist and the Industry consider themselves partners of 
equal rank during the entire period. 

Moreover, the project shoiild be considered an economic venture. And not a 
charitable act on the part of the Industry. 


Mark di Suvero 

Born Shanghai, 1933 
Resident New York City 


It is hereby proposed that the Los Angeles Museum be allowed 
to use the computers free of charge and that the next two 
HusBUms to which the exhibition travels also be allowed to use 
the computers free of charge, but that subsequently to that 
whenever the CHINA 200 sculpture is exhibited a leasing fee 
shall be charged to the exhibitor. 

THE CHINA 200 sculpture shall be considered a joint partnership project 
between the artist Walter de Maria and R.C.A. 

As the Artist is often called upon to participate in group 
shows in various Museums, he will then, through his dealer 
representative be able to lease the work of art. Thus the 
Industrial concept of providing a service to society and 
retaining a just reward for that service will be added to the 
esthetic nature of the work/sculpture/situation which is inher- 
ently in the China 200 project, by virtue of the fact that it 
has been created by the Artist. 

Moreover: The Artist will be able to initiate, through his dealer, the 
sale and lease of the China 200 to individual art collectors. 

This revenue . , . sale and lease will then be shared on a 50/50 
basis between the Artist and R.C.A. corporation. 

At the termination of the project (January 1976) 

I. All rights to the China 20O project can be sold the monies then 

being divided on an equal basis between the company and the Artist 

A decision can be made between the company and the Artist to work 
on an ijnproved project: 

CHMA 22L. 

China 224 will continue the operation of China 200 but will con- 
tinue the storage of information/and the sale lease arrangements 
through to the year 2000. 

In June, 1969 Mark di Suvero arrived to tour several cor- 
porations we had previously described to him. Hal Glicks- 
man took him to International Chemical and Nuclear, a 
most unlikely place for an artist working in monumental 
steel and wood sculptures, but di Suvero had conceived of 
an incredible scheme to solve "the problem of helium 
fusion" and a fantastic proposal for constructing a floating 
city on the ocean. Hal later recalled this visit: "We did this 
funny little dance, going across the white line from the 
dirty side to the clean side of the radiation laboratory, put- 
ting on paper slippers and smocks. After going through the 
labs there really wasn't much to see." ICN's manager who 
conducted the tour and chatted with HG and di Suvero, 
was apparently startled by the artist's untidy appearance 
and flamboyant notions, and the interview was short. 
Di Suvero then toured Kaiser Steel Corporation in Fontana. 
He was enthralled with the rolling mills and fabrication 
plant with its enormous yards stocked with cranes and mas- 
sive steel-forming machinery. His enthusiasm, as well as a 
description of his project proposal, are communicated in 
the following letter to Kaiser after his return to Chicago 
some weeks later: 

After visiting your giant complex in Fontana, I have 
been filled by the extraordinary possibilities which exist 
in modern steel sculpture through your participation in 
the L.A. County Museum's Art and Technology project. 

I have spent nine years (of my dozen plus years as a 
sculptor) working steel and I feel that I could learn 
vastly and could continue my structural explorations 
(within the concept of constructivism) by working at 
your plant. 

In a recent piece of sculpture I deformed a WF beam 30° 
cold and found that it returned to its original position 
when the pressure was relieved. [1] I am interested in 
exploring the limits of 'memory' in steel (especially the 
corrosion resistant high tension steels). 



yN./&<A]U^^9<^ /V^-WiAv"tUfl jpAiL4>A-t4Aj? '\s>^^^^\jJLjl^u>^^ ^ 

Jean Dubuffet 

Born Le Havre, France 1901 
Resident Paris 


Since your opportunity for multi-sculptural experimen- 
tation is so great, I would like to share my project with 
two other artists: Voulkos and Serra. I would like to 
work six weeks on my own projects and then invite 
Voulkos and Serra to Fontana, so that the art would not 
only have a dialogue with technology but so that there 
should be an artist to artist intercourse in the middle of 
technological possibilities. For every artist, art comes 
from other artists: it is our work to reshape thought and 
form which result in (God willing) new exploration. 

The extraordinary possibilities could only exist if there 
were an unlimited supply of steel (say up to 1 ,000 tons) 
and a working crew of four to eight men. I imagine that 
the major part of the work would take place in the fabri- 
cating division, but I would like to leave open the possi- 
bilities of exploring new forms in the rolling mills and 
casting processes. 

I am very excited at the possibilities. I hope that, as a 
result of our mutual cooperation, I may be of service to 
you in suggesting new processes/new forms. 

P.S. If I am accepted, I would like to have the written 
approval of Edgar Kaiser. 

Meanwhile Richard Serra had submitted a proposal for 
work at Kaiser (independent of di Suvero's request) which 
we and the company accepted. 

Our experience with Dubuffet and American Cement began 
with visits to the French artist in his Paris studio, first by 
Irena Shapira and then by M.T. Dubuffet expressed interest 
in the program, and eventually submitted a plan for the 
construction of a twenty-six foot high tower in concrete. 
This was related to the series of sculptures called Tour aux 
Figures which he had been developing in limited scale over 
the past three years, but the tower was to be a full-size 
architectural monument, containing complicated interior 
passageways. For American Cement this represented a 
major undertaking, but the company became eager to work 
with Dubuffet after two executives flew to Paris for three 
days of discussion with the artist. Their top research engine- 
er in concrete construction. Dr. Samuel Aroni, saw 
Dubuffet, and came to regard the technical problems posed 
by the artist's proposals as pertinent and challenging to the 
company— and as a vehicle for affirming the viability and 
professional excellence of American Cement's research- 
oriented Technical Center in Riverside, California. Jay 
Rowen, Public Relations officer who accompanied Aroni, 
was similarly enthusiastic. And President James Giles, more 
than almost any other company president in A & T, was 
personally committed to the plan. Dubuffet tentatively 
agreed to come to California for two months and return 
later as necessary. The following account by Dr. Aroni 
explains what happened. 

Size and Culture 

—an Attempt that Failed 

Sitting here, surrounded by my diaries, notes, letters, 
books, etc., I am attempting to describe a failure; our fail- 
ure to work with Dubuffet, to build one of his unique edi- 
fices. And yet, for me, the experience was rewarding in 
many ways. It opened a window, an insight, into the work 
and life of a great artist. It also reinforced a belief that the 
difference between art and technology is not as great as 
some would have us believe. 

Why did we not succeed? On the surface, the answer is very 
simple. We were prepared to build an edifice twenty-seven 
feet in height, a monument without an accessible interior. 
We wanted to work at our American Cement Technical 
Center at Riverside; the edifice had thus to be transport- 
able. Our budget was sufficient for this job, but still finite. 
Dubuffet wanted to see a much larger structure built, at 
least twice the height and possibly with an interior. He 
envisaged it as a permanent edifice, not subject to transpor- 
tation limitations, large and important enough to justify his 
coming to California. As an alternative, he desired to see 
the development of a "device" to work from a small model, 
enlarge it, say ten to twenty times, and construct a full 
scale structure. Our objectives did not agree, and the 
project did not materialize. But the story does not end 
here. Influencing it to an unknown degree were cultural 



The internal strife in the American Cement Corporation 
(ACC), with all its subsequent events, is now a matter of 
public knowledge. This was emerging at the beginning of 
1969. However, as it happened, Dubuffet abandoned the 
project before it could have been affected by these 
problems. Why did ACC participate in the first place? 
Beyond the obvious public relations and publicity values, 
my knowledge on this question is incomplete. However, I 
witnessed and experienced great enthusiasm on the part of 
James P. Giles, at that time President of ACC, and on the 
part of our Technical Center staff. Dr. G.J.C. Frohnsdorff, 
at the time Manager of R. & D., Dr. K.E. Daugherty, Re- 
search Chemist, Senior R. & D. Staff, and myself, who were 
more intimately involved, and everyone else on the research 
staff, felt a sense of excitement and expectation. We had 
been busy in exploratory research, basic and applied, with 
the objective of developing a better understanding of a wide 
range of materials, organic and inorganic, in order to 
develop new and improved products. We had developed an 

environment where ideas could flourish, and where the 
interaction with a creative man of Dubuffet's stature was 
regarded as a most welcome stimulus. Our sincere hope was 
that this experience would also be stimulating and reward- 
ing to Dubuffet. 

Though the initial contacts between the Museum and ACC 
were probably made in February or March 1968, and the 
contract signed the end of May, the first I learned of Du- 
buffet was the beginning of October, 1968. I remember 
being shown the book on Dubuffet Edifices* and examin- 
ing the Tour aux Figures, an eighty foot tower with a 
designed interior [1 ] . There were strong and diverse reac- 
tions among my colleagues at ACC to Dubuffet's work. My 
first impressions, which were reinforced by later experi- 
ences, related to the great care for detail in the descriptions 
of the text, and the difficulties, from a structural point of 
view, of designing, analyzing, and faithfully reproducing 
such a complex monument. 

*Published for the 
Museum of Modern Art, 
New York, 1968. 


Six weeks passed between this first encounter and our visit 
to Paris. During this period, I met Maurice Tuchman and 
Irene Shapira. Also, we learned more of Dubuffet's thinking 
from his letters. He was concerned about the problem of 
magnification from a small model, as he noted in a letter to 
Frohnsdorff on October 26, 1968: 

The main question for me remains the finding of a prac- 
tical method for rapidly and easily enlarging any subject, 
to the extent, if possible, of ten times or twenty times. 

Consider a comb in which the teeth are movable and 
able to slide vertically in the horizontal bar perpendic- 
ular to them. The teeth are graduated. If the comb is 
applied to a relief surface, the depth can be read (and 
written down if the teeth are immobilized while their 
positions are recorded). 

, Then consider a gadget which resembles not only a comb 
but a brush (that is to say provided with numerous rows 
of teeth). These teeth being similarly mobile and similar- 
ly graduated and similarly capable of being immobilized 
while their positions are noted. 

Finally, a similar brush-like gadget but ten times as large 
(and the graduations on the teeth being ten times larger). 

It only remains to find a means so that the teeth of the 
large brush can be fixed in the same positions (at the 
same graduation marks) as the teeth in the small brush. 
We ought to be able to find an electronic process for this 
without very great difficulty. 

In the past, Dubuffet has used a pentograph to obtain mag- 
nifications of up to three times. The question of a device to 
"rapidly and easily enlarge any subject" appeared constant- 
ly during our negotiations. To undertake the development 
of such an automated device, as our main project, seemed 
to me to be a hazardous attempt. I foresaw no undue prob- 
lems, using various techniques on an ad hoc basis, to con- 
struct an edifice from a small model, during which we could 
develop some ideas and experience towards the automated 
device. Nevertheless, we spent much time, both before and 
after the visit to Paris, thinking about various ways that the 
device could be achieved. Our wild ideas ranged from elec- 
tronics to optics, and from mechanical means to holo- 
graphy. Dubuffet, in a letter to Maurice Tuchman on 
October 28, also wrote of the need for proper colors: 
I would like to point out (so that you may let American 
Cement know) that all of my projected monuments and 
structures are multi-colored; this is true whether they are 
to be made in concrete or in epoxy resin or other 

Very bright clear colors are needed so as to give an 
appearance of glazed pottery (it is necessary to avoid 
techniques which give dull or chalky colors which are 
not clear). The particular need is for a fine bright very 

startling red; also a fine snow white; and a powerful 

Of course, it is necessary for the colors to be perfectly 
resistant to ultraviolet radiation, and they should not be 
at all altered by the sun since they must be stable for 
fifty years. 

I expect to use polyurethane paints; I believe they will 
fulfill these conditions. 

I have heard that American Cement makes colored 
cements; but I am worried that these colors mixed with 
cement would be a little dull and chalky. 

In the meantime, I had a very useful meeting with Mr. John 
Hench, of the WED Enterprises. Their experience at Disney- 
land and elsewhere confirmed my estimates for the con- 
struction of the Tour aux Figures, at least eighteen months 
work and $2 million, well outside our constraints. However, 
in his letters Dubuffet exhibited flexibility. He wrote to 
Frohnsdorff on October 14, 

I already have several models of monuments and struc- 
tures which are available and ready to be produced. 
Some of these could be produced in concrete but others 
will have to be considered for possible production in 
epoxy resin or for certain parts to be of concrete and 
others of epoxy .... 

On November 16, 1968, Jay Rowen and I flew to Paris. Our 
mission was to negotiate and finalize the subject of our 
cooperative work. When we walked from our hotel to 
Dubuffet's home, on Sunday morning, it was cold and it 
started to snow. However, the warm and friendly reception 
more than made up for the weather. We met Dubuffet 
together with Girard Singer, an artist who worked with 
Dubuffet in the production of some PVC colored replicas 
using a technique similar to the making of relief maps, and 
who was supposed to join Dubuffet on his California trip, 
and also Antoine Butor, the young architect. [1] They 
were prepared for business: a translated list of key words, 
writing pads, pencils, and lots of questions. Is ACC also a 
construction company? Do you deal with plastics? Who is 
going to pay for the execution? How much will Tour aux 
Figures cost? Our answer of over $2 million did not surprise 
Dubuffet, who agreed that it was obviously too much 
to expect. We told him about ACC, and showed him various 
things that we brought with us, some synthetic colored 
aggregates that we were developing, a piece of white lime- 
stone from the Crestmore deposit. In our excitement, the 
tea that Mrs. Dubuffet prepared got cold before we settled 
down to it. One encouraging aspect of our discussions was 
Dubuffet's agreement on the difficulty of having to trans- 
port the structure. He commented, "We obviously could 
not make it very large," but also said, "What could I do In 
the U.S.A. that I cannot do here?" The second question 
surfaced many times in later discussions and correspondence. 



Before lunch we visited his studio, a large, two story house, 
with some six rooms and a small courtyard, one of a 
number of studios that Dubuffet uses in Paris. Dubuffet's 
studio is the essence of good organization and planning. 
Each model is labeled (date, name, etc.), photographed, and 
recorded: "Art is like planning a war," was Dubuffet's reply 
to my comments. Dubuffet's method of work consists of 
cutting the original from a polystyrene mass, using a hot 
wire tool. A mold is made next by applying silicone elas- 
tomer and plaster. Finally a fiberglass epoxy model is 
produced and painted with polyurethane paint. 

At lunch, Dubuffet expressed interest in seeing Disneyland. 
He said that New York City exhibited "architecture built to 
terrify people," and it became evident that Dubuffet was 
not just producing sculptures, but architecture. To affect 

the physical and visual environment, some "mass-produc- 
tion" was vital, he felt. To "design," by sculpturing a 
model, rather than drawing, was an appropriate means to 
do this. But, the question was how to reproduce and 
enlarge. And how to design and analyze structurally. I de- 
scribed to him the use of models for structural analysis, 
how we can load them and measure strains with special 
equipment, and reach conclusions relevant to the full-scale 
prototype. (Apparently some French engineers had 
expressed doubts about building the Tour aux Figures.) A 
discussion of the non-linearity of stresses with size 
followed. The technique of shotcreting was discussed, and 
Dubuffet told us excitedly about the structures at the Paris 
Zoo, "Their only mistake was having regular interiors!" 

And so, we all went to the zoo. [2, left to right: Dubuffet, 
Aroni, Girard Singer and wife] It stopped snowing, but the 


fresh fall covered everything, including the thirty-year old 

thin concrete structures. [3] Dubuffet had made his point: 
if these structures could have been built so long ago, why 
not his edifices today? My feet got wetter by the minute. 
"This is a disaster for Californian shoes," declared 
Dubuffet. On our return to his home, he offered me a pair 
of his shoes as a substitute. The fit was good, but I was too 
embarrassed to accept. 

door through which one could enter, but without any 
interior arrangement other than the necessary reinforc- 
ing elements. [4] 

We accepted this compromise of building a twenty-seven 
foot monument, without an interior. I could see ways of 
making it in parts and transportable. We were all pleased 
with the result. It was agreed to meet again next morning, 
at his studio, together with an interpreter so that many pro- 
cedural and working details could be decided. We shook 
hands, and Dubuffet suggested that we celebrate that 

The detailed discussions that took place next morning are 
worth reporting, if only to demonstrate Dubuffet's concern 
for organization and details, as well as the firmness of our 
mutual desire to proceed with the job. An American art 
student in Paris did the interpreting. Though Dubuffet 
speaks good English, and I speak some French, he wanted 
to avoid any misunderstandings. The question and answer 
session followed. Where will if finally be located (after the 
Museum exhibition)? We were not sure. How much will it 
cost? Probably $75-100 thousand. Who would own it? ACC 
will probably donate it to the Museum. Could we have two 
models to start the detailed preparations, one painted and 
one only with the black lines?** Yes, he will make the nec- 
essary arrangements. The original was going to be exhibited 
at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in about three weeks. 
He will try to make the models within this period; painting 
might take an additional month. When will he come to 
California? Probably twice, first about February 15, 1968, 

Returning to the hotel that evening. Jay and I felt very 
happy with this first day of our encounter. We had estab- 
lished a good relationship. We genuinely liked Dubuffet and 
Singer, and we felt that they liked us. So far though, we 
had not yet negotiated. 

Next day Dubuffet took us to see his enlarged version of 
Tour aux Figures, a ten foot epoxy construction. Later that 
day, we saw the shop where the pentograph enlargements 
and the casting of the epoxy models were executed. That 
evening our real negotiations began. Dubuffet and Singer, 
Jay and I, focused on the important question of what 
should be built. I emphasized the advantage of building 
something smaller first, before a truly automated reproduc- 
tion and enlargement technique would be developed. We 
were eager to build something reasonable in size, with the 
experience gained being a valuable stepping stone. I suggest- 
ed first that we just build one of the walls, as a free stand- 
ing thirty foot monument, but Dubuffet was not happy. We 
were looking through the Dubuffet Edifices publication and 
Dubuffet suggested the Tour de Chantourne. The descrip- 
tion of it in the book states in part. 

The tower could also be conceived more modestly as a 
small hollow monument, eight meters high, whose base 
of four square meters could in this case be built in 
concrete or resinous epoxy, having only one very small 

**At that stage, I thought of building it in panels to be 
assembled later. The black lines would have served as appro- 
priate locations of joints. A different concept was 
developed later. 



and stay as long as possible. In the meantime, we will devel- 
op the techniques of reproduction and construction; maybe 
experiment on arbitrary segments. We will need true poly- 
urethane paints. We will use white cement. We promised to 
make and send him some samples to test the colors. How 
long after casting can we paint? He was worried about 
changes of color with moisture. Should we paint it at all or 
use pigments? How should we paint It? Will a gun cause 
overspray? Should the white parts be painted for protection 
purposes? Will the Museum send the exhibit to Japan? 
Might it rain there? It would be interesting to have it exhib- 
ited, at the Museum, on a turning platform. We examined 
the model of Tour de Chantourne carefully and took many 
slides. It had five vivid colors: red, black, dark blue, and 
light blue, in addition to white. In typical fashion the 
model had a small inscription: "Tour II (projet de Tour 
a 8 m. pour la Faculte des Sciences) No. 65, 25 Juille't 1967. 

Dubuffet was flexible as far as making changes for the con- 
struction, such as straightening some slopes at the lower 
part of the tower, and simplifying the roof. The morning 
passed quickly, and it seemed that our mission in Paris was 
almost completed. Next day, on Wednesday, I only spoke 
to Dubuffet on the telephone. He wanted to know if our 
decision to build Tour de Chantourne could be mentioned 
in the printed material being prepared for the exhibition of 
Monumented Paintings at Galerie Jeanne Bucher in 

Returning home. Jay wrote to Dubuffet on November 26 


We have been in touch with Mr. Tuchman and Mrs. 
Shapira at the Museum, and with my company's Presi- 
dent, Mr. Giles. They are all enthusiastic at the prospect 
of building the Tour de Chantourne. Sam and I will be 
making a formal presentation of the project within the 
next few weeks and we will have final approval shortly 

The presentation to the top management of ACC took 
place on December 6, 1968, with Maurice Tuchman and 
Irena Shapira present. We described our experience in Paris, 
and Maurice spoke of the overall project, and of Dubuffet 
as an artist. Jim Giles was very enthusiastic, and no real 
opposition was expressed by any of those present. I had 
now a budget and a job to do. 

My work towards construction involved too many aspects 
and too many people to mention them all. It was signifi- 
cant, however, how catalytic the project proved in obtain- 
ing help and advice from many quarters. John Hench, of 
WED Enterprises, was very helpful in providing the accumu- 
lated experience of Disneyland in the construction of 
unusual structures. They were going to make some plaster 
models for us, from the original, to be sliced both horizon- 
tally and vertically and serve as additional tools in the 
reproduction work. Also, through their help, I found Frank 

White, an experienced lather, to serve as the backbone of a 
team of people that we prepared to be ready for the actual 
construction. The preparations went so far as preparing lists 
of required materials, and clearing the work through the 
union channels. I visited the Twentieth-Century Fox Film 
Corporation Studios, and Ivan C. Martin, their Superin- 
tendent of Construction, and others were most helpful with 
suggestions and ideas. Initially we were going to use shot- 
cretlng. The Koll Construction Company was building the 
huge log ride at Knotts Berry Farm, and we Investigated 
their experience. J. A. Moore, of the California Gunite 
Company, was interested In helping and maybe doing the 
shotcrete work. He introduced me to the Paramount 
Pictures Company people, who had some proposals on a 
process of reproduction using precast plaster forms. Finally, 
I decided that for our purposes hand plastering was more 
suitable than shotcreting. The construction concept that 
emerged involved dividing the structure into four self-con- 
tained parts, each about seven feet in height, by means of 
suitable horizontal cuts. The interior would be made of 
steel frames, which would be erected on top of each other. 
Lath, wires, and rods would be welded around each frame 
and shaped to the model requirements. The procedure of 
shape reproduction would use a special reference frame 
with a number of pointers, moving both vertically and hori- 
zontally, to enable the location of any required point. A 
scaled version of the frame would take "readings" from the 
model. Finally, hand plastering the painting would finish 
each segment. The size of the segments was still amenable 
for transportation and their erection, though requiring care 
and planning, was not seen as a difficult task. 

During our preparations, I kept Dubuffet informed of the 
progress. We sent him some pictures of the Disneyland 
Matterhorn (12/16/68), and samples of white cement with 
various additives (for example Ti02 pigment) to Increase its 
brightness (1/3/69). Ken Daugherty performed tests of 
various paint systems, and evaluated their performance up 
to two months of exposure to the environment. It is very 
significant to note that our work on trying to increase the 
brightness of white cement, led to the discovery of an addi- 
tive which not only significantly increased the brightness 
but also the strength of the material. This is at least one 
tangible dividend left with ACC from the "Art and Tech- 
nology" project. On December 9, 1968, I wrote to 

I hope this week to try out the gunite technique on an 
irregular shaped surface. We will also start to design the 
Interior steel structure and to initiate its construction. 
To finalize some dimensions. It would be necessary to 
have the unpainted model, and I would be pleased if you 
could send It to us as soon as possible. I will keep you 
fully informed of our progress. 

His secretary replied on December 14: 

Immediately after your departure, Jean Dubuffet made 
the necessary arrangements to reproduce the model of 


the Tour de Chantourne. We hope to send you the un- 
painted model on January 15, 1969. 

The model never arrived. In its place, black clouds started 
gathering over the project. On December 22, 1968, 
Dubuffet wrote to me. 

It was agreed during your visit to Paris that after your re- 
turn to Los Angeles, you will consider the construction 
of the Tour de Chantourne to a height of fifteen meters 
(fifty feet) and will confirm it in writing. I wonder why I 
have not received any confirmation. Has your manage- 
ment considered this project and are they prepared to 
approve it? 

I persist to regret that we excluded the construction of 
Tour aux Figures to a height of twenty-four meters 
(eighty feet) and with its interior (according to the 
model Gastrovolve). This would have been, without a 
doubt, much more impressive than the Tour de Chan- 
tourne to a height of fifteen meters and without an 

He proceeded to indicate that a French contractor, together 
with a qualified engineer, estimated the construction of the 
Tour auK Figures to be only $600 thousand and not the $2 
million I mentioned. When the letter arrived, I was home, 
sick with the flu, and my secretary read it to me over the 
telephone. I made her repeat the first paragraph. Had we 
agreed on a height of fifty feet? Our recollection, assump- 
tion, written notes all said eight meters (twenty-seven feet). 
Could we have been wrong? Or had Dubuffet changed his 
mind? Why? 

The same day, Irena Shapira received a long letter from 
Dubuffet, dated December 20, 1968 (two days earlier than 
mine). Its contents were similar to mine, also emphasizing 
the fifteen meter height, except the first paragraph, which 

I have now the translation of the contract for the 
project. I find that the role played by the 'artist' in this 
contract is neglected in comparison with that of the 
'patron.' It would be good if on his part the 'patron' had 
some responsibility, as against the gift made by the 
'artist' of his creation and his work. 

His pride was hurt, and, in retrospect, I realize that we did 
not respond adequately. 

Three letters went out without much delay. One from Jim 

Giles, dated January 2, 1969: 

I am very pleased to inform you that American Cement 
Corporation has made the following commitments to the 
Los Angeles County Museum for their project. Art & 

1 . To construct the Tour de Chantourne to a height of 
eight meters as shown in the publication, Dubuffet 

Edifices. The structure will be built at our Technical 
Center in Riverside, California, and will be transport- 
able for purposes of exhibition at the Los Angeles 


2. To undertake, as part of a continuing relationship 
with you, preliminary stress and engineering studies 
of Le Gastrovolve. We hope that these studies will 
lead to the eventual realization of the Tour aux 
Figures through the combined efforts of a half dozen 
or more large corporations. Mr. Tuchman is Investi- 
gating that possibility. 

3. To make available to you all of the varied facilities, 
materials, and techniques of our research and techni- 
cal center for the further pursuit of your interests in 
design and structure. 

We are all looking forward to your arrival, and to work- 
ing with you. 

Our undertaking to study the large structure, for its eventu- 
al realization, as well as the third commitment, were new 
undertakings in an effort to please Dubuffet. On the same 
date, I wrote to Dubuffet, 

I am very sorry that you have not received yet our offi- 
cial confirmation. This is now being written by our Presi- 
dent, Mr. J. Giles, and you should receive it at the same 
time as this letter arrives. With great enthusiasm, we have 
decided to proceed along the lines discussed in Paris and 
construct the Tour de Chantourne as a monument, eight 
meters high, as conceived in your book on edifices. It 
will probably be made in four parts, each of about two 
meters high so that it can be transported from Riverside 
to the Museum in Los Angeles, for their exhibition. 
There will be no interior arrangement other than the 
necessary supporting frame. 

Also, as we mentioned in Paris, we are very eager, if you 
so desire, to proceed during your visit with our experi- 
mental stress analysis of the Gastrovolve model. This 
could serve as the basis for its structural design. In dis- 
cussions with Mr. Tuchman and Mrs. Shapira, the possi- 
bility was also mentioned of investigating the collabora- 
tion of a number of firms towards the possible eventual 
construction of the Tours aux Figures. During your visit 
here, Mr. Tuchman will take the initiative in this direc- 
tion, and I believe that the execution of the Tour de 
Chantourne will act as a significant stimulus towards this 

Everyone at the Technical Center is eager for the oppor- 
tunity of working with you. We believe sincerely that 
you will find in Riverside a very stimulating and helpful 
environment and we are eager to enable you to execute 
any other small works for yourself that you may desire 
to do during your stay. 



The arrangements for the work on the Tour de 
Chantourne have been progressing well. I am now organ- 
izing the group of people who will perform the actual 
construction. We are also looking into the details of the 
reproduction and construction techniques. We are start- 
ing to design the interior steel frames. I am very glad of 
your progress in making the epoxy models. We will need 
the unpainted model as soon as you can send it to us, 
hopefully by air mail. The painted models can arrive 
later. I hope to send you, during the next week, samples 
of white materials. The final decision on the material 
and paints can wait for later, however. 

Again on January 2, 1969, Irena Shapira wrote explaining 
the U.S. practice of signing contracts; the fact that ACC 
had also signed a contract with the Museum (a copy was en- 
closed); that the contract was intended to protect the artist 
and to enable the Museum to make payments during the 
artist's sojourn here; that the Museum was, after all, a state 
organization. But, she wrote, "If you want to make 
changes, to eliminate or to amend, please make them and 
let me know." Though fair and reasonable enough, this was 
apparently not an adequate solution. 

Dubuffet's reply to this series of letters was written January 

9 to Irena Shapira: 

Thank you for your letter of January 2, 1969. I have not 
had the necessary time to examine the contract proposal 
with a specialist. I intend to do it, but have been con- 
stantly very busy with my work and have not had the 
leisure to proceed with studies of this kind. 

I should tell you that I am somewhat troubled by the 
nomenclature of 'patron sponsor,' given to the corpora- 
tion benefiting from my collaboration, and also by the 
spirit in which this document was drafted, implying that 
in this relationship I am generously given a return, econ- 
omy class, ticket to Los Angeles with a small salary for 
the journey, corresponding to the cost of my cigarettes, 
for the effective working days which I spend there, and I 
am in a position of being obliged to you. I don't feel this 
way and I don't think that it reflects the true situation. 

I have received from the President of American Cement 
a letter proposing the construction of the Tour de 
Chantourne, not to the height of fifteen meters, which 
was decided with Mr. Aroni and Mr. Rowen during their 
visit to Paris, but to a height of only eight meters. Such a 
realization does not seem very interesting. 

If it is necessary to make an object which is transport- 
able, and which has dimensions not exceeding the height 
of eight meters, it seems that it should be made of epoxy 
and not of concrete. There is no sense in making it of 

I do not like a clause of the proposed contract which 
stipulates that the objects realized could be disposed as 
desired. I want, if I make a present, that it should be 
honored as such. 

The proposed contract stipulates that, in the case that 
other works are executed they will belong to me. But as 
there is no commitment stipulated concerning these 
eventual other realizations, this clause seems to be a pure 
formality and to be void of practical importance. 

And to me he wrote a similar letter: 

In your last letter you speak of the construction of my 
Tour de Chantourne to a height of eight meters, without 
referring to the height of fifteen meters which was 
agreed during your stay in Paris. I have also received a 
letter from the President of American Cement Corpora- 
tion in which he also mentions the same height of eight 
meters .... 

You don't mention at all the project of the device of 
enlargement, allowing the immediate enlargement, with 
ease and rapidity, of any model. Have you given up the 
development of such a machine? It is very important if it 
could be done. 

At this stage, the fact that Dubuffet changed his mind 
about our agreement in Paris, for whatever reason, became 
evident. In the catalogue of Piston la Filoche, published by 
the Galerie Jeanne Bucher, for his exhibition of Monumen- 
ted Paintings in December, 1968, the following statement 
appears: "The American Cement Technical Center in Los 
Angeles is presently studying the construction of the Tour 
de Chantourne in the form of a twenty-six foot high hollow 
monument of painted cement, before attempting more 
ambitious projects." The only source for the "twenty-six 
foot" height, so far as I know, would have been Dubuffet. 
Therefore, it becomes clear that Dubuffet had understood 
the height to be twenty-six feet when we left him in Paris. 

J. F. Jaeger, Director of Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Dubuffet's 
agent, wrote in a long letter to Irena on January 21, 

The difficulties connected with Dubuffet's proposed trip 
to Los Angeles, and the execution of an 'Edifice,' arise 
essentially from a poor conception of the basis of the 
project. Your contract sets up on one hand the artist, 
and on the other the patron, creating thus a duality, a 
hierarchy which appears false .... 

Dubuffet does not need for his existence, or his crea- 
tions, a 'patron' of any kind .... In the spirit of the 
contract sent to Jean Dubuffet, I do not think there is 
much chance for agreement .... If you want to work 
with Dubuffet .... [you] need to abandon definitely 
the notion of patron. 


Even before we received Jaeger's letter, I reached the con- 
clusion that the only way the project could be salvaged 
would be for Irena and me to go innmediately to Paris, and, 
with the consent of the Museum, to drop the contact com- 
pletely. I hoped we could repair the damage to Dubuffet's 
ego, and also make an agreement on the execution of a 
reasonable structure. Jim Giles approved the idea, but the 
Museum thought that a letter should be tried first. My 
letter, however, could not very well address itself to the 
question of the contract, since this was only mentioned in 
his correspondence with the Museum. And so, on January 
23, I wrote. 

In summary, to keep within the limitations of transport- 
ability and budget, we would like to excute for the 
Museum the Tour de Chantourne in concrete, to a height 
of eight meters. However, in addition to this work, we 
will budget a specific sum of money towards the execu- 
tion of additional smaller works or studies. These would 
belong to you and would be done fully according to 
your desires. I sincerely feel that you will find it very 
useful to have access to the services of a strong inter- 
disciplinary group of highly qualified and experienced 
people, and the facilities of our Technical Center at 

There are many possibilities for the additional smaller 
projects. The possibilities include the execution of a 
small concrete sculpture using the plaster gun technique, 
the study and the production of complete engineering 
drawings for a reinforced concrete design for the La 
Gastrovolve, the study and some construction towards 
the enlargement device, an execution in epoxy or a com- 
bination of epoxy and concrete, or any other suggestion 
that you might have. Mrs. Shapira and I are prepared to 
come to Paris to discuss with you the details of our joint 

Dubuffet's reply, addressed to Maurice, and dated February 

6, sounded final: 

I regret that I must abandon the project of my participa- 
tion in the operation, 'Art and Technology.' On one 
hand I am displeased with the contract you sent me; on 
the other, the realization of my Tour de Chantourne, in 
concrete, to a height of eight meters, without an 
interior, and in a form that the monument is demount- 
able and transportable, does not hold much interest. 

As a desperate move, after some meetings, Irena wrote to 
Dubuffet on February 11, 1969, inviting him to come to 
Los Angeles for face to face discussions. A return air ticket 
was enclosed, and the statement made that, "In your par- 
ticular case, the Museum decided to omit the need for a 
contract." Dubuffet answered her on January 18: 

Thank you for your kind letter and for the ticket. But I 
hesitate to undertake a trip which might be useless. I 
speak very bad English. I don't express myself easily, 
and I don't understand it well. Besides I am not a tech- 

nician. Then all my models are in Paris. There will be 
nothing to talk about in a concrete manner .... 

I think that an elegant situation of the project would be 
that the monument which will be realized should be 
given to the Museum as a donation and secured to 
remain for the future in the Museum's collection (the 
donors will always keep a right to the eventual further 
displacement of the work). The donor should be on the 
one hand myself and on the other the construction 
corporation. I want to be a donor, which in fact will be 
according to reality and as such just opposite to the 
wording of the contract you have sent me and in which 
the author of the monument, strangely enough, was 
considered as receiving a gift. 

In addition, he explained to me in a letter dated January 


I hope that we will have, in the near future, another 
occasion for collaboration. 

I don't find very sound the arrangement in which your 
company pays the cost of the realization. I prefer a 
sounder and cleaner way, in which I myself pay for the 
costs of studies and construction. In this way I am not a 
receiver of generosity, and feel much more comfortable. 

It is possible, I hope, that in the near future I will re- 
establish contact with you, with a view of working in a 
better way. 
This represented almost the end of my relation with the 
project. And so ends the story of a failure. It is a question, I 
presume, of personal judgment as to which was the more 
valid reason for our failure: size or culture; an artist's pride 
or the cost of technology. There is a moral hidden some- 
where here. 

Samuel Aroni, Professor 

School of Architecture and Urban Planning 

University of California, Los Angeles 

Later, in evaluating American Cement's efforts to realize 
Dubuffet's monument, James Giles commented on the 
reaction of ACC's management to the whole affair. Accord- 
ing to him the research program at the Riverside Technical 
Center had been underway for two years, but was still on 
an experimental basis at the time of ACC's agreement to 
participate in A & T. Giles himself considered Dubuffet's 
proposal as an excellent opportunity for the research staff 
with potential advantage for the company, but this feeling 
was not shared by other top executives. The Dubuffet 
project actually became a symbolic issue raised by 
opponents of Giles in the corporate structure in the mana- 
gerial upheaval which occurred early in 1969. A & T was 
cited as an example of the kind of research policy Giles was 
pursuing and which was to lead to his dismissal. 

Jean Dupuy 

Born Moulins (Alliers), France, 1925 
Resident New York City 


During Jane Livingston's April '69 IMew York trip, several 
people suggested that she make a point of seeing Jean 
Dupuy; it was finally at Tony Smith's suggestion that she 
visited him. We knew of Dupuy at that time only through 
his participation in the Museum of Modern Art's Machine 
Show exhibition, in which he was represented by a work 
called Heart Beats Dust. JL saw Heart Beats Dust during her 
April visit to the artist's studio in the Bowery. According to 
Dupuy's description, this work consists of "a two-foot cube 
of glass in which a pile of dust— powdered pigment— rests on 
a rubber membrane. The machine includes coaxial speaker, 
a tape recording of heartbeats, or an electronic stethoscope 
so one can hear one's own heart, with various shutters and 
lenses. Moved by the vibrations produced by the heartbeats, 
the dust shapes and reshapes itself into strange formations, 
while a certain amount rises in suspension and is illumina- 
ted by a beam of light so that a pyramid of dust is 
defined." JL learned that Dupuy would be free and eager to 
work on a project for A & T if something could be arranged 
with a suitable corporation. 

In June, Dupuy sent us a number cf proposals for art works, 
which we forwarded to the Ampex Corporation for consid- 
eration; we requested Ampex's Dr. Charles Spitzer, with 
whom we had dealt for several months in trying to arrange 
a collaboration, to advise us regarding their interest in 
having Dupuy tour Ampex. 

We were aware that not all of the proposals were appropri- 
ate to Ampex in terms of their technological capability, but 
hoped that one might interest them. The proposals are as 

Project: SPARKS 

Words spoken into a microphone are converted into 

electrical impulses, then amplified to a voltage strong 

enough to generate sparks upon a metal plaque (bursts 

variable according to the phonetic properties of the 


Technology: based upon the same principle as the color 
organ or the phonetic typewriter (I.B.M.) which will 
transcribe spoken words directly. 


1. A labyrinth (realization simple, of lightweight, 
honeycomb cardboard; noise of electronic feedback 
within) which will lead to the chamber. 

2. A room isolated from all sound, for one person at a 

Put in this condition, totally isolated from all exterior 
noises, one can hear the physiological functions of the 
body (sound of heart, lungs, blood circulation, etc.). 

An airplane flying at supersonic speed creates a cone of 
vibrations which begins from the nose of the plane and 
extends backwards in ever-enlarging diameter. At the 
moment when the cone touches the ground, it provokes 
the well-known boom by the intense accumulation of 
these vibrations. 

Problem: How possibly to make this cone apparent? 


1 . A word is spoken into a microphone: Apple. 

2. Apple is repeated by an echo chamber— A. P. P. P. P. P. P. 

3. An audio-electronic system transforms the sound 
repeated by the echo into ultra-sonic sound. 

4. Two ultra-sonic beams, projected by magneto-stric- 
tion rods into a transparent sphere, diameter 4', meet 
at a certain point. 

5. At this point, an apple is placed. It bursts. 


Section 1: microphone 

10 watt amplifier 
reverberation circuitry* 

Section 2: audio to 

5-kw amplifier at 30 kHz 

3 magneto-striction transducers* 

fixtures to mount and focus transducers* 

Section 3: construction time for starred (*) items above 



The purpose of the technological phase of this project is: 

1. Provide controlled reverberation of the spoken 

2. Supply by transduction and gain, ultrasonic 
energy sufficient to shatter a spherical object, such 
as an apple, 

3. Devise and construct the instrumentation and 
apparatus to carry out 1 and 2. 

The subsequent description of the Project will be divided 
into sections corresponding to the above division. 

The action will be initiated by a spoken word or phrase. 
This will be picked up by a microphone, amplified, and 
supplied to a loudspeaker. By conventional controlled 
reverberation circuitry, a portion of this will be fed back 


to the input and the spectator (participant) will hear a 
gradually diminishing repetition of the input sound. 

Since inadequate energy is available in the audible 
portion of the spectrum, it will be necessary to trans- 
form the input into some other energy form to accom- 
plish the desired effect. It has been decided to use ultra- 
sonic devices. A portion of the audible output in 1 is 
heterodyned to provide an ultrasonic input. This is 
amplified to a level of several kilowatts and applied to 
two or three magnetostriction transducers. These will be 
aimed and focused on the apple. By adjusting the level 
of the input, and setting the time interval, the precise 
time after the word or phrase is uttered at which the 
apple is shattered can be determined. It is proposed that 
the transducers be located several inches away from the 
apple, but subsequent considerations may require 

The following apparatus will be required: 
Section 1 : microphone 

10-watt amplifier 


reverberation cicuitry* 

Section 2; audio-to-ultrasonic converter 
5-kw amplifier at 30kHz 
3 magnetostriction transducers* 
fixtures to mount and focus transducers* 

Section 3: construction time for starred (*) items above 

Shortly after these proposals were sent, Dupuy sent us an 
elaborated version of Sparks. [1] We felt this proposal to 
be the most likely possibility for Ampex, and thus sent it 
on with the following letter to the company president from 
Hal Glicksman: 
Dear Mr. Roberts, 

Ampex has shown interest in our Art and Technology 
project from Its germinal phase in late 1967, and still no 
artist is at work in your company. After numerous 
artists have toured and submitted proposals, the choice 
has devolved upon a project by French artist, Jean 
Dupuy, called Sparks. Dupuy was one of six winners in 
a competition for artists and engineers who were in- 
cluded in the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition, 'The 
Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age.' This 
exhibition is currently on view at San Francisco Museum 
of Art. 

Dr. Spitzer has seen the project and is concerned that a 
skilled electronics technician will have to work for 214 
months to complete the project. He has asked us to 
make a formal request to your office for this time. A 

technician's time is precisely the resource that any artist 
would most need while working at Ampex. 

If you could satisfy Dr. Spitzer's concern that his own 
department would not have to carry the task through 
unaided, we would be very grateful. 

Ampex's respomse to HG's letter, written by Executive Vice- 
President Arthur H. Hausman, was negative: 
Dear Mr. Glicksman: 

Mr. William E. Roberts has forwarded to me your letter 
of 24 June 1969. I have reviewed this matter with Dr. 
Charles Spitzer, and discussed it with Mr. Roberts. It 
appears, from all the information which I have been able 
to gather that Mr. Dupuy has made a number of 
proposals which, while certainly interesting, places us in 
the somewhat embarrassing position of essentially con- 
structing for him that which he, as the artist, in my judg- 
ment should be more responsible for creating. From dis- 
cussion with Dr. Spitzer, some of the artists who toured 
Ampex appear to fit into the category reflected by Mr. 
Dupuy's proposals— i.e., they have an idea but they 
essentially want Ampex to do the bulk of the work in 
creating the art form, while other artists who have 
toured Ampex have left the impression that if they were 
to work in our company they would, in fact, be much 
more involved in the creative work itself than has been 
indicated by Mr. Dupuy. 

Accordingly, I would suggest that since the success of 
this program depends upon a mutual understanding and 
a good rapport between the sponsors, the artist, and the 
company, that you seek to find another artist satisfac- 
tory to you, but with whom we believe we will find a 
better relationship than is indicated in he case of Mr. 

Dupuy's proposals were not sent to other corporations— by 
this time most of those companies which could have imple- 
mented his works were either matched with other artists or 
had proved uncooperative. We relegated his file, with 
numerous others, to pending status. 

In September, the Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, 
Indiana, having heard about A & T through the news media, 
telephoned the Museum to inquire about the program and 
perhaps offer their participation. We sent a packet of litera- 
ture, with the brochure describing the terms of corporation 
participation, to Cummins' Public Relations representative 
Dan Graves. Graves telephoned within a few days to express 
Cummins' interest in becoming a Patron Sponsor; contracts 
were sent from the Museum. We began to think seriously 
about artists whom we felt might work with diesel engines. 
It was a problem requiring imagination. Through Dan 
Graves, whom JL spoke to on several occasions between 
mid-November, when the contract was finally signed and 



£&OJECT : 


Jean Dupuy 

Words spoken into a microphone are converted into electrical impulses, then a mp 1 i f i ed 
to a voltage strong enough to generate sparks upon a metal plaque (bursts variable 
according to the phonetic properties of the words ) . 

Technology : Based upon the same principle as the color organ or the phonetic type- 
writer (I.B.M.) which will transcribe spoken words directly. Specific information 
results from conversation with Mr. Cecil Coker, Bell Labs, Summit, New Jersey. 


Speech Recognition Ideas 
A. Pitch Detector 


F«fa. (?es«)wse 

iPiZ/y\)'Po^ PRO- 

Vowel-Sensitive Circuits 

(Vowels are identified by resonances of the mouth - circuits can be 
built to select usually one resonance per circuit - a frequency meter 
system like the pitch detector can determine frequency of that resonance.) 

3 cx>» looo Vvv. 









Same as 

-> A60VE 

C. Voiced - Voiceless Decision (Differentiation of Consonants) 

tow- reiQoiMCT 


D. Narrow Band Filters (say 300 hz. wide) centered at various frequencies 
(300-500, 500-800, 1500-1800, etc.) 


Spark Generation 

A. Tesla Coil -- Corona Discharge (especially corona discharge loudspeakers 
used in micorphone calibration) . 

B. Modulation of an Arc Welder 

1. A-C Arc Welder with silicon controlled rectifiers (doubtful) . 

2. Modify the control circuits of a D-C arc welder; rapid on-off 
switching of welding machine controlled by SCR (silicon-cont. rect.) 

Participation of public: i^ Properties of the spoken word (pitch, vowel- or consonant: 
structure) translated into varying bursts of sparks. 

2. Possible manipulation of stylus which will provoke sparks. 


returned, and January, we were pressed to consider a 
number of artists favored by Cummins' President, J. Irwin 
Miller, himself a collector of art and energetic promoter of 
corporation support of the arts. (The town of Columbus is 
famous for its many public and private buildings designed 
by eminent modern architects; Miller has been chiefly, if 
not solely, responsible for this.) The artists mentioned re- 
peatedly as being foremost on Cummins' list of preferences 
were Vasarely, Warhol and Lichtenstein. The two latter 
were of course already matched to corporations under Art 
and Technology; Vasarely had been involved early in the 
project with a proposal studied by several companies, but 
was no longer under consideration. Aside from these 
factors, however, it was for obvious reasons not easy for us 
to envision any of these artists as likely candidates for 
Cummins. The artist who did come to mind as a possibility 
was Jean Dupuy. In late October, we had received a new 
proposal from Dupuy, via his friend Irene Winter in New 

Project: THE AUTO 

In a large space (hall), very dimly lit, an automobile- 
situated in the center of the room and slightly raised 
(the wheels in space). At the steering wheel, a driver. 
This latter will start the motor and will utilize alternate- 
ly or simultaneously different energies of the vehicle 
which will in turn make 'sculptures' appear in different 
parts of the hall, related to the four natural elements. 

Burned gas leaving the exhaust pipe will be conducted 
by an air-tight tube into a closed space, transparent on 
three sides and having an evacuation chimney. Within 
this space the vapors of the gas will be made visible by a 
luminous process (to be specified). 

From the rim of one of the two hind wheels a transmis- 
sion band is relayed to the hub of another wheel equip- 
ped with a tire and placed perpendicular to a metal 
plaque in such a way as to create friction between the 
two. The point of a nail, fixed inside, extends from the 
wheel. The contact of metal plaque and nail on the 
plaque and an explosion of sparks each time the brake is 


In a closed and transparent space, some kind of powder 
or dust made from earth will rest on a membrane of 
rubber stretched over a speaker. The vibrations of the 
motor, amplified by the acceleration and transmitted to 
the speaker by a simple electronic system, of which the 
volume will be controlled by the rotation of the steering 
wheel, will set the powder in motion— visible only in the 
beam of the two headlights which will thus create two 
horizontal cones of dust. 

Perhaps utilize either the water from the windshield- 
wiper system or the water of the radiator (to be 

We contacted Dupuy in New York to mention the availabil- 
ity of Cummins. Dupuy and Miss Winter traveled to Colum- 
bus in January, toured the plant, met with Mr. Miller, and 
returned to New York feeling enthusiastic about the pros- 
pect of a collaboration. Dupuy said of his first 
meeting with J. Irwin Miller, "I described the engine project 
to him, and he understood it immediately. He is a charming 
man— shy, after all, like me. Very quick and intelligent. I 
made him a little drawing, and he said, 'O.K.' Just like that. 
'Beautiful.' " It was decided that Dupuy would move to 
Columbus on March 1 and expect to reside there for three 

After this initial visit to Cummins, Dupuy wrote up his pro- 
posal, which he called Fewafuel (1970): 

A Cummins diesel engine will be shown in working con- 
dition. The public participates by sitting in a driver's seat 
and operating certain controls, such as pedal and clutch. 
The four natural elements: FIRE, EARTH, WATER, 
AIR, which, either as sources of energy or as wastes, are 
part of the functioning engine, will be made visible with 
minimal elaboration. 

1 . To respect the form of the engine. 

2. To indicate the basis in Nature of the engine's 

3. To sense the power of the engine by sound. 

Clearly this conception derives from the Auto proposal 
which preceded it, and which Dupuy had actually presented 
to Renault in Paris, but which was considered too ambi- 
tious in scope for Renault to execute at that time. 

Dupuy worked steadily at Cummins from March 1 through 
the end of May. He was received with extraordinary solici- 
tousness by the Cummins personnel. The first person 
Dupuy was put in contact with was a Swiss engineer, Willy 
Henny, the head of one of Cummins' engine divisions. 
Henny was to work closely with the artist during the entire 
development of the project. On the first day they met, 
according to Dupuy, 

We spent the entire day talking. This man, who is abso- 
lutely remote from the art world, understood very well 
what I wanted. He was interested in a specific problem I 
presented, which was to make a window in the engine 
showing the combustion chamber while the engine was 
working. This represented a difficult technical problem 
to be resolved .... I didn't know whether we could 
show the fire. I thought it might be impossible. I knew 
that there is no fire in an engine, except in the exhaust 



part of a gasoline engine— but not in a diesel engine. So I 
thought the smol<e would have to represent the fire, and 
the earth would be the carbon monoxide residue. 

Henny was able to resolve this problem; in the completed 
engine, each element envisioned by Dupuy is displayed 

Cummins organized the Dupuy project to proceed like 
clockwork. Besides Henny, two other engineers worked 
daily on the development of the engine, and toward the end 
of the collaboration, three shop workers were involved on a 
full-time basis. The following memorandum, one of many, 
conveys some idea of the magnitude of the operation, and 
its logistical complexity: 

Status Report-V-470 Engine 
For Art Exhibit 

The program is currently running slightly ahead of 
schedule. It is understood that a commitment has been 
made to representatives of the Los Angeles Art Museum 
who wish the 'package' early in May and the schedule 
of March 17, 1970, has been determined to accomplish 


Following is the status of items on the March 17 

Item 1— Assemble and mount engine and radiator- 

Item 2— Water flow tests— complete 

Item 3— Evaluate one bank operation— complete 

Item 4— Evaluate quartz crystal in cylinder head— Parts 
are in machine shop. This phase will be com- 
pleted when unit is assembled. Expected com- 
pletion date-5-15-70. 

Item 5— Mount complete unit— Expected completion 

Item 6— Operate on test cycle— Planned completion 

Item 7— Update unit and prepare for shipment— Expec- 
ted completion date— 6-5-70. 

Item 8— Obtain or fabricate sub-base— Complete. 

Item 9— Design and obtain cylinder head insert— Ex- 
pected completion date— 4-27-70. 

Item 10— Obtain fuel tank, batteries, and controls. Fuel 
tank, battery eliminator, and electrical controls 
are on order. The throttle control will be 
developed when the unit is built. 

Item 1 1— Design and obtain exhaust viewing chamber- 
Chamber has been obtained. Mounting parts 
are designed and a price is awaited from a local 
shop. Expected completion date— 5-1-70. 

Material for the exhaust system in the component area is 
held up because of labor problems in the trucking 
Industry. If material is not received this week substitute 
material will be used so that the system is operable by 
May 1,1970. 

In early May, Jane Livingston stopped in Columbus for two 
days en route between New York and Los Angeles, and saw 
the Fewafuel's maiden voyage. The black painted engine 
was not yet completed, missing still the inverted bell jar 
which would collect carbon debris and thus represent the 
"Earth" element, and the window which would provide a 
glimpse of the fuel in combustion, thus "Fire"; but the 
other two elements— water, gushing through a section of 
glass piping; and air— being the fan system— were in evi- 
dence. Perhaps most conspicuous was the element of sound, 
which was overpowering. The only device finally incorpora- 
ted to allow spectator participation was a throttle with 
which one could speed up or slow the rate of engine turn- 


Dupuy's final statement, or description, of the work, is 
essentially a simplified version of his earlier proposals: 

A diesel engine will be shown in working condition. The 
four natural elements: FIRE, EARTH, WATER, AIR, 
which (either as sources of energy or as wastes) are part 
of the functioning engine, will be made visible with 
minimal elaboration. 

The public will participate by sitting in a driver's seat 
and operating a throttle. 

In several respects, the Dupuy /Cummins collaboration was 
singular in the context of A & T. Dupuy, unlike many of 
the other artists, lived and worked in the corporation for 
three months, without interruption, and he made a distinct 
impact, not only on the corporation but on the community 
of Columbus by his presence there. 

During the first two weeks of Dupuy's residence in Colum- 
bus, Cummins rebuilt his Heart Beats Dust piece, and ar- 
ranged for it to be shown publicly in a local high school 
auditorium. The artist also presented two other works, one 
involving projected slides, the other fWm— Paris-Bordeaux 
and Central Park, both made in 1969. These presentations 
were received with lively interest by the community. 
Dupuy said later, 

For the first time, I was working on an art project which 
involved a whole town .... I met a great many people 
who asked, 'What is your project? What are you doing 
with an engine?' These people were waiting for the re- 
sults. I showed Heart Beats Dust and two other works in 
local high schools. This town was really involved in a 
piece of art . . . for the first time. That was terrific— 
because for me art is quite dead. The art world is so 

small, actually, that society generally is not concerned 
.... It was for me a new relationship between art— my 
art— and society. 

It was difficult for me sometimes. The second day I was 
there, I was arrested by the police, when I was walking 
at night. I suppose it was because of my long hair, etc. 
But I wanted to be visible, not invisible, precisely for the 
reason that I am an artist, and I want to push people in 
the direction of art. These people, you see, are so far 
from my own philosophy, if I have one .... But finally 
it worked. By the end, the people were receptive. Just 
before I left, I presented my Paris-Bordeaux work in a 
high school gymnasium, and it was a success. 

The collaboration between Dupuy and Cummins resulted in 
what is certainly the most literal esthetic embodiment of a 
particular industrial product or technology produced under 
A & T. Rather than using a specialized process, or combina- 
tion of techniques, as means to an essentially nonmimetic 
esthetic end, Dupuy chose simply to work with a functional 
machine, allowing it to remain essentially integral. He said. 
My intention has been to escape an esthetic point of 
view— thus I show the engine as it is ... . The engine has 
a certain reality. The car or the truck is probably the 
most usual object of our time. The engine is also prob- 
ably the primary image of the capitalist economy .... 
[But] to show the engine is to show nature, not just 
technology .... It is the humanization of a technologi- 
cal thing. I destroyed the function of the engine, and 
transformed the fuel, taken from the earth, into earth 
again. Earth to earth— that's too Biblical— but that's what 
I did. 

Jane Livingston 

Frederick Eversley 

Born Brooklyn, New York, 1941 
Resident Los Angeles 


In July, 1969, we invited Frederick Eversley, a Los Angeles 
sculptor and former electronics engineer, to visit Ampex 
Corporation. Eversley, accompanied by Hal Glicksman, 
went to the Redwood City facility where he met Dr. 
Charles Spitzer, and toured the optics laboratory. In 
addition to showing the artist their various laser research 
displays, Spitzer introduced Eversley to liquid crystals. 
Ampex uses neumatic liquid crystals, which are voltage 
sensitive, in their computer memory systems. Spitzer also 
described cholesteric crystals, which have the property of 
reflecting light at different wavelengths according to the 
temperature of the surface material. The crystals assume 
different hues— from pearlescent reds to deep blues— as the 
temperature shifts. They discussed the possibility of 
employing cholesteric liquid crystals as an artistic medium. 

After this visit, Eversley researched the area of liquid 
crystals on his own, and in August presented us with a 
project proposal, excerpts of which follow: 

. . . The specific hue is dependent upon the temperature 
within the range with a red hue appearance at the lowest 
range temperature and, progressing through the visible 
spectrum with increasing temperature, to a violet hue 
appearance at the highest range temperature. Below and 
above the specified temperature range the liquid crystals 
appear colorless. The liquid crystals are completely 
reversible in their temperature-color behavior and have a 
thermal response of less than one second. The above 
described properties of cholestic liquid crystals suggest 
their use as a display medium on which multi-color 
images may be constructed by controlling the instantan- 
eous temperature of each selected element of liquid 
crystal area on the display surface. This proposal defines 
a project which utilizes cholestic liquid crystals as a 
display medium and a programmed heat source to create 
images on the display medium. 

Project Description: The project will consist of perform- 
ing the necessary R&D, design, construction and image 
programming of a large scale multi-color environment 
using liquid crystal compounds as the display medium 
and program controlled directional heat sources. The 
environment may take the shape of a flat panel, curved 
panel, circular enclosure, hemispherical dome or a 
section of a hemispherical dome. 

The environment will utilize a structural material (wood, 
metal, glass, plastic, etc.) as the supporting substrate to 
which the liquid crystal display medium will be applied. 
The substrate material may either be opaque such as 
wood or metal or translucent/transparent such as glass or 
plastic. If use of a translucent or transparent substrate 
proves feasible, it will provide a double color effect with 
the color images on one side being reflected light in 
nature in a manner analogous to a painting and the color 
images on the opposite side being transmitted light in 
nature in a manner analogous to a color transparency. 

The program controlled heat source may be a laser or a 
collimated beam of infrared incandescent light. The 
multi-color images will be written onto the liquid crystal 
display medium by sweeping the surface of the display 
medium with the heat beam from the program control- 
led heat source. Optical-mechanical methods are en- 
visioned to accomplish the horizontal/vertical heat beam 
sweep in a manner analogous to the horizontal/vertical 
sweeping of an electron beam in CRT devices. The multi- 
color image will be constructed by instantaneous modu- 
lation (varying the intensity) of the heat source, under 
program control, during the horizontal/vertical sweep 
process. The optical-mechanical sweeping mechanism 
and the intensity of the heat source will be controlled by 
a tape recorded program. A thermal feedback system 
will be employed, if necessary, to compensate for 
changes in the ambient temperature surrounding the 

The location of the heat source and associated sweep 
optics may be arranged to permit a limited degree of 
spectator interference with the sweeping heat beam. This 
interference will result in the thermal shadows, of 
varying hues on the programmed images on the display 
medium surface. These shadows will result in human 
forms in varying hues to be mixed with the pre-program- 
med images appearing on the display surface, and in 
greater active participation of the spectators with the 
environment. The hues of the various parts of the human 
shadow form or forms will depend upon their relative 
speed of movement and their size and shape will depend 
upon their distance from the heat source. 

Ampex agreed to proceed with the project. Over the next 
few months Eversley continued his research, reading virtual- 
ly all trade literature on liquid crystals— their properties, 
durability and methods of application. He conducted exper- 
iments in his studio to test various surfaces and techniques 
of spraying the material. He elected to work this way, inde- 
pendently, before spending an extended period of residence 
at Ampex. Throughout this time he maintained contact 
with Spitzer. 

As this catalog is being prepared, Eversley's project is still in 
the research stage. He now wants a three-dimensional 
matrix of translucent liquid crystal imagery. The crystals 
would be sprayed onto thin layers of plastic or possibly 
sheer silk, each layer w/Mh a different temperature char- 
acteristic and creating a "thermal barrier" for the next. And 
he has tentatively decided that instead of programming the 
piece, the kinetic interaction of exhibition spectators 
should cause the temperature variation and subsequent 
shifting of hues, by triggering the heat source— a narrow 
focusing light, perhaps a mercury vapor or tungsten iodine 

Oyvind Fahlstrom 

Born Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1928 
Resident Stockholm, Sweden 


In January, 1969, Jane Livingston telephoned Oyvind Fahl- 
strom to invite him to Los Angeles to tour corporations- 
primarily the Container Corporation of America. Fahl- 
strom's response to our suggestion was prompt and positive. 
He wrote. 

Very excited about possibility of working with industry 
for your show. I think Container Corporation would 
offer the most interesting opportunities. 

Off the cuff (and without having had time to consult 
their New York office, as I am a week from the opening 
of my show at Janis) I have a few very general sugges- 

1. ultralarge-and-light (laminated?) structures (flat sil- 
houettes, to be assembled in different ways.) 

2. ultralight flat shapes floating on air-cushion 

3. giant coloured plastic bubbles, changing shapes de- 
pending on how much air is inflated 

4. structures in self-disposing, decaying material ('wither 
away' automatically, gradually, different parts at dif- 
ferent pace) 

5. plastic gel 'blobs'-that can change in shape and can 
have hard-and-flat shapes inserted (and taken out 
without marks, holes) 

Now, my problem as you know is one of time and space. 
On a very tentative basis I could think of a time schedule 

1 . first confrontation with company, March 11-12, or 
12-13 (Have to be in N.Y. by 15th)-(Mail detailed 
project descriptions during spring) 

2. see models, samples etc. 1-20 September 

3. follow production etc. 7-20 December 

4. check finished works 1-7 February 

(Unlikely alternative— might possibly spend vacation, 
August, in L.A. and maybe stay through Sept. 10th or 
so; maybe skip 3 or 4.) 

We brought Fahlstrom to Los Angeles on March 10. The 
next day, he toured the Container Corporation's Folding 
Carton Division and was shown examples of various die-cut, 
flat containers— margarine boxes, for example, printed and 
repeated endlessly on sheets of board— and witnessed the 
machine processes of cutting, folding and assembling these 
containers. Fahlstrom's response to what he saw at Contain- 
er was somewhat apathetic. (In a note from Sweden some 
weeks later, he said "Heven't worked out anything for Con- 
tainer Corporation— feel limitations push me into minimal- 
ist bag— which isn't mine [i.e. non-experimental 
minimalist] ." 

Since it was clear that Fahlstrom was not immediately 
inspired by his view of this corporation, we spent several 
hours reviewing the list of contracted, still available corpor- 
ations to determine what other companies he might visit 
while he was in L.A. We arranged a tour at Eldon, a toy 
manufacturing company, which failed to elicit much re- 
sponse of any sort. It seemed to us also that Heath and 
Company, who had joined with us in January, '69 as a 
Sponsor Corporation, might be of interest to Oyvind. Heath 
makes commercial signs. The materials and techniques re- 
quired for this seemingly straightforward product are, to 
say the least, diverse. The fabricating of a Colonel Sanders 
or Fosters Freeze sign involves elaborately formed compon- 
ents of anodized aluminum, other sheet metals and plexi- 
glass; if the sign revolves or is illuminated in its interior, 
mechanical and electrical systems are of course needed as 
well. [1,2] 



In view of Fahlstrom's past three-dimensional work, it was 
evident to us that Heath, more than a conventional steel or 
aluminum or plastics company, might at least offer him the 
opportunity to execute a tableau on a more extensive scale 
than would be remotely possible for him on his own, and 
with a greater variety of materials and colors and textures. 
Fahlstrom visited Heath on March 12 and was impressed by 
the craftsmanship of the skilled technicians who hand- 
sawed sheet metal into complicated shapes, and by the 
extensive plastic forming facilities. And it is impossible not 
to be delighted by the enormous yard surrounding the plant 
which is filled with a staggering array of gigantic, eccentric- 
ally shaped and fantastically colorful outdoor signs. 

After touring three corporations, Fahlstrom had begun to 

limit his objectives somewhat. He later said. 

My idea was when I originally heard about A&T, that I 
would get involved with huge companies with research 
programs or laboratories, so that I could propose some- 
thing I've never done, without knowing what might 
come out. Like shapes that would float in the air by 
themselves, and expand or contract depending on the 
flow of air. Or another idea I had was to make a sculp- 
ture that would decay by itself by some sort of air or 
temperature action. Or the idea of a plastic fountain— 
you'd have some sort of plastic fluid that would come 
out like water and then coagulate and form shapes, and 
gradually it would become larger and larger. But then I 
visited two companies, a toy company and the Container 
Corporation, that were based on a multiplying thing, 
according to a module. The point would be making 

molds, or models; and then having a great many objects 
made from them. I did think for a while of having the 
Container Corporation make up sort of molecular 
models, geometrically shaped boxes that you could com- 
bine and let grow into a structure. 

It should be noted that Fahlstrom's interest, at least con- 
ceptually, in making non-sculptural or non-graphic works 
dates back several years. He was rather closely associated 
with E.A.T. in its early years. The March 18, 1968 issue of 
E.A.T. News includes several of his ideas which are related 
to the proposals in his first letter to us; these ideas were 
conceived, according to the News Letter, in 1966: 

Fahlstrom and Rauschenberg want to float, suspended in 


Control objects at a distance. 

One or more floating forms following man that moves. 

Activate objects at distance with vortex gun, heat, light- 

Balloons coming out of head. Like thought balloons. 


Fahlstrom did in fact participate in E.A.T.'s Nine Evenings 
in October, 1966, with a performance work called Kisses 
Sweeter than Wine. The work incorporated film, video tape 
and sound elements, as well as " 'snow bubbles' rising from 
the ground, people enveloped by 'clouds'. . . .", etc. The 
artist said in the catalog which accompanied Nine Evenings, 
"I think of it as initiation rites for a new medium. Total 


Despite Fahlstrom's longstanding involvement with a "tech- 
nological/conceptual" esthetic, the major part of his 
oeuvre, and that work which finally establishes him as an 
artist of stature, is graphic and sculptural. Fahlstrom is pro- 
foundly concerned with iconography in his work. Certain 
images appear again and again in variant forms [3] ; these 
images all have specific, symbolic meaning for him. Only by 
recognizing this obsession with a highly developed personal 
iconography, whose images are often taken from arch- 
typically Kitsch sources (popular magazines, posters, cine- 
matic cliches! can one understand the importance for Fahl- 
strom, and ultimately for his A & T project, of a particular 
event which occurred during his brief visit to Los Angeles in 
March, 1969: Hal Glicksman showed him a series of ZAP 
comic books. The first issue of ZAP appeared in October, 
1967; it was circulated as an underground publication, out 
of San Francisco, and featured comic strips by, among 
other artists, Robert Crumb. The first issue, No. 0, was to 
provide not only a full vocabulary of images for Fahlstrom, 
but the title of his work: MEATBALL CURTAIN. (Many 
images were derived from later issues of ZAP as well.) 

What happened, basically, was that Fahlstrom was intro- 
duced to ZAP comics and the Heath sign company simul- 
taneously; he went away, contemplated what he had seen, 
and decided to use these two resources, the literary inspira- 
tion and the means of transforming it into physical form, to 
make a work of art. A week after Oyvind returned from 
Los Angeles to New York, he mailed us a brief, scribbled 
note saying, "Hal, thanks for the guided tour! Also ZAP, 
most inspiring, might make Heath piece into a (or call it) 
MEATBALL CURTAIN . . . P.S. Will send Maurice 
project notes soon (on Heath idea) . . . ." 





Fahlstrom sent drawings for the piece shortly thereafter. 
[4] He indicated that some of the images he sketched 
should be fabricated of sheet metal, sprayed on both sides 
with enamel paint, and others made of plexiglass. The work 
was conceived as a complex tableau of free-standing 

It remained for us to reach an agreement with Heath to 
have Fahlstrom work there. He had decided to come in 
August, to stay for at least six weeks. Our contact there was 
Assistant General Manager Jack Lloyd. We submitted 
Oyvind's sketches to him for consideration by himself and 
the president, Wayne Heath; they consented to work with 
Fahlstrom, and we confirmed the arrangement. 

Fahlstrom arrived early in August to begin work at Heath. 
Despite a number of difficulties— having to do with finding 
convenient living quarters, working out transportation to 
and from the plant, and communicating effectively with re- 
sponsible people once his work was underway— he worked 
efficiently and accomplished his work within six weeks 
time with little direct intervention on our part. In discuss- 
ing the experience later, he said, 

I worked with a lot of people, and I had all sorts of dif- 
ferent—mostly positive— relations. In general there was a 
great deal of good will [on the part of] the people I 
actually worked with. But in the beginning, they felt 
that I was to fool around with some of their materials in 
some far away corner of the company and come up with 
some funny little abstraction or whatever. Gradually 
then it dawned on them that I had a plan, and I wanted 
to be involved physically as little as possible; I wanted it 
to be done by their craftsmen and with their machinery 
even though what they do and what they have is nothing 
terribly sophisticated in terms of technique. But I 
couldn't have done it myself, even if I had specialized 

I felt I was getting close to some of the people. The 
workers that were interested in the whole thing about 
being an artist and working this way do things on their 
own now. 

I am not very good at talking to people and getting ac- 
quainted, but it was very interesting to talk to some of 
the men in what little time I had, because we had very 
short breaks and a rather disciplined life. But in the end 

We asked Fahlstrom whether anyone approached him and 
inquired about getting involved, without being assigned by 
his foremen to work on the project. He replied. 

No. No one did that because they do what they are told. 
So it was a matter of my manipulating foremen, and a 
few other people, and sort of putting pressure on them 
.... But after a while it became a sort of very organic 
thing, and ultimately very satisfying. Nothing was really 
organized for [my project] , and there was really no time 
for it, but gradually they put in some time here, and one 
worker there, and another one there, and in the end it 
was done .... 

The workers enjoyed it. In a sense they appreciated my 
work as children. They didn't seem to feel conscious 
that the images might be prurient, or pornographic— they 
just enjoyed it. They sometimes had suggestions for 
changes— like adding different colors. They started work- 
ing on a sort of private artistic level. 

Fahlstrom's approach to the Meatball Curtain is based on 
"game theories" which have informed his work for several 
years. In 1964, he wrote a piece called "Manipulating the 
World"; the principles outlined in it apply directly to the 
work done at Heath five years later: 

In my variable pictures the emphasis on the 'character' 
or 'type' of an element is achieved by cutting out a silho- 
uette in plastic and sheet iron. The type then becomes 
fixed and tangible, almost 'live' as an object, yet flat as a 
painting. Equipped with magnets, these cut-outs can be 
juxtaposed, superposed, inserted, suspended. They can 
slide along grooves, fold laterally through joints, and 
frontally through hinges. They can also be bent and 
riveted to permanent three-dimensional forms. 

These elements, while materially fixed, achieve their 
character-identity only when they are put together; their 



T^, HLS-AJPf'"' 










character changes with each new arrangement. The ar- 
rangement grows out of a combination of the rules (the 
chance factor) and my intentions, and is shown in a 
'score' or 'scenario' (in the form of a drawing, photo- 
graphs or small paintings). The isolated elements are thus 
not paintings, but machinery to make paintings. Picture 

The finished picture stands somewhere in the inter- 
section of paintings, games (type Monopoly and war 
games) and puppet theater. 

Just as the cutout materializes the type, the factor of 
time in painting becomes material through the many, in 
principle infinite, phases in which the elements will 
appear. As earlier, in my 'world' pictures such as 'Ade- 
Ledic-Nander' and 'Sitting . . .' a form would be painted 
on ten different places on the canvas, now it may be 
arranged in ten different ways during a period of 
time . . .* 

The American comic-strip has served as a vital source for 
Fahlstrom's work since the early sixties. It is the nature of 
comic-strip art to portray sequences of events in time. The 
underlying structure of Fahlstrom's character combinations 
is founded on images distributed to imply both discontinu- 
ousness and a kind of alterable sequentialness. Forms and 
figure-images play upon one another arbitrarily, "in the 
same way," he wrote in 1964, 

a ball in a game by falling into a hole will give the value 
of 1000, whereas if it rolls past the hole it will give 0. 
There is nothing in the ball and the hole that necessarily 
relate them, nor that make a certain relation valuable. 

The association of disparate elements to each other thus 
makes game rules and the work of art will be a game 

This, among other things, leads to presupposing an 
active, participating spectator who— whether he is con- 
fronted with a static or a variable work of art— will find 
relations which will make him able to 'play' the work, 
while the elements that he does not relate and in general 
his individual disposition make for the chance, the un- 
certainty that, when clashing with the 'rules,' create the 
thrill of the game.t 

It is not difficult to see how Fahlstrom was drawn to 
comic-strips as an inspiration for his own distributions of 
character-images, given his interest in the repetition of ele- 
ments, and in sequentially ordered narrative, as means of 
building "playable" tableaux. There is, however, a far more 
profound literary basis for his interest in popular comic- 
book art. Unlike Roy Lichtenstein, whose comic-strip 

'Art and Literature, Vol. 3, Autumn-Winter 1964, Societe Anonyme 
d'Editions Litteraires et Artistiques, Lausanne, pp. 225-226. 
t/6/d, pp. 220-225. 

paintings generally depict a single incident, or episode, and 
are presented as highly estheticized satirical statements- 
parodying both the form and the sentiment of Pop imagery 
—Fahlstrom's use of comic-strip figures is filled with com- 
plex mythological content. Fahlstrom sees in comic-strip 
art manifestations of deep-seated social and cultural fears, 
urges, myths— and uses this imagery in his work for much 
more than satirical intent. Certain images— for example, the 
rocket thrusting upward on its own trail of smoke, or the 
panther— recur again and again in his work. These are for 
him potent symbols, embodying political, psychological 
and literary attitudes. 

To explicate the sources and symbolic content of each com- 
ponent of Meatball Curtain, or the work as a whole, would 
require a lengthy study. Fahlstrom did, however, comment 
on these things after the project was finished: 

The title. Meatball Curtain, comes from Volume of 
ZAP. It has a cartoon called Meatball by Robert Crumb 
[5] , one of his best, most interesting ones which deals 
with a supernatural event. Meatballs fall out of the sky. 
People wfio are struck with a meatball, in this comic 
strip, are transformed to a level of— what would you call 
it— inner happiness. Revelation. It's sort of a parable of 

the idea of everyone— well, having an acid trip or some 
type of experience like that .... On the cover of 
Volume there's a great character connected to an elec- 
tric wire and being like electrocuted by some sort of 
great insight or illumination ... .[6] 



I've been looking a lot at the underground cartoon 
makers. They have a sort of exuberance and precision, 
and that extreme expressiveness of their outlines ... I 
would say sixty, seventy per cent of the images in this 
piece are direct outlines from Robert Crumb. I think it 
should be said that this work is an homage to Robert 
Crumb, to a great American artist .... 5 


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I wanted my figures to have a sort of quality of exuber- 
ance and the energy of American life and the fatality 
and rawness of it and the sort of dumbness about it too 
and the animal-like quality which is very well depicted in 
Crumb's drawings, as well as the aspect of madness, the 
ecstatic factor. 

When pressed to explain the figures in greater detail, Fahl- 

strom said. 

The large, dark blue figure has his hair stretched out like 
he was terribly scared— and in his hand there's a sort of 
stylized light bulb with a heart in it, which is from a 
Crumb figure. It denotes this moment of illumination or 
insight, the moment of truth, which is part of the whole 
Meatball series. [7, 8] 


Then there are two more Robert Crumb cutouts .... 
There's one somewhat ambiguous figure— the man with 
the long nose who seems to be struggling with or holding 
a little girl with a bow in her hair. [9] It might be inter- 
preted as sort of an incestuous situation .... And 
there's the lady diving down into a toilet seat, like some- 
one looking for something, but being scared by some- 
thing, or trying to hide. The interpretation would 
depend on how I assemble the figures when I set up the 
piece. I could assemble them in such a way that she 
would appear to be hiding from fear .... One of the 
most important ones is the four dancing figures, four 
men that come closer and closer in perspective. [10, 11] 
The furthest one has a normal, or in fact larger than 
normal head. As they get closer, the head shrinks, and in 
the very largest, closest figure, with enormous plexiglass 
boots, you see that the head has shrunk to almost 
nothing. This goes back to an imagery or idea that 
appears in Robert Crumb's comics about the acid head 
as a person with a tiny head— it's like a pin point in 
many of his drawings. In this case I have modified the 
drawing of his where the characters actually have nor- 
mally proportioned heads in order to add this dimen- 
sion .... 

ggS^ (2EB ^^^feS 







Then we have a pouncing, leaping panther, or actually 
it's a leopard shape, from a photograph in my last show 
at Janis. [3, 12] Then there's a green wave, with very 
light green foam, sort of stylized like a Japanese print 
[13] ; it's from a detail in a Crumb drawing, but greatly 
aberrated. The tallest shape, the yellow one which is a 
cloud burst, or vertical smoke coming from a rocket, 
that you see on top, very small, is also based on a photo- 
graph. [3, 14] 

The division of colors roughly follows the simplified 
scheme of dividing the forces in the world, or the power 
structure, according to color as I did in all the pieces in 
my last show. Everything that has to do with the Ameri- 
can sphere of influence is blue and variations of blue; the 
'third world' would be green or brown. You might have 
violet as a sort of intermediary color, and yellow, red, 
orange for Socialist countries, China and so forth. 

JL: What about the meatballs? Are they scatological? 

OF: No. They're just meatballs. A meatball is very plain 
and down to earth. It represents food— plain everyday 
sort of food. [15] 

The components of Meatball Curtain are all made of either 
heavy gauge sheet metal, saw-cut by hand, or vacuum 
formed plexiglass (the meatballs and smaller shapes— those 
which are inserted into slots, or affixed by magnets to the 
large figures— are plastic). 



One of the most significant aspects of Meatball Curtain, as 
compared to Fahlstrom's earlier work, is the relatively bold 
and uncluttered nature of the figures. In this work, the 
silhouettes of the large forms, apprehended instantaneously 
when one sees the work assembled, before the eye is drawn 
to investigate detail, carry the weight of the esthetic experi- 
ence. The expressiveness of outline, to use Fahlstrom's term 
in describing Crumb's comic strip style, becomes the ascen- 
dantly important visual element. Fahlstrom said. 
What I wanted to do here was to avoid working in a 
great deal of detail as I have usually done in the past, 
with complicated outlines— black outlines indicating 
creases, and elaborate clothing details, etc. I wanted 

rather to simplify. In order to do this I had to choose 
pieces that were either single figures, or combinations of 
figures and objects that were expressive plus being 
understandable immediately, or if not, at least ambig- 
uous in an interesting way. 

It is tempting to attribute this change in approach, in part if 
not exclusively, to the environment at Heath in which Fahl- 
strom worked. He was constantly seeing the huge signs 
which lay about there, and it is the nature of sign images to 
rely for impact on bold overall or interior silhouettes. The 
image on the familiar Colonel Sanders bucket-in-the-sky, 
for instance, when observed at close range, cannot be read 
as a face; the configurations which form the eyes, the mus- 
tache, the lines in the cheeks, appear to be just oddly 
shaped obtrusions of brown plastic against a curved field of 
metal. Whether or not this visual ambience alone stimulated 
Fahlstrom to increase the scale and eliminate busy detail in 
his work, the fact that he did these things is of great impor- 
tance in terms of his artistic development; Meatball Curtain 
Is undoubtedly one of the most successful tableaux he has 
made, in great part owing to its large size and its economy 
of interior visual elements. 

Jane Livingston 







Dan Flavin 

Born Jamaica, New York, 1933 
Resident Garrison, New York 


MT first spoke to Dan Flavin about A & T in January, 
1969, In New York. At that time, General Electric had 
given us a verbal commitment to enter A & T as a Patron 
Sponsor, and to make available to an artist their Nela Park 
Advanced Lighting Division, near Cleveland, Ohio. MT indi- 
cated to the artist that if he was interested in touring Nela 
Park and perhaps working there, we would arrange it; we 
felt confident that GE would sign a contract with us, and 
were enthusiastic about having Flavin work with them. 
Flavin seemed open to MT's suggestion, and finally, in late 
July, the artist visited Nela Park for two days. He wrote to 
us after this. 

It should be understood that my remarks here are of 
initial conjectures from just two days of beginning with 
various consultants of General Electric. Firstly, as re- 
ported by telephone, a backup proposal from previous 
experience and with in-production equipment would be 
a variably sized system of ultra-violet light (absolutely 
safely filtered tubes, etc.) with dimming cycle and strob- 
oscopic-like moderation prompted by humanly governed 
capacitors, if the possible situational usage warrants. 
Secondly, and hopefully, preferably, the engineers and I 
will determine how to excite dispersed phosphors or 
other matter in the atmosphere in a safe and somewhat 
consistently visible manner. (If possible, I would prefer 
not to have to employ a more spatially limited carrier 
such as water.) But what we research may not all clarify 
the vague suggestion just stated. We should know much 
more in October .... 

Flavin returned to Nela Park for what we supposed to be a 
week, and turned out to be two days, in August. He spent 
that time in consultation with lighting engineer Terry 
McGowan; they discussed numerous possibilities for 
projects employing advanced kinds of lamps which the 
artist had not used previously in his work. According to 
McGowan, Flavin was, however, primarily interested in 
fluorescent light, which he has used, almost exclusively, in 
his past works, and to the present time. McGowan did make 
a mock-up for Flavin of a circuit using one flashing ultra- 
violet lamp. McGowan said that G.E. encouraged Flavin to 
use ultraviolet, and we were under the impression that 
Flavin intended to execute a U-V piece for the Expo show. 
However, in talking later with McGowan, he said to us. 

"Dan did not indicate in any way to us what his piece 
would be either for Expo or the L.A. (A & T) show." 

Most of the assistance G.E. gave to the artist— and it was 
considerable— was in the way of providing equipment for 
works in the artist's retrospective exhibition which opened 
in the Fall of 1969 at the National Gallery of Canada in 
Ottawa, and for other works independent of that show. 
McGowan additionally agreed to present a lecture on the 
history of fluorescent light at Ottawa in connection with 
the exhibition there. 

In October, 1969, Flavin met in New York with MT, Jane 
Livingston and the Expo Design Team at their head- 
quarters, to discuss a possible location in the New Arts 
Pavilion for his work. (We assumed there would be a work, 
and in fact Flavin told us it would incorporate forty-inch 
U-V tubes, emitting bluish light, which would be program- 
med to dim out and flash at intervals. As indicated above, 
this plan was apparently not known to the G.E. people.) 
The space allotted in the Pavilion area for Flavin's work 
designed as a room into which one looked, but did not 
enter, was commensurate in size to that given for other 
works in the exhibition, and the artist indicated that he was 
satisfied with it. However, on October 24, we received in 
Los Angeles the following cable from Flavin: SINCE 

Although we were at a loss to understand the rationale for 
his telegram, we accepted this declination perforce, but 
continued to regard the Flavin/G.E. collaboration as viable, 
and as potentially issuing in a work for the Museum exhibi- 
tion. Flavin indicated for several weeks that he planned to 
return to Nela Park, and G.E. was anxious to have him do 
so. By January of 1970, however, when Flavin had still not 
made any definite commitment to spend time at G.E., the 
collaboration was terminated. 

We have continued to the present time to attempt to effect 
an artistic collaboration at G.E. (see sections on Ron 
Cooper and Robert Morris) but have not succeeded. 

Sam Francis 

Born San Mateo, California, 1923 
Resident Santa Monica, California 


Over a nine month period, from April through December, 
1970, we made extensive efforts, none successful, to in- 
clude Sam Francis in A & T. He suggested diverse ideas for 
projects, most of which necessitated enormous technical 
and financial support. One of Francis' initial proposals was 
to execute an elaborate programmed strobe light environ- 
ment—possibly taking shape as a light show in the sky. This 
grandiose project eventually developed into an idea requir- 
ing a salvo of rockets to be fired over the Southern Cali- 
fornia basin. We brought him together with Dr. Richard 
Feynman, who rather liked the scheme. Feynman made 
several calls to persons he knew at NASA and determined 
that the cost of Francis' plan would be about $1,000,000. 

In addition to the light performance Francis was to a lesser 
degree interested in executing sculpture in cement or cer- 
amics. In April we toured American Cement's Technical 
Research Center in Riverside and discussed Francis' sculp- 
ture with Dr. Kenneth Daugherty. Scientists at the Center 
had recently developed a method of injecting color into 
cement or concrete mixtures, a process which we felt would 
be of interest to the artist. Francis was willing to consider 
this possibility but first wanted to further pursue those cor- 
porations which might execute an indoor strobe environ- 
ment before committing himself to the cement company. 

Accordingly, in May, Gail Scott accompanied Francis (and, 
as it happened, James Rosenquist) to Ampex Corporation 

in Redwood City, where they met with several staff mem- 
bers in the Advanced Technical Section. The optics depart- 
ment dealt with theoretical research which was of no im- 
mediate use to Francis, and their electronic products did 
not include the kind of hardware he needed. 

In September, Francis visited RCA in Van IMuys, and the 
outcome was much the same as at Ampex. They could have 
programmed the work, but not provide any light equip- 
ment. During this period, we had seriously considered 
sending Francis to General Electric, since the Dan Flavin 
project at G.E.'s Nela Park Laboratories near Cleveland, had 
been discontinued, but for Francis an extended period of 
residence in Ohio was not feasible. 

In September, 1969, we took Francis to American Stand- 
ard, a ceramics company which only recently had become 
involved in A & T. Again, as at American Cement, the artist 
and the plant manager. Jack Day, were agreed that the fac- 
tory had the capacity to produce sculpture for the artist: 
the kilns were large enough; they could produce a rich color 
glaze; and, most importantly. Day indicated that the struc- 
tural, tensile and balance problems posed by Francis' sculp- 
tural concepts would be a stimulating challenge to his 
engineers. Again, Francis demurred on the basis of his pre- 
ferred scheme; he still was not excited about the notion of 
executing sculpture when the option of a strobe environ- 
ment remained a remote possibility. However we were not 
able to find a company to accommodate his needs. 

Hans Haacke 

Born Cologne, 1936 
Resident, New York City 


In February, 1969 we contacted Hans Haacke, asking 
him to submit a project proposal for A & T. In early 
March he submitted descriptions for six projects involv- 
ing aerodynamics, condensation cycles, transduction and 
information retrieval. 

We sent all six proposals to Dr. Charles Spitzer, our 
contact at Ampex Corporation, for his consideration. No 
collaboration with Ampex had emerged from several 
previous attempts, and we were anxious to effect a 
match. Dr. Spitzer indicated his willingness to discuss 
one of the proposed works, called Environment Trans- 
plant [1] at length with the artist, indicating at the 
outset that the major obstacle would be the use of real 
time. Early in April Haacke flew to Los Angeles and was 
accompanied to Ampex, in Redwood City, by Hal 
Glicksman. During two days of discussion Spitzer and 
Haacke thrashed out the major problems: securing an 
FCC permit for direct, real time transmission, a difficult 
bureaucratic procedure to undertake; hiring a truck and 
driver for the four month duration of the exhibition; 
and procuring certain television projection equipment 
which Ampex did not manufacture. Ampex did not 
want to assume responsibility for solving any of these 

Even if Haacke decided to use a time delay feedback 
system— taping the information instead of employing 
direct transmission— there was still the problem of 
obtaining the television projection equipment. Our 
efforts to get a donation of this equipment from other 
contracted A & T companies like G.E. were 

We wrote Haacke explaining the impasse we had 
reached; undaunted, he replied by telephone with still 
another project proposal called Information Retrieval. 
He wanted to program a computer to ask census-type 
questions about spectators at the exhibition; this infor- 
mation would be gathered and stored during the time of 
the exhibition, and retrieved at will. The resulting 
compilation of data would constitute a sociological 
profile of the exhibition visitors. Although we were 
unable to execute this proposal— since all participating 
computer corporations were already involved with other 
artists— Haacke was able to execute a variant of this 
piece for the Software exhibition at New York's Jewish 
Museum held in September, 1970. 

117 A&T 


A large white room in the shape of a vertical cylinder. 
In the center equipment for visual projection mounted <-n 
a slowly moving turntable so that projections would sweep over 
the curved walls like the beams of ° light house. Loudspeakers 
are situated behind the walls all around the room so that the 
soxind cnn actu-Jly follow the sweeping of the projected images 
(a less desirable though cheH.per version would be to mount a 
single loudspeaker on the turntable). 

Corresponding to this set-up in the museum sound sjid image 
recording devices are mounted on a truck. Like the projection 
equipment the recording equipment is fixed onto a slowly 
spinning turntable. It continuously scs'Jis the "horizon"'. 
During exhibition hours the truck drives through the entire 
Los i^jngeles Metropolitan Area constantly recording the sights 
and sounds of the streets it goes through. 

The recorded material is iiaiediately (without any time lag) 
transmitted into the museum and projected onto the walls 
or emitted through the loudspeakers of the room. Visitors 
will sometimes stand between projector end "screen". Conse- 
quently their shadows will appear on the wall -^md they themt* 
selves become the "screen", "•'.'hatever noises they msJce vrill 
also mingle with the streetnoises piped from the truck into 
the room. 



^ Scm,fji> 






Newton Harrison 

Born New York City, 1932 
Resident La Jolla, California 


Newton Harrison has taught since 1965 in the art depart- 
ment at the University of California, San Diego. In the 
fall of 1967 he described to his painting class a notion he 
had been pursuing of rendering colored light as form, in 
a way not possible with ordinary neon tubing or incan- 
descent lights. One member of his class, Keith Carter, a 
former physics student, responded by showing Harrison 
a glow discharge display in a bell jar in one of the 
physics laboratories. A glow discharge is the ionization 
or breakdown of gas (helium, neon, argon, etc.) into a 
diffuse arc by means of a plasma or fluid which conducts 
electricity. A simple form of a glow discharge is neon 
light, but because the ionization activity takes place 
within the constricted, narrow area of a tube, the various 
types of phenomena which occur during ionization are 
not visible. Glow discharge is a commonly known 
physical phenomenon, used by scientists for years in 
various kinds of research and experimentation, for 
example as a method of converting thermal energy into 

Harrison was intrigued by the possibilities of artistic 
expression inherent in this phenomenon. The colors that 
can be made to appear range from subdued pinks to 
bright orange to blues and greens. Under varying con- 
ditions one can observe that the light takes on numerous 
distinct shapes: arcs, lightning streaks, platelets, bubbles, 
or shafts of color. The colors and forms depend on three 
variables: amount of vacuum in the chamber; type and 
amount of gas used (primarily helium, neon, argon, 
carbon dioxide and nitrogen); amount and type of 
electricity (either AC or DC). Harrison set up a display 
in his studio with a primitive piece of equipment and 
experimented with it for some time, attempting to 
determine the capability of a glow discharge as a work- 
able art medium. 

At about this time we learned of Harrison's interest in 
A & T from his colleague David Antin at UCSD, and in 
April, 1969, Hal Glicksman visited his studio and saw 
the experimental set-up of a glow discharge in the three 
foot bell jar. With Antin's encouragement, Harrison 
submitted to us a project proposal titled "Light as color 
in space," which states in part. 

Our normal associations with light are that it defines 
or illuminates a pre-existing form by its presence or 
absence. This is true of conventional sculpture. It is 
also true of every light work I have ever seen. Even 
searchlight sculpture in defining giant space volumes 
must be considered as drawing on a grand scale. In 
this work that I propose light as color is the form. It 
defines itself. It needs no object. A plasma is light 

After studying the proposal and checking through our 
roster of contracted corporations, we decided to send a 
copy of Newton's proposal to Dr. Robert Meghreblian, 

Deputy Assistant Director of Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 
(We had toured JPL with James Byars, Richard Serra, 
Mark di Suvero and Michael Asher but had been unsuc- 
cessful in placing any of them at this extraordinary 
research facility.) In July, we visited JPL to discuss 
further the feasibility of a collaboration between the 
company and Harrison. The artist met first with Dr. 
Meghreblian, who was impressed by the amount of 
research Newton had already accomplished and by his 
ability to converse intelligently about the scientific 
aspects of the problems involved. Meghreblian assigned 
Donald Bartz, Manager of Propulsion Research and 
Advanced Concepts Section, to work with Harrison. 
That same afternoon Harrison had a lengthy discussion 
with Bartz, Ray Goldstein and several other plasma 
experts. This meeting evolved into a productive problem 
solving situation, establishing a rapport between Newton 
and the JPL staff which existed throughout the collabor- 
ation. At that preliminary session they talked of revising 
the shape of the gas container from Newton's original 
concept of a six by nine foot cube to a cylindrical shape, 
thereby eliminating the necessity for several glued seams 
and strengthening the vacuum chamber. The size of the 
cylinder remained flexible, to be determined at a later 
date along with other esthetic and technical considera- 
tions. In addition they discussed the problem of re- 
moving or disguising the electrical wire running from top 
to bottom of the chamber. Various tentative solutions 
emerged but nothing definite was decided. Bartz sugges- 
ted that a JPL design team be assigned to investigate 
these structural and technical problems and to project a 
cost estimate. 

In the next few weeks Newton met with Bartz and the 
engineering team on several occasions from which 
eventually emerged the final design for the gas contain- 
ers: they decided to make five identical columns, each of 
one inch thick plexiglass, eighteen inches in diameter 
and twelve feet high, or from floor to ceiling. This 
solution eiliminated the need for visible exterior wiring 
since the electrodes would be housed in end-plates at top 
and bottom and all support mechanisms would reside in 
floor and ceiling. The cost estimates for building the five 
units were so high that JPL, because of its connection 
with NASA as a non-profit space research organization, 
decided it would not completely finance their construc- 
tion. JPL agreed to supply technician time to run all 
necessary tests on the tubes, to furnish additional 
engineering designs [1] , and to make available on a loan 
basis any miscellaneous equipment they could spare, but 
they would not fabricate the plexiglass units or cover the 
cost of the electrical fixtures. 

The project at this point became more than a one-to-one 

collaboration, and in accordance with this special situa- 
tion, Newton agreed to apply some grant money he had 
acquired from UCSD to design and construct the power 



supplies {transformers and variacs) and gas injection 
system. For this part of the project he pressed into 
service Keith Carter who, from his previous experience 
with the glow discharge, had the knowledge to carry it 
through, using the metal and electrical shop facilities at 
UCSD. Fabrication of five plexiglass tubes was done by a 
local plastics firm and paid for by the Museum's A&T 
"materials" budget. 

By August work had begun on all three of these fronts, 
and by this time we were considering Harrison's sculp- 
tures as likely for the Expo show. For a time, the design 
of the installation became a collaborative effort involv- 
ing all of us. In several meetings with Newton we discus- 
sed various possibilities, including that of a total environ- 
ment using liquid crystals in some kind of configuration 
with the tubes. An idea Newton had had in mind for the 
Sao Paulo Bienale was to make a liquid crystal pathway 
which would change colors under heat and pressure from 
the passing crowds. He now proposed using liquid 
crystals in conjunction with the tubes, perhaps as a path 
leading to the cluster of five light columns. We en- 
couraged him to extend this notion further, suggesting 
an arrangement of liquid crystals in a stepped formation, 
ending at the columns. An alternative solution was to 


design a corridor with the wall surfaces covered by the 
crystals and heat lamps spaced along the floor with an 
electric-eye device triggered by the passing crowds who, 
by their movement, would control the color modula- 
tions in the liquid crystals. 

However after considering all of these notions, Harrison 
decided that the tubes would have greater impact if they 
were displayed by themselves, dispersed in a carefully 
worked out configuration in a room devoid of ambient 
light. The spectators would pass through the grouping of 
columns, actually coming into contact with them and 
possibly altering the glow discharge by interfering with 
the electrical field. 

In October, after delays in fabrication, testing began on 
the tubes at JPL. Several technicians, primarily Ray 
Goldstein [2] , first ran tests designed to examine various 
kinds of stress on the structural strength of the tubes, 
and the results showed a safety factor of 7.0 above the 
expected loads. (Safety factors of 4.0 and 5.0 are typical 
in engineering design.) Harrison and Carter began experi- 
menting with the phenomenon itself, manipulating its 
three elements— the gases, electricity (in the form of a 

heavy duty neon sign transformer) and a vacuum pump. 
One of the first things they discovered was that the 
range of visible effects in a twelve foot column was, as 
could be expected, much greater than in a three foot bell 
jar. Harrison gradually became able to control a wide 
range of color-shapes and configurations which became 
his formal vocabulary. 

His initial conception had included certain key prerequi- 
sites which he later outlined in an interview: 

I wanted this piece to have a participatory quality. I 
found that by touching the tube, a human being 
could alter what was going on in there because inside 
those chambers are electro-magnetic fields and a 
human being is a resistor, I guess, and so his field 
interferes with what goes on there or affects it. So 
now I had at least one element that I could call 
participatory about it. 

The next thing I wanted was a certain kind of config- 
uration. If you have just a beautiful glowing tube, the 
metaphorical possibilities are limited, but the minute 
lightning arcs start occuring, you have a frankly 
frightening object. 



I wanted them to be simultaneously beautiful and 
scary and eerie and contemplative .... 

After the tubes had been running constantly for about 
fifty hours, the plastic surfaces began to cloud over, 
obscuring the configurations and movement of light. 
Because the glow discharge is used only intermittently 
for scientific purposes, such chambers in the past rarely 
developed this defect, and the technicians were not 
prepared for this contingency. A spectralanalysis of the 
clouding indicated that the ion bombardment was 
cracking the surface of the plexiglass. Keith Carter 
discovered, quite by accident, a possible solution. 
Applying a silicone grease to the interior surface of the 
cylinder would, he found, protect against ion bombard- 
ment and the consequent obscuring effect. 

In December the plexiglass columns and all miscellan- 
eous equipment were shipped to Osaka. Before the tubes 
were en unpacked, the Japanese Safety Commission for 
the World's Fair refused to allow them to be installed, 
fearing that the vacuum chamber and gas injection might 
implode or that crowds touching the tubes might receive 
an electrical shock. IVIT made emergency calls to us at 

the iVluseum, and we in turn contacted Bartz and Megh- 
reblian requesting a letter explaining the extensive safety 
precautions taken by the JPL staff. Bartz wrote a state- 
ment describing the electrical design of the tubes, 
concluding with the statement that "touching the 
surface of these tubes is no more dangerous than touch- 
ing the surface of an ordinary fluorescent lamp." The 
Japanese authorities were persuaded to allow the instal- 
lation to proceed. 

At this point another problem arose. On one of the 
tubes, which had undergone the most experimentation 
and testing at JPL, a solution had been applied which 
cleaned the interior surface, but it also caused small 
fissures and cracks in the plexiglass which did not appear 
until after transit to Japan, where Harrison discovered 
them. [3, 4] With the opening deadline rapidly ap- 
proaching, this tube was sent to a local Japnaese plastics 
firm in a last minute attempt to polish out these imper- 

Before coming to Japan, Newton had spent several 
weeks working out a placement scheme for the tubes. 
His intention was to avoid a geometric configuration and 


to arrive at random appearing arrangement. With the 
programming assistance of Jeff Raskin at the UCSD 
computer center, he had attempted to achieve a random 
disposition but abandoned this method because, in his 
own words, "every time I obeyed the computer and 
placed tubes randomly the results looked calculated." 
He then used full-scale cardboard models and experi- 
mented with them in the UCSD art gallery, marking off 
the size and shape of his area in the Pavilion. He went on 
to say. 

I ended up choosing an array that had two columns 
very far apart. By having two as far apart as possible, 
I was able to make one column brighter and one 
column slightly dimmer, and so when you stood at 
one end, the space expanded or compressed, depend- 
ing upon which end you were looking at, by virtue of 
light constancy. I felt it was very important that the 
columns, exclusive of the light, energize the space. I 
also put two columns very close to one another so 
that a sense of surround could happen, with one 
uncomfortably close to the wall so that a little 
pressure to the wall would tie the whole array to the 
room. [5] 

Once the tubes and vacuum pumps were in place, the 
ceiling to support the vacuum pumps completed, and the 
scaffolding removed, Harrison was finally ready to 
determine the composition of each chamber. Months of 
research, design and testing were merely preparatory 
steps to the process of actually creating the piece. 
Throughout the preceding eighteen months, both with 
the bell jar display in his studio and with the actual 
tubes at JPL, Newton had familiarized himself with 
virtually every relationship of color, shape, and move- 
ment of which the system was capable. He had purpose- 
ly avoided deciding beforehand which gases would go in 

each tube, so that he could manipulate the numerous 
possibilities in the space itself. Newton later described 
how these final choices came about: 
... in the first tube I put an arc that was a mixture of 
helium and argon. The helium helped the arc path; 
the argon guaranteed that it would be a shocking 

pink-violet arc. We set it up so that the gas was 
injected in such a way that it started out as lightning, 
stayed lightning for about two minutes; became an 
arc; stayed the arc for about three minutes; became a 
glow-a total glow in the tube; ... the glow started to 
break down into platelets and then I shot more gas in 
so it would be an arc again. This was a ten minute 
cycle. I found out strange things. I had originally 

wanted to make it just lightning for five minutes. But 
lightning for five minutes was a bore. Lightning for 
four minutes was a bore. Lightning for a minute and a 
half to two minutes was exciting and lightning flip- 
ping into an arc every six minutes say, had a right 
sense to me. That flip was very important, and if I 
lengthened the time between the flips, it became less 
frightening. One of the things that is frightening is 
sudden and unexpected change, so I used sudden 
change as a time frame system. 

We took the far tube and put nitrogen in it, and 
started to run it from arc, to mass, to space. Through 
the color changes that are involved in that, I started 
to play with timing. I found out that if two tubes 
arced at once, they gave each other away. But if they 
would arc at different times, we quadrupled the 
sudden change that was going on as well as strength- 
ened the dialogue. So I programmed the nitrogen at 
the far end to go into an arc state only when the first 
piece was in lightning form or in mass form. If you 




make a painting out of day-glow colors exclusively, 
they cancel each other out. They have an acidity in 
common that makes you tire of them quickly. I 
found out that all the gas colors also have a certain 
acidity, a low-key brilliance in common. The diffi- 
culty was to cancel that sense of commonality in the 
gas. Keith, with great delicacy, resolved the critical 
timing problem. I chose in one tube to use neon 

which is orange-red and in another helium which is 
green and white. Then I had one tube left and after 
playing with it, introduced CO2 to it. It was bluish- 
white, and as a color it talked a bit to the lightning, 
and argued a bit with the rest of them, but it made 
strange platelets that were very narrow and then 
turned into bubbles. I found out that when you 
touched those bubbles, they were responsive to you 
too; you could actually raise or lower a bubble of 

I was involved in creating a friction. The cylinders 
look very organized; they are very contained; they are 
very sedate. I wanted to create a friction between the 
neatness and the elegance of the cylinders and the 
sensation of the sudden release of more power than 
you had ever seen before in one place. When that 
floppy arc happens, you cope with that. The eye tells 
you everything is contained and safe; your experience 
says I doubt it. It's the friction between those two 

responses that I was interested in, rather than either 
response. The whole piece has that kind of an atti- 
tude in it. 

When Newton had finished programming the cycle, the 
group of sculptures suddenly came together as an es- 
thetic entity. It was an exciting moment. The element of 
timing is the critical factor, as Harrison said: 

The cycles run from ten minutes to forty-five min- 
utes, and to really see how the thing works, you have 
to spend about ten hours with it, but nonetheless, 
you could know it in a non-rational way, feel it, in 
about two or three minutes, and that was a very 
tough problem which conditioned how fast I made 
the spaces grow. For instance, if the spaces grow too 
fast, then they look tricky, but if they grow slowly, 
it's too slow to see but it's suddenly there anyway. I 
like the idea of playing with slow and fast changes 
and transformations. There is a much slower than 
heartbeat change, and then there are abrupt changes; 
the work becomes a study of small differences and 

He also described some of the specific intentions he had. 
An interesting example was a color configuration, in one 
of the tubes— a rose-white hue— which hovers on the top 
and bottom with an empty space in the middle. Newton 
explained this as, 

. . . just what Rothko was dreaming about. I knew 
what he was doing .... He was trying to make paint 
do what paint could never do, although he got his 
work to cast a light. The far tube to the right I really 
made a sort of private homage to Rothko. I made a 
very specific reference to him. If you looked at the 
shape on the top, it was a Rothko type shape, a 
Rothko color shape, a Rothko intensity shape and it 
was surrounded by a dark field. This was my way of 
acknowledging a man whom I thought was involved 
in a kind of magnificent and very lonely vision. 

Newton also described a further fantasy about the work: 
. . . The variables in it were sufficiently simple so that 
we could use one of the brainwave converters and 
once a person had played it with a control panel, he 
could undergo further transformation and work the 
thing by alpha waves alone. At that point, you could 
call in storms by your own mental activity. I would 
like the work to be such that a person could be so 
familiar with the keyboard that he could then put the 
cap on and experience a whole other kind of control 
and activity. This kind of experience might be interes- 
ting scientifically. Until now we've been working with 
state-of-the-art technology, and one shouldn't see 
these works as 'science.' It's really engineering. 

In retrospect it was the opinion both of Newton and of 
the JPL staff that although the project was perfectly 
suited to the laboratory's capability, the collaboration 



itself— interaction between the artist and the scientists- 
was not as extensive as it might have been. Dr. Megh- 
reblian commented that one of JPL's reasons for partici- 
pating in A & T was to establish a staff interaction with 
an artist, but that this objective was only partially 
realized because executing the project involved so few 
personnel. Those individuals, however, did make a 
significant contribution, specifically in the design and 

in a studio was to do painting and sculpture. As I 
abandoned the concept of myself as an artist, I began 
to think of myself as a problem solver instead. This 
was very much enhanced by my experiences at 

What I've reached is something else; I'm now almost 
uninterested in offering single pieces of art. What I do 

testing of the chambers. But because of JPL's financial 
limitations, Newton had to rely on sources outside the 
host company and consequently the real collaboration 
took place between him and Keith Carter. Carter made a 
major innovative contribution in the design of the gas 
injection system and in working out the final timing 
sequence of the tubes. 

Nevertheless, Newton's A&T experience was valuable in 
provoking changes in his attitude toward his work: 
My whole sense of priority has changed. Normally, 
artists have a fierce, one-pointed preoccupation with 
making a form of art, and end up censoring and 
cancelling anything that appears irrelevant. 1 find that 
attitude personally destructive. My own growth came 
as I tended to give up the designation of artist, giving 
permission to myself to be as diffuse as I choose or as 
focused as I choose. As a result I abandoned my 
studio about a year ago and have only been in it to 
assemble things. I no longer think in my studio. To be 

comes out of interaction of all kinds. It might be 
interaction with something I have seen, but I find it's 
more productive to interact with human beings: they 
can talk back .... I have ceased making art by 
myself. As an activity I find it uninteresting, and I am 
appalled by the isolation that surrounds the artist's 
approach to his work. So many people find it natural 
and inevitable. I surely don't. 

The real learning experience in this multiplex collab- 
oration was my own development of a way to admit 
people into my process immediately past intuition 
rather than at the much later point when formaliza- 
tion takes place. I am now experimenting with 
executing works with people during the intuitive state 
or even in advance of it and in search of it. 

A tangible extension of this conclusion has been devel- 
oping in the months since the Expo show. While watch- 
ing Newton operate the chambers in Japan, John Fork- 

Erich Hartmann 

Born Munich, 1927 
Resident New Yori< City 


ner (the engineer on Whitman's environment) commen- 
ted that the glow discharge phenomenon works in much 
the same way as the aurora borealis. Intrigued by this 
way of looking at the glow discharge piece, Newton 
conceived of making an artificial aurora borealis and has 
since been pursuing the problem, trying to resolve the 
logistics of its execution. It would involve projecting a 
rocket into the ionosphere which, when fired, would 
activate the ions in much the same way that a plasma 
functions in a glow discharge, creating a similar effect on 
a grandoise scale. Newton met with Dr. Feynman, who 
agreed to attempt to procure small rockets and permis- 
sion to use a launching site through his contacts at 
NASA. It remains to be seen if these efforts will be 

Gail R. Scott 

The photographer Erich Hartmann saw MT in New York 
in December, 1968, and wrote to us later that month: 
Since I saw you I have speculated and daydreamed 
pleasantly and repeatedly on which corporation 
would interest me and what sort of work within it I 
would propose. But although this is fun, it is finally 
self-defeating. It cannot help but sound like a sales 
talk for myself and even worse, it attempts to make 
predictable what should not be predictable if it is 
truly to fulfill the purposes of the project. Ergo, no 
concrete proposals from me. 

Instead, I want to give you the state of mind, the 
attitude, with which I would approach this project 
regardless of the industry, the products, the people, 
the underlying ideas involved. I would first of all 
attempt to sense who and what they are, what they 
make and how they make it, their underlying princi- 
ples of concept and design and manufacture. I would 
want to do this with all my senses, without precon- 
ception of knowledge or experience, but using in- 
stinct and intuition. I would want to soak up the 
place and the people and the environment until I 
were full like a sponge, hearing conversations reverb- 
erate in the mind's ear and seeing previously seen 
sights in the mind's eye long afterwards. Only then 
would I begin to ask of myself and of others the 
questions which signal the entry of intellect and of 
the desire and the need to organize experience into 
something meaningful and expressible and under- 

Most important of all, during all of such a project, I 
would intend to address myself on every level of 
perception possible to the meaning of the project 
itself. Art and Technology, to the attempt and the 
effort to fuse the two entities into an expression of 
their relatedness. My belief is best expressed in a 
sonnet by Francis Thompson: 'All things, Near or 
Far, Hiddenly, to each other linked are ... ' 

What this frame of mind together with experience 
and skills, plus the stimulation of the host environ- 
ment, would yield for the 1970 exhibition I don't 
know and cannot possibly foretell. Perhaps it would 
be photographic or in some ways related to photog- 
raphy, perhaps not. From my core as a photographer 
I have ventured into other fields, not always related 
to photography, such as graphic and conceptual 
design, a personal blending of words and images, into 
the design of three-dimensional structures and objects 
to convey the feeling and sometimes even the mean- 
ing of complex technological ideas like programming 
for computers. 

Robert Irwin 

Born Long Beach, California, 1928 
Resident Venice, California 

James Turrell 

Born Los Angeles, 1943 
Resident Venice, California 


One of the first artists with whom MT seriously discus- 
sed joining A&T was Robert Irwin. Irwin's initial 
reaction to the idea of working within a corporation was 
to express skepticism— not about his own ability or 
desire to collaborate intensively with engineers or 
scientists, but about the structuring of the program [see 
introduction, p. 12] . Once the artist was persuaded to 
visit corporations and sign a contract with us, his in- 
volvement developed into a virtual life commitment. 
Indeed the ramifications of the "Irwin/Turrell/Garrett 
project" so far transcend the immediate parameters of 
A&T that it is not possible for us fully to know, much 
less to document, every phase or outcome of the on- 
going work set in motion by the original A&T connec- 

In August of 1968, Irwin toured two Patron Sponsor 
Corporations recently signed with us— Lockheed Aircraft 
Corporation and IBM. With him and our staff on the 
Lockheed tour was R.B. Kitaj [see Kitaj section] ; they 
visited Lockheed's Rye Canyon research center, as well 
as the Burbank aircraft production complex. It was 
evident even during this preliminary view of a corpor- 
ation that Irwin, unlike Kitaj, was not interested so 
much in industrial fabricating techniques as in the more 
abstract areas of theoretical experiments in perceptual 
psychology. At Rye Canyon, there was an anechoic 
chamber (a room heavily insulated against outside noise 
stimuli and thus non-reverberant), and a chamber into 
which sound and visual stimuli could be introduced for 
the purpose of testing human responses to various 
sensory phenomena. These were precisely the kinds of 
research facilities to which Bob wished to gain access. 
According to notes made by Gail Scott following this 
tour, he asked to locate a Lockheed specialist with 
whom he could discuss "acoustic coatings— what he 
wants is architectural acoustics. Wants to do an environ- 
ment using optics, acoustics, lasers, etc. without any 
mechanism exposed." 

niques and experimental phenomena he wished to study: 
Space craft cabin/support environment: 
investigations necessary to determine what perceptual 
awarenesses are necessary for basic orientation and 

sound— what kind, how much, interrupted? natural 
environment noises for attention, sleep, etc. 

visual stimulus for attention, orientation, space, 

tactile— touch orientation to instruments, space of 

how much can be corrected through training or 
assumed/what kind of training? 

what kind of equipment was used to gather this 
information? Ganzfield sphere, anechoic chamber, 

How was this information applied to the design of the 
capsule? visual information of instruments, sound 
information, how much sense of control was built in 
and not entrusted to the astronauts. 

all information where man's sensual awarenesses were 
tested with conclusions of degrees of awareness/ 
human prowess (sighting of specific objects on the 
earth) basic necessities for maintaining sanity. 


light properties of paint, ceramics, materials with 
abilities to diffract, diffuse, curve light— high absorp- 
tion or reflectivity. Materials with special sound 
properties— deadening high reflectance, etc. how do 
they protect the men from the sound during liftoff? 
ability to change any perceptions of sound. 

On the IBM tour Bob was accompanied by Cal Tech 
physicist Dr. Richard Feynman; they spent two days at 
IBM's enormous San Jose complex. Again, Bob was most 
drawn to investigate the laboratories researching human 
responses to special environmental situations. The IBM 
San Jose facility is equipped to deal in areas seemingly 
far afield from the production of computers— there are 
elaborate physics and chemistry labs, for example— and, 
although nothing came to develop between Irwin and 
IBM, the tour, especially through his close contact with 
Dr. Feynman, was an extremely rich experience for the 

A match between Lockheed and Kitaj was effected in 
September but Irwin arranged to consult with Lock- 
heed's Don Christiansen, of their Public Affairs office. 
Bob drew up for Christiansen a rough listing of tech- 


any materials with optical properties, diffraction 

gratings screening materials— diamond or triangular 

shaped thread, rear screen projection screens, glass or 


gases for flames/optical projection screening lights- 
xenon, quartz-iodine point sources (as close as poss.) 

lenticular screening materials, polarizing any particu- 
lar surface, wavelength, etc. 

Light, color, weight and density in the open air: 
Vandenberg vapor trails 
chemiluminescence or electroluminescence 
coronas and halos and 'glorys' 
ice crystals, iron filings 


lightning balls— plasma 

visual observation and photos of sound waves 

Schlieren images and shadows images 

electrical fields around the earth— glowing Van Allen 


When he gave us a copy of this outline, he spoke to us 
about his general intentions, here recorded in memo 

Bob knows exactly what he is interested in technical- 
ly (see his own report of his fields of interest), and 
was very persistent in asking the various experts at 
Lockheed for specific information. He will carry on 
himself with Don Christiansen, although he will not 
be working at Lockheed. He wants to collaborate on 
a project with Jim Turrell, perhaps at JPL. 

Generally Bob is involved with perceptual psychol- 

Processes of receiving and reacting to information. He 
wants to find out more about the application of 
studies and equipment used in recording people's 
reactions to light, sound, color, weight, density, etc., 
before he even starts to work out a project. 

We learned at this time that Irwin had been in close 
touch with James Turrell over the Summer of '68, and 
that the idea of collaborating with the younger artist on 
a project for A & T had apparently been in his mind for 
some time. There can be no doubt that Turrell had 
suggested to Bob many of the concepts he was exploring 
with Christiansen at Lockheed and with Dr. Feynman. 
Significantly, he attached to his outline for Christiansen 
a bibliography compiled by Turrell of books and articles 
on perceptual psychology. Turrell, having had consider- 
able academic training in psychology at Pomona College, 
had more direct access to literature in the field, and had 
a greater understanding of experimental methodology 
than Irwin. Bob, however, had for years been intuitively 
dealing with certain subtle aspects of the psychology of 
perception through his work. When the two artists met 
and entered Into a period of intense dialogue, they both 
felt a sense of extraordinary potential— it was as if each 
had found in the other an ideally complementary source 
of information. Irwin brought to the relationship his 
long experience as an artist and his highly evolved 
esthetic sensibility; Turrell had an intellectual back- 
ground, and thus a verbal knowledge of theory and 
technique, which could open wide new possibilities for 
application by Bob or both artists together. [1, Turrell 
at left, Irwin right] 

When it was proposed to us that the two artists enter 
Into corporation residence collaboratively, we agreed 
without hesitation. We weren't certain whether Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory, where they were eager to work, 
could provide a satisfactory degree of commitment. 

since they were not a Patron Sponsor Corporation and 
had placed definite limits on the extent of time and 
money they could afford to put into the project. 

There was, however, another aerospace-oriented corpor- 
ation contracted with the Museum as of May, 1968-The 
Garrett Corporation— which we had not yet matched 
with an artist. (The young Canadian artist lain Baxter, 
and kinetic sculptor Len Lye had both toured Garrett, 
but nothing came of these encounters.) In November, 
1968, it was arranged for Irwin and Turrell to meet with 

I* \ 

Tom Vanides, our contact man at Garrett, and Dr. Ed 
Wortz, Head of the corporation's Life Sciences Depart- 
ment in Torrance, California. This preliminary meeting- 
attended by us and Dr. Feynman, as well as the artists- 
was one of the most exciting and spontaneously produc- 
tive occasions of its kind we attended during the entire 
course of A & T. It was immediately evident that Dr. 
Wortz's interests and field of research were precisely 
parallel to those of the two artists. Wortz has a Ph.D. in 
Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas. 
He has been with Garrett since 1962. The nature of his 
work at Garrett is directly concerned with human 
perceptual responses in special conditions: the Garrett 
Life Sciences Department has been importantly involved 
in developing life support systems for manned lunar 
flights. Wortz has done considerable research on the 
problem of actually walking on the moon— this implies 
such considerations as the astronaut's perceptions of 
space and perspective when he is near or on the lunar 
surface, what his physical and psychological tolerances 
are during various phases of his exertions, etc. 

On the basis of several preliminary meetings between the 
two artists and Wortz, it was agreed to proceed with an 
artist-corporation match. Artist contracts were signed, 
and the collaboration proceeded. Irwin and Turrell met 



frequently with Dr. Wortz— sometimes at Garrett, often 
at one of their studios, or at Wortz's home— from No- 
vember through July of 1969. [2] In January, Wortz 
moved with his family to Manhattan Beach, primarily in 
order to be nearer the two artists. 

The areas of Investigation pursued during these months 
were manifold. For the first two months, the artists were 
definitely working toward the designing of a structure 
for the Museum exhibition. (This plan was later aban- 
doned for several reasons.) 

The following statement was formulated in January, 
1969, as a tentative proposal for a course of action: 
Project Art and Technology's time schedule is seen in 
three parts, first six months devoted to development 
of overall perceptual thesis between the principals. 
Dr. Ed Wortz, and artists R. Irwin and J. Turrell, the 
basic perceptual research to begin in January 1969, 
with the cooperation of Jay Dowling, UCLA Psychol- 
ogy Department, with students of that department 
and forms of stimulus complexity/uncertainty con- 
sidered for the project. 

Begin planning physically, forms and means consid- 
ered, development of a number of possible working 
spaces, and various ways of implementing the physi- 
cal needs of the thesis. 

Research in depth, tools, materials and people neces- 
sary to implement or expand project. 

The second six months, having arrived at the basic 
format and physical plan, a space will be leased to 
build and then refine the actual working space, 
methods of entrance, exit, control of elements, input 
of stimulus, etc. 

Research will continue with a variety of subjects in 
actual working space, to determine and refine time 
spans, positioning and final working of the project. 

Physical structure will then be dismantled and reas- 
sembled in the Los Angeles County Museum, in 
keeping with the time schedule for the 'exhibition.' 

The project is seen now, by the principals, to involve 
four periods of perceptual change, plus and minus, 
each working with the states of consciousness. 

PART 1 A queuing area, to be seen as a part of the 
museum, but isolated, sound dampened, 2 
or 3 persons at one time. This area to 
develop a time span and positioning for Part 


PART 2 Sensory Deprivation 

a. one person for a period of from 6 to 15 
minutes using an anechoic type space. 

1 . This space to be fully sound damp- 
ened and in total darkness. 

2. Time span to be experimented with 
using subjects to determine optimum 

b. Person to enter with as little orientation 
to size, shape and his position in space, 
as is possible. 

1 . Entrance should obscure outside 
scale, and position of room within 
museum space. 

c. Within first minute or two, stimulus to 
be introduced/visual, audio/to define a 
space on his senses and to focus and 
heighten attention on his sense aware- 
ness. This is to be done near his area of 

d. Events not to be repeated. 

This will leave him with a lingering 
anticipation and a form of participation; 
in his sense isolation his focus should fall 
back on his own sense phenomena. 

1 . The sounds of his own system, retinal 
color fields, etc. 

2. He could back into a subtle form of 

e. Sensory deprivation seems to alter the 
orders of our established sensory depen- 

positioning by the use of more than 
one sense. 

Over a one-month period, from mid-January to mid- 
February, James Turrell periodically wrote up formal- 
ized notes on the Garrett project, outlining the possibili- 
ties for the Museum "sensory chamber" and stating 
general observations about his own— and, by implication, 
the team's— overall intentions and philosophy. 

Possible setup with three spaces: 

1. queuing area— preparatory area 

sound dampened, less complex than the outside 
world, time: 5-10 minutes 

2. anechoic chamber 

entrance from chamber 1 is obscured by either a 

blind wall or curve. 

visitor is seated in chair in reclining position with 

head mounted in center of space 

size of room: a cube, approx. 12 x 12 x 12 

sound dampening elements flocked back 

The chair the visitor is seated in is constructed of 

moveable parts which will slowly flatten as it is 

hydraulically lifted up to the third, upper chamber 

so that the visitor will end up prone on the floor 

of the upper chamber. 

there will be no light or sound stimuli at first in 

the chamber, and any that will be presented will 

be determined by forthcoming experiments; 

expected stimuli will be something on the order of 

sub-threshhold light flashes and sound flashes 

'reorienting stimuli'; these stimuli will increase 

gradually to the point which seems to be between 

hallucination and reality. 

time spent in chamber will be between 5-10 


This chamber is a sensitizing situation for the 

following chamber as well as a unique experience 

in itself. 

PART 3 Sensory participation/controlled input, 
person to enter directly from deprivation 
space, to spend 6 to 15 minutes. 

a. Content of this space to be seen as a 
singular sense experience, to see space as 
surrounding and positive. 

b. Stimulus information to avoid any 
imagery identification/non object/a 
major objective is to make all stimulus 

1 . Development of sensory crossovers/ 
the support of any awareness or 

upper chamber 

domed, cylindrical, semi-translucent for back 
projection, constructed of seamless plexiglass, 
visitor's first sensation of this chamber will be that 
of experiencing a Ganz field. 
The space will have a sound quality and a light 
quality which will be manipulated; we do not plan 
to use any images per se, but are more interested 
in changes in light quality, color temperature of 
light, intensity of light, pulsating effects. We are 
interested in having changes take place behind the 
person, or on his periphery, therefore there is a 
need for a tracking device to determine the po- 
sition of the viewer. 



4. Leaving the upper chamber: 

The platform reforms itself into a chair. 
The visitor sits on it and descends back into the 
anechoic chamber which is lit, a door opposite 
from the entrance opens, and the visitor exits 
through it via a tunnel to outside of the museum; 
the tunnel becomes gradually less sound absorbing 
as it approaches the outdoors. 

We are working with states of consciousness and 

Find out about the sound device that makes a wall 
act as a speaker. Bob Eriser deals this product for a 
company called Rollen Star. 

To decide the best use of the anechoic chamber we 
will do some experiments with the chamber at UCLA 
studying the effects of: 

length of time in the chamber 

visual stimulation 

auditory stimulation 

kinesthetic stimulation 

and combinations of these variables 

We will seek results dealing with the S's thresholds, 
JND limens, likes-dislikes, and their impressions of 
any hallucinations or changes in psychic state while in 
the chamber. 

We'll also try to find how to produce the proper set 
for the next space, the next experience. 

Subliminal word 'spacing', tatistascopic exposures 

Technology is merely a means— not an end. Techno- 
logical instruments are extensions of ideas, i.e.: they 
measure what you already think is there, what you 
have decided to measure.— Symptoms— not necessarily 
what is significant. 

Allowing people to perceive their perceptions— mak- 
ing them aware of their perceptions— We've decided 
to investigate this and to make people conscious of 
their consciousness. We're concerned with manipula- 
ting the conscious state. 

Sense of sensing: awareness of perceptions, a reflexive 
act. Working with the sense of the senses— a change in 

working with non-verbal experience 

This project, we believe, is an extension of our work, 
just as our work is an extension of some mainstream 
of modern art. A problem may arise with this project 

in the minds of the art community who may regard it 
as 'non-art'— as theatrical, or more scientific than 
artistic, or as being just outside the arena of art. 
Although it is a strong alteration as far as methods, 
means, and intent, we believe in it as art, and yet 
recognize the possibility of a redefinition needed to 
incorporate it into the 'arena.' 

The necessity for this statement stems from the fact 
that this project will ultimately be dealt with by the 
art world, not so much the scientific world, though 
this might not be unwarranted, and therefore we are 
held to the dialogue of the art community and are 
subject to its reviews and criticisms. Thus we feel we 
must make our position clear, that we feel our project 
is not inconsistent with what has come before. (How 
can it be?) 

If we define art as part of the realm of experience, we 
can assume that after a viewer looks at a piece he 
'leaves' with the art, because the 'art' had been 

We are dealing with the limits of an experience— not 
for instance with the limits of painting. We have 
chosen that experience out of the realm of experience 
to be defined as 'art,' because having this label it is 
given special attention. Perhaps this is all 'art' means— 
this Frame of Mind. 

The artist singles out that which he feels needs to be 
experienced. Possibly because it hasn't been experi- 
enced enough— is rare— When it has been experienced 
(on a cultural level) this isn't necessary and may no 
longer be within the bounds of 'art.' Hence, everyday, 
common objects, acts, forms of another culture (i.e., 
Japan) may seem close to art for us but to those of 
that culture they are just part of their everyday 
experience. The object of art may be to seek an 
elimination of the necessity for it. 

Much art today appears unprofessional, some artists 
as revolutionaries, attacking existing structure, others 
are involved in construction of new structures, all 
artists pass through many stages in their development. 
Need for some perspective to tell where trends are 
going and where artists are in relation to each other. 

Plans for continuing to work together after complet- 
ing this project include retaining the space that will 
be rented for this project. There we can build en- 
vironments and so experiment ourselves, and/or 
interest universities to carry on with some of the 
facets of our work. The project may open new areas 
of work to be involved with. 

Discussion of an experiment: S's isolated up to 72 


hours with auditory, visual and tactile deprivation. 
Results: Vz S's had progressions of alpha, beta, and 
delta rhythms, others experienced digressions of these 
rhythms— effects of deprivation ran both ways— 
maybe effects are dependent on the attitude of the S 
(whether he got into or withdrew from the experi- 

We can consider this study to be done on poor 
experimental design, and we don't accept the results 
that sensory thresholds were not changed after 
deprivation. This is because the deprivation consisted 
of being blindfolded, earmuffed, and hand tied. 

One finding relevant to our work was that the 
changes in the brain rhythms depended in part on the 
time of the day, for example, circadian rhythms exist 
only in late afternoon and early evening. 

Sensory experience is heightened when sense modal- 
ities act in phase. Consciously trying to bring them 
into phase destroys the effect: not necessarily true. 

The work we have selected to deal with is interesting 
to art by the fact that it is what artists have previous- 
ly been envolved in, yet have never approached ex- 
haustively. The works of previous artists have come 
from their own experiences or insights but haven't 
given the experience itself. They had set themselves 
up as a sort of interpreter to the layman. A change of 
this trend began with non-objective painting, the 
abstract expressionists, who were involved with the 
idea of 'it is the thing itself.' Today, Pop artists are 
into extensions of this thinking. Our interest is in a 
form where you realize that the media are just per- 

Dealing with states of consciousness is like a drug 
experience: most people hold back from going 
through— experiencing— the new until they have 
correlated it to something already known, whereas 
the artist may be unique in that he seeks the new 
experience, and lets himself go accepting it as a 
unique experience. 

In the project we have designed, there is a cleansing 
situation where the people may relax and be able to 
open up— to be able to experience somethir>g unique. 


Make certain viewer is aware that the experience is 

formed within, that he forms the experience, gives it 


While he is in the anechoic chamber, the visitor is 
being set up for the experience in the upper chamber, 
if a different space is even to be used, so aside from it 

being an experience in itself, the anechoic chamber is 
also a preconditioning situation. 

The viewers must assume the responsibility, they get 
into the experience, and they make the art— they are 
the actuality. 

Concerning the statement we are writing about the 
project: 'what we tend to accomplish is to bring you 
to an awareness of perception, of perceiving yourself 
perceiving, pressing the information against the 
senses— making the sense of reality a sense of the 

'. . . instead of placing our images on an object, we 
will define a non-object situation in setting up the 
boundaries of experience to be perceived . . .' 

(now explain what we are trying to accomplish) 
The experience is the 'thing,' the experiencing is the 

Instructions to visitors? 

that's asking them to make enough of a change from 
their normal state. The quality of their involvement is 
dependent on the degree they play the game, but we 
need something where the setup of the thing makes 
them want to play the game. Hit them at the level of 
expectancy so they become engaged and then manip- 
ulate them to our level— a seductive act. 

Therefore, whatever we do should begin at their level 
of expectancy, i.e., in the anechoic chamber, the 
presentation of the first light stimulus can act to 
define the space and that will excite them, yet at the 
same time it will do what we want, to get them 
looking at their retinal field after the flash, therefore 
getting them looking at their own eyeball (to look at 
their looking), and listening to their own ears. 

Queuing or conditioning area: 
Start with realm built with selected vocabulary, 
non-literal. The space will be museum-like, with 2 or 
3 people keeping them there as long as we desire. We 
can program people there using words to produce a 
thought-idea continuum which would have no literate 
context. The words can either be presented audibly 
or visually or combined somehow. They can start off 
as subliminally presented moving toward conscious 
presentation. The more spatial the presentation, the 
more effective it will be. 

Find words through dictionary and thesaurus, and 
form groups of words as we like them. Categorize 
them as to: object-words, sound-words, action-words, 
state-of-being-words, place-words, sensual-words, etc. 



Must structure the forms we want, so they corres- 
pond with experience we want them to have. Also, 
must think in terms of the multi-level input we are 
creating and structure it so that it is understated 
rather than over-whelming. 

We must choose words to correspond to the experi- 
ence the people are going to have, i.e., picl< words 
that describe the space of the anechoic chamber. 

What we are dealing with are meditative states. The 
preconditioning sets up state of meditation, so when 
they leave the first chamber they will be in that 
encapsulated form. Then we want to take them 
slowly out of that form to a specialized space where 
they change from being oriented inwardly to their 
own space or a space awareness that extends maxi- 
mally 6 feet around themselves, to where they push 
their experience outward to the space outside. 

Quote from Blake: 'If the doors of perception were 
cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, 

Try to deal with the space the words make, as if each 
word had the power of a mantra. Remove it from any 
literary connotations, so that the word is denoting 
portions of your thought-idea continuum or portions 
of your mental space, rather than connecting itself 
literally to other words. Thus making the word an 
image-conjuring, spatial-feeling, sentient-feeling 

Time is illusionary, events make the time. 

There is no such thing as modern art, there was art 
that was done then, and art that is done now, art is 

All art is experience, yet all experience is not art. The 
artist chooses from experience that which he defines 
out as art, possibly because it has not yet been 
experienced enough, or because it needs to be experi- 
enced more. 

All art-world distinctions are meaningless. 

Several experiments were devised, principally by Turrell, 
to test subjects' responses to special environmental 
conditions which might be designed for the Museum 
environment. These were written up in January: 

The following are a series of studies that we plan to 
undertake before deciding upon the finished structure 
and form of the experience we are to present at the 
end of our contracted association with the Garrett 
Corporation and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 


These studies will begin with our own observations in 
the anechoic chamber and will later involve a number 
of subjects. The investigations will be amended as 
necessary to accommodate our findings as the study 

May change order. 

May alter experiments. 

May eliminate experiments. 

Want results not explanation. 

Mainly based upon personal observations. 

Will use subjects when whether we sense something 

(i.e., when we know what we are about to sense) or 

not is a question. 

Experiment Schedule 

Experiment I: Investigate a person's reaction to the 
experience of an anechoic space and length of time in 
the space. 

Experiment II: Investigate the experiencing of an- 
echoic space when the person is brought into the 
space blindfolded, i.e., without prior visual knowl- 
edge of the space. Can't see space. 

Experiment HI: Investigate a person's reaction to the 
experience of an anechoic space when the person is 
brought into the space blindfolded and spatially 
disoriented, i.e., without prior visual and directional 
(spatial) knowledge. 

Experiment IV: Investigate how the experience is 
altered when the space is strobed— made visible for an 
instant, i.e. whether and/or how a person's self-gener- 
ated space is changed when the actual room space is 
made known for an instant. Alternative strobe with 
strongly colored light (violet) so that space is not 
identified— but a color field is created on retina— some 
color field is experienced without stimulation. 

Experiment V: Investigate the experience of gradual- 
ly introducing very low levels of light (varying colors 
gradually diffused) into an anechoic space after the 
person has been in total darkness and soundlessness. 
Light to border on its questionable existence— as to 
its being real or retinal field induced. 

Experiment VI: Investigate the experience of gradual- 
ly introducing very low levels of sound tones into an 
anechoic space. First hear the quality and kinds of 
sounds the ear (s) is experiencing in soundlessness— 
possibly use sound to draw different kind of space. 
See if subject (idea) of space can be changed in this 

Experiment VII: Investigate visual and auditory 
intersensory relations, (color-tone synesthesia) Area 

of separate investigation prior to (taste tone, etc. 
Exp. VIII). 

Experiment VIM: Investigate the relations of taste 
and tone by duplicating the taste and pitch experi- 
ments of Holt-Hansen. This experiment should be 
fairly easy to duplicate and requires a sound setup 
very similar to that needed for experiments IX— XI. 
This investigation may satisfy our needs for a great 
beer while familiarizing us with the auditory sense. 

Experiment IX: Investigate the experience of a space 
and tone (what sounds feel proper in a space— 
whether the sounds that make a space resonate are 
perceived as most correct or pleasant, etc.). 

Experiment X: Investigate the experience of light and 
tone in a space. 

Experiment XI: Investigate 'word spaces' and 
whether any programming (loading or priming) prior 
to the experience of an anechoic space will enhance, 
heighten, or hinder the experience of that space. 

Experiment XII: Investigate Alpha Conditioning. 

Not all of these experiments formulated by Turrell were 
carried out, but Experiment I— with the use of an an- 
echoic chamber made available to Turrell and Irwin at 
UCLA [3, 4] —was elaborately implemented. All in all, 
about thirty or forty subjects underwent the experi- 
ment, and were asked to record their responses. A 
questionnaire with one subject's responses follows: 


INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this investigation 
is to determine a person's reactions to isolation in a 
completely dark anechoic chamber for a short period 
of time. 

The periods of isolation for three different groups of 
people will be 4 minutes, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes. 

PROCEDURE: The person is told 'We want you to 
come and sit in this room for a period of time and see 
what it's lii<e. ' (This set of 'looking for something' is 
not unlike coming into an art experience with a 
'looking sense.') 'This experience is yours alone. No 
one is observing you. Afterwards we will instruct you 
as to what to do next. ' 

The person is taken into the anechoic chamber and 
seated. The light is turned off, and the door closed 
for the time duration. Ten persons will experience the 
four minute duration, ten the seven minute, and ten 
the ten minute duration. After the time is up, the 
door is opened, the light turned on, and the person is 
casually asked: 'How did it feel?' to obtain an initial 




verbal reaction. The person is then asked to 'Please 
come out and be seated and fill out this question- 
naire. Answer those questions you can.' 

The questionnaire is a follows: 

Answer any question that you feel is pertinent. Please 
add any impressions that you feel were not covered 
by the questions: 

How did the room feel? 

Subject: Hard to put a shape to it. Flat in front of 
me. Hallucinations had shallow depth. On looking 
straight ahead, I felt light converging on the sides as if 
from behind, but when I turned it was even darker. 

What, if any, was the effect of entering the room? 
S: Springy floor. Could be scary since it was dark. 

What, if any, was the effect of leaving the room? 
S: Waking up, bright, weird. 

Describe the overall field after the light went out. 
S: Shooting backwards through a tunnel. Blue-gray 
after-images on a darker-grey field. A shiny object to 
my left stayed with me then vanished. 

What did you see? 

S: Gray on dark gray. Rod-shaped blue things and 
lights swelling in from sides. Hallucinations (e.g., 
faces from weird angles— mainly looking up at them— 
focus on eyes and noses— mainly 'Christ-like' and 
'blond-female' types.) and designs (e.g., fractionated 
planes) and colored objects (e.g., a red and green 

Describe the visual space you were involved in. 
8: Dream-like. In fact, it was so hard not to close my 
eyes that much of what I did 'see' was partial dreams. 
Up and flat at 5 feet or so. 

What did you hear? 

S: Fast vibrating mechanical sound throughout, water 
sounds, walking sounds, stomach gurgles, bone 
creakings, when I clicked my tongue— it had a dull, 
faraway sound. 

Describe the auditory space you were involved in. 
S: Water sounds off right, walking behind me, vibra- 
tion in my head, I was elevated from my body 

What did you think while you were in the room? 
S: Of falling alseep (felt guilty about this); of trying 
to think about these questions which I knew I would 
have to answer (i.e., concentrating on seeing and 
hearing mainly). 

How long did you feel you were in the room? 
S: Very long time— I don't know— timeless. 

What sensations, if any, were intensified or modified 
while you were in or since you have come out? 
S: Sounds are louder, no hallucinations now! 

Did the air seem abnormal in any way? 

S: Stuffy, a sneeze stuck with me for a long time. 

Did you feel claustrophobic in any way? 
S: Yes, when I tried to look around. 

Were you relieved to get out? 

S: In a sense, so that I would remember 'my dream.' 

Did you want to stay in? 
S: No 

Do you meditate? 
S: No 

Age: 25 Sex: F 

The artists also duplicated an experiment written up by 
Kristian Holt-Hansen, of Copenhagen University, in 
1968, called "Taste and Pitch." The Holt-Hansen paper 

... a new method of quantitative determination of 
taste. In a special experimental situation Subject 
compares taste and pure tones. The latter are varied 
in pitch until Subject finds the pitch which character- 
izes the sample. The method is illustrated by results 
for two samples, Carlsberg Lager and Carlsberg 
Elephant Beer. New problems are involved within the 
psychology of perception. 

Irwin, Turrell and Wortz were successful in confirming 
that there are definite "pleasure zones" of corresponding 
taste and tone— when drinking Carlsberg Elephant Beer, 
the tone (which could be manipulated by turning a dial 
connected to earphones) that produced a sense of 
harmony with the taste of the beer was 650 Hz.; when 
drinking Carlsberg Lager, a less sharp-tasting beer, the 
pleasurable tone was about 10-15 Hz. Certain tones 
produced no effect on the taste of the beers, but when 
the relationship occurred, i.e., when the tone was at the 
particular pitch cited, the beer tasted distinctly better. 

The artists were interested in exploring the relationships 
between tone and color perception, as well— Wortz at 
some point provided them with information in this area 
of colortone synesthesia— though they didn't actually 
engage in formal experimentation. The principal aspect 
of their work in visual perception had to do with Ganz 
fields. According to Wortz's description, a Ganz field "is 
a visual field in which there are no objects you can take 
hold of with your eye. It's a complete 360° field, or at 



least has to include total peripheral vision, and it's 
entirely homogeneous in color, white in our case. Its 
unique feature is that it appears to be light filled. That 
is, light appears to have substance in the Ganz field." 
The ones constructed by Wortz, Irwin and Turrell were 
concave hemispheres, no larger than about three feet in 
diameter. When one of these was illuminated, it ap- 
peared, as you lool<ed into it, to be solid, as if there were 
a flat plane across the top. [5] Wortz says it is a "fairly 
infinite space. One of the most exciting things about it is 
that if you have a continually changing light level, the 
Ganz field will disappear and then reappear." 

the "alpha chamber," having been hooked up to the 
EEG and instructed briefly by Wortz. [6] Although a 
single session of this kind of experimentation is not 
enough to enable one to enter at will a true meditative 
state, and thus sustain alpha production, all three were 
able to achieve relatively prolonged "alpha states." The 
experience in itself of doing nothing for a half hour— of 
sitting, relaxed and alone, intensely aware but of nothing 
in particular, is one to which most people are not habit- 
uated. Nothing was being done to the subjects— they 
were simply training themselves to achieve a special state 
of consciousness for a few minutes at a time. Several 

Perhaps the most important phase of the investigation 
pursued by Dr. Wortz and the two artists was in the area 
of alpha conditioning. Alpha is the designation given to 
certain measurable cycles of brain waves which have for 
some time been known to occur strongly during states of 
meditation. Sustained alpha rhythms of between twelve 
and eight cycles per second can be induced by putting 
oneself in a meditative state. One can test one's own 
ability to produce alpha with the use of an electroencep- 
halograph machine, hooked up to some kind of audile or 
visual sensor which tells the subject when alpha is 
occurring. Dr. Wortz contrived a device which worked 
extremely well for himself, Irwin and Turrell. He at- 
tached a small light to a pair of glasses worn by the 
subject while sitting, relaxed, in a comfortable chair; the 
subject would close his eyes, and see through his eyelid 
the light, which would come on only when the EEG 
registered alpha rhythms of twelve cycles per second or 

One day in July, MT, Jane Livingston and Gail Scott 
visited Garrett to meet with the artists and Dr. Wortz, 
and specifically to undergo alpha conditioning. Each in 
turn spent thirty to forty-five minute periods alone in 

hours after MT, JL and GS had returned from Garrett to 
the Museum, all three of them experienced definite, 
inexplicable sensations of anxiety, or a sense of mental 
dislocation or dissociation. Since these peculiar sieges of 
emotional change occurred to all three, and to all within 
approximately the same period of time, it seems reason- 
able to speculate that they were effects caused by the 
alpha conditioning. (This is apparently not an unusual 
phenomenon from one's first exposure to alpha, but it is 
said that such "after-effects" disappear with increased 
expertise in this kind of meditation.) 

The experience of alpha conditioning for the two artists 
and Dr. Wortz was important not so much in itself, but 
for what each learned through it about states of con- 
sciousness, and specifically the potentially life-changing 
consequences of meditation. In talking to us recently. 
Dr. Wortz did mention one quite specific result from the 
alpha experimentation. 

As far as the meditative experiences are concerned, 
both Jim and Bob were very useful to me, because 
they provided the perspective for the internal experi- 
ences. Their explanations and descriptions were really 
useful. There were things that I wouldn't bother 


trying because I didn't expect any results; but they 
went ahead and tried them, and they worked nicely. 
This primarily involved visualization. Prior to these 
experiments, in the literature on this area, it had been 
assumed that you couldn't do much in the way of 
visualization while producing alpha. This just didn't 
hold up at all ... . With the alpha, visualization tends 
to be enhanced in its sharpness, and in the aspect of 

During the period while they were working intensively 
with alpha, Wortz formulated a list of exercises for 
meditation and itemized a number of his own responses 
during a meditative state which are precisely described 
and indicate the essential kinds of experience he and the 
two artists were undergoing: 

General Instructions: 

Sit comfortably— but erect at all times— head level- 
preferably full or half lotus but a straight chair will 

Hands in lap— one cupped within the other— palms 
up— tips of thumbs together. 

Twice a day— Eyes closed. 

1. Counting breaths— 1 week 

Breathe slowly and rhythmically with the gut 

Count the exhalations 

Count up to 100 and then backward to 

Attend to breathing and to the count 

Try to attend only to the breathing but do not 

particularly fight other thoughts— when they arise, 

however, do not pursue them. 

2. Seeing breaths— 1 week 

Same as above but try to see the inhalations and 
exhalations (The buddhists say that the breath is 
blue— I struck out on this one). 

3. Hearing— 1 week 

Same as 1 and 2 but try to hear the breath as well 
while breathing as quietly as possible. 

4. Illumination— 1 week 

When breathing rhythmically try to increase the 
level of illumination of the room (seen through 
the closed lids). 

5. No thought 

Proceed through the meditation period without 
thought— work at no thought. (I think this is the 
best individual exercise.) 

6. Group effort— Meditate in a group and try to help 
others— help them to do what? It's for you to decide. 

7. Koan 

Strenuous effort to understand intellectually a 
purely intellectual question that has no intellec- 
tual resolution. (Who were you before you were 
born? What is the sound of one hand clapping? 
What's in the meaning of the word Mu?— pick your 

8. Eyes Open 

Achieve a meditative state with your eyes open- 
look at the floor about 1-2 meters away— eye lids 
lowered slightly. No other instructions are neces- 

9. Tantric 

Meditate on a mystical phrase or word such as 
Om. The word is repeated over and over. 

Psychophysiological experiences I have had during 
meditation include: 

1. Peripheral vasoconstriction (extremities feel 

2. Profuse salivation early in the period 

3. Unique stimulating effect of unexpected noises- 
resulting in a whole body 'thrill' sensation and 
sometimes accompanied by a flash of light 

4. Time compression— 30 minutes seem like 10 

5. Loss of limb localization 

6. Apparent and paradoxical spinning of the room 

7. 'Butterflys' in the stomach 

8. Phosphenes 

9. Seeing the 'moon rise' 

10. Expansion of mind and body 

11. Expansion of mind 

12. Floating sensation 

13. Full feeling in the forehead like blocked sinus 

14. Irritated area on the forehead 

1 5. Waxing and waning of a drawing sensation 
around the nose and eyes at approximately 
47 cpm (seems to be linked with threshhold 
movements of jaw muscles) 

16. Reduction in blink rate 

17. Relaxation of lower eye lid 

As they concentrated increasingly on the alpha con- 
ditioning, Irwin and Turrell became less inclined- 
through the Spring and into the Summer of 1969— to 
carry out their original plan for designing an environ- 
ment combining an anechoic chamber with a Ganz field 
for the Museum. One of the reasons for this waning of 
enthusiasm about constructing an "object" had to do 
with their feeling that any such work, because of the 
necessity to have only one or at most three or four 
participants enter it at a time, could not possibly be 
exhibited at Expo 70, and would be difficult to handle 
even in a considerably less crowded Museum situation. 
But there were, perhaps, other less concrete reasons for 



their gradual relinquishing of concern for "making a 
work." They began to become deeply involved in the 
highly personal experience Itself oi intimate collabora- 
tion. Then, in August, Jim Turrell suddenly abdicated 
from the project. He terminated his relationship with 
Irwin, though he has continued to the present time to 
see Wortz. Irwin said later that had Turrell maintained 
his participation in the project, they might eventually 
have consummated an environmental piece, but that he 
didn't feel inclined to pursue it on his own, or with Dr. 

In speaking individually about the three-way collabora- 
tion more than a year after it happened, Wortz, Irwin 
and Turrell all made some significant comments to us 
reflecting on the direction it took. Wortz sees himself 
basically as a sort of catalyst in the relationship, and 
tends to stress the active role played by the artists in a 
mutual learning process, with himself as a kind of 
"passive instructor." He said. 

For me the first part was to learn who these guys 
were, and how to deal with where their heads were. I 
was trying to figure out how I could contribute to 
what they were involved in. I felt I was essentially 
support personnel. But Bob and Jim didn't agree to 
that kind of role .... Eventually we decided to turn 
our heads to specific kinds of projects. And we got 
very close to carrying some of them off . . . for 
example the sensory experiments, particularly com- 
bining the Ganz field with the anechoic chamber 
.... The whole process was such an interactive 
process that it's difficult to sort out any one person's 

don't understand a line, but I know damn well he 
does .... 

Wortz indicated that, although the collaboration at a 
certain point became "non-goal-oriented," it might— had 
Turrell not opted out— have issued in something con- 
crete. He said at first, "What we learned has mostly to 
do with our personal development. Whether there are 
any other fruits beyond ourselves remains to be 
seen . . . ." But he later stated, "I really am convinced 
that if this problem [between Irwin and Turrell] hadn't 
happened, it would have matured into some sort of 
specific, concrete product." He went on to speculate 
about artistic collaboration in general. 

People like myself are continually involved in cooper- 
ating in all sorts of research, design, etc. In fact we do 
almost nothing individually, because one person just 
isn't capable of handling these problems himself. Now 
if art moves to the level of complexity that my field 
has attained, I think there's a pretty good chance that 
artists can work together similarly. If it doesn't move 
to that level of complexity, I don't think there's any 
reason for that collaboration [among artists] to 

The fundamental purpose of our research was really 
twofold. We were doing things that were providing us 
with some new insights into ourselves and perception, 
and also providing us with insights about how we 
could work with each other. The business of working 
with each other came along very nicely, and I still 
have that kind of relationship with Jim and Bob 

Wortz's comments about the difference in approach 
between the two artists, made only after some pressing 
by us, are quite revealing of the dynamics of the collab- 

Bob approached information differently than Jim or 
myself. Jim and I are primarily information sops. Bob 
withholds information. He keeps the information at a 
distance, which is interesting, because he would arrive 
at the same observations and the same set of conclu- 
sions by holding off information. It was a very 
effective technique. Jim and I would sop it all 


We tried all kinds of things. We tried [with the UCLA 
anechoic chamber] to find out what occurs when 
individuals isolate themselves from sensory input and 
have to look inward. From what I know of Bob's 
early experience with painting, sitting for years 
looking at lines, I'm pretty well convinced that this 
sensory deprivation is what he was engaged in. I'm 
firmly and one hundred per cent convinced that Bob 
understands a line. I've come to this . . . over a long 
time, and I've learned how he understands a line. I 

The artists both talked with us during the same period 

(September, 1970) as Wortz. Irwin said. 

All this kind of information has very strange social 
connotations. You find yourself not telling everyone 
about it, because a lot of people look at you like 
you've dropped your cookies. It's not a verbal experi- 
ence .... Wortz and I operate out of common 
experience. We would do various experiments to- 
gether, and then begin to talk about them afterward. 
But when you spend this long playing with non-verbal 
forms, it gets hard to talk. You don't have a desire to 
talk about it. It doesn't work, and it doesn't feel 

In response to a question about their abandoning the 
idea of building an environment, Irwin said, "There was 
doubt about it from the very beginning. But the thing 
that stopped it was Turrell's abdicating." 

About the collaboration in general, he said: 

Most often, I didn't know who really came up with 
an idea, or who did what. So when one person drop- 
ped out, we couldn't really proceed in the same 


line .... But I feel extremely accomplished for 
having entered into the project. I learned a lot about 
how people handle information; what defines the 
state of consciousness .... 

The areas of extended perceptual research we got into 
have to do with the ability to handle information in 
non-physical symbols .... So how does man deal 
with this? What are the states of consciousness that 
allow him to function in this more elaborate way? 
That's where we are. 

Turrell's comments, after more than a year had passed 
since he had walked away from the three-way inter- 
change, were quite different from those of Wortz and 
Irwin. Often his statements seem immensely distanced 
from the issues at hand, and reveal as much about the 
evolution of his thinking over the last year as about his 
role or approach during the time of the collaboration. 
Fragments of his responses to various questions about 
the project are as follows: 

I don't know that anything really startling came out 
of the whole thing .... I sometimes feel I've found 
some things out, but they don't apply to anyone else 
unless they come to them in the same way .... 

If either art or technology becomes a religion, maybe 
this stuff will start getting more exciting. There's got 
to be an Art and Technology Christ .... 

I have found out [largely through the collaboration] 
that you can order people's experience. There's really 
a lot that you could control in making people con- 
front something .... 

You could make this thing [A & T] historically 
significant if you want to. I have the feeling that 
whatever is happening here is a symptom of some- 
thing that's going on— but I think— I hope— it's going 
to be vastly overshadowed by the thrust of the things 
going on independently. 

We're going to have to work through this time of ego, 
and of separating artists from all those around 
them .... We're very involved in our roles as individ- 
uals right now. The thing that happens with technol- 
ogy, or [something like] the Manhattan Project ... in 
which people put their energies into a cause where 
they have to forget themselves .... People are afraid 
to dissolve themselves into any sort of human cosmic 
consciousness .... We're standing next to a swim- 
ming pool a little bit frightened about jumping in. 
But everyone's going to get pushed in, or jump in 
finally. It doesn't make any difference which. There 
are forces which are about to push us in. 

The scientist has reserved the universe of the un- 

known as his place. What the artist has to reveal 
seems to be a different order— but it probably isn't, in 
the end. 

The only reply Turrell made to the question as to why 
he had decided not to continue working with Irwin was, 
[I had to get away from] all ideas of ambitions and 
PR and constructing yourself in the second derivative, 
feeding back things, so you're watching yourself in 
this very peculiar mirror . . . very good for the head. 
Trying to maintain any sense of vanity, and looking 
at that, was hard .... I decided all that didn't seem 

Replying to a question about his view of the success or 
failure of some of his experiments, particularly with 
UCLA students, he said, "One of the surprises was to 
find that the things you're setting up aren't seen by 
other people in the same way. That's all." (Irwin, re- 
sponding to the same question, said, "We learned that 
the information we were interested in was not that 
obscure— anyone could get it. I think it had a similar 
effect on them [the subjects] as it had on us.") 

Turrell continued. 

All of this is very Pavlovian. You're not really asking 
much of the person, or yourself. And all you can 
watch are the surface responses. People were often 
going through a dance with you .... Then [the 
project] began to change, and move into sensory 
interaction, where the senses influence one another. 
And then into alpha conditioning, which is sort of 
taking a Pavlovian approach into spirituality. It has 
no end .... 

Our culture is going through a strange time— looking 
at Eastern thought— their work with meditation, their 
sense of the body and mind and soul. We're approach- 
ing it through psychology. We're very physical. When 
we want to go into the universe, we can't look at a 
rock, like the Japanese. We have to actually go to the 
moon. We're so literal. We totally ignore the Eastern 
way. There are actually meditative sciences, or 
sciences of the soul. We have devices, sensors, alpha 
conditioning machines. The machines are just mani- 
fested thought. Technology isn't anything outside 
us .... We just go about it very clumsily and very 
wastefully. Because we have to actually make all 
these devices, we have Xogo to the moon, we can't 
see the cosmos in a rock, and we can't meditate 
without having this thing strapped on us. 

After August, 1969, at the point when Turrell resigned 
his commitment, an important involvement continued 
between Wortz and Irwin toward a specific new goal 
(among other involvements)— the First National Sympos- 
ium on Habitability, which sprang directly from the 



personal connections instigated by A & T. In the sum- 
mer of 1969, Dr. Wortz was asked by NASA to consider 
the problem of formulating a new approach to certain 
areas of research having to do with "habitability." Wortz 
arranged a meeting at Garrett with some colleagues in 
various fields of scientific research, and asked both Irwin 
and Turrell to sit in on the meeting. According to Irwin, 
he and Turrell "corrupted the meeting. They started out 
by trying to define the word 'habitability.' NASA's 
projections of what this meant seemed incredibly limited 
to us. Our definition of habitability completely altered 
the premise they were assuming. We broadened the 
term." (After this initial session, Turrell was no longer 

The details of the process of determining the format and 
selecting participants to attend and present papers at the 
Symposium, which was organized in great part by Wortz, 
are much too complex to recount here. It took place in 
Venice, California from May 1 1-14, 1970. The following 
Is an excerpt from a letter sent to prospective partici- 
pants by Wortz in November, 1969: 

The symposium will be concerned with 'habitability' 
as a general phenomenon influencing the planning 
and design of undersea vehicles and stations, lunar 
bases, space stations, spacecraft, terrestrial vehicles 
and structures, and urban settlements. The sympos- 
ium will probe our current understanding of the 
concept of habitability; the factors which influence 
the quality of life associated with various environ- 
ments; the need for and characteristics of habitability 
criteria; the planning and design of a 'habitable' 
environment; and will further seek to develop testable 
hypotheses relevant to this subject. 

The speakers and panelists finally involved in the sym- 
posium were drawn from widely disparate professions. 
The list of speakers is as follows: 

Dr. Willis W. Harmon, Director, Educational Policy 
Research, Stanford Research Center, Menlo Park, 

Dr. Kiyoshi Izumi, Architect Planner, Chairman, 
Human Information and Ecology Program, University 
of Saskatchewan, Regina, Canada 

Dr. William Larson, Chairman, Division for Behavioral 
Sciences, California Polytechnic College at Pomona, 
Pomona, California 

Dr. Shashi K. Pande, Department of Psychiatry, John 
Hopkins University, Medical School, Baltimore, 

Dr. Stan Deutsch, Chief, Man Systems Integration 
Branch, Biotechnology and Human Research Di- 
vision, National Aeronautics and Space Administra- 
tion, Washington, D.C. 

Dr. William Haythorn, Department of Psychology, 
Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 

Dr. Loren Carlson, Chairman, Basic Medical Sciences, 
School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, 

Dr. Eric Gunderson, Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric 
Research Unit, San Diego, California 

Mr. Allen Louviere, Chief, Systems Support Branch, 
Manned Spacecraft Center, National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration, Houston, Texas 

Dr. David Nowlis, Consultant on Habitability, 
Garrett/Ai Research, Los Angeles California 

Dr. Ronald 0. Loveridge, Department of Political 
Science, University of California, Riverside, California 

Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz, Department of Systems 
Engineering, University of Southern California, Los 
Angeles, California 

Mr. Morton Hoppenfeld, Director of Planning & 
Design, Rouse Corporation, Columbia, Maryland 

The panelists were Dr. Art Atkisson, University of 
Texas, School of Public Health; Dr. Jelliff Carr, Director 
of Life Sciences, FASEB; Dr. Morton Leeds, Director 
Plans and Programs, HUD; Robert Irwin, Artist; Dr. Ted 
Marton, General Electric; Dr. Thaddeus Glen, University 
of Toledo; Dr. Dave Martin, University of Texas, School 
of Public Health, Dr. Richard Haines, NASA/Ames 
Research Center; Dr. William Soskin, U.C. Berkeley; Dr. 
George Rand, Columbia University; Dr. Robert Ornstein, 
Langely Porter Institute; Dr. Edward Wortz, Garrett 
Corporation; Dr. Melvin Zeisfein, Franklin Institute. 

The event was extraordinary in several respects. Its 
physical environment, designed by Irwin, along with 
artist Larry bell and architect Frank Gehry, distin- 
guished it dramatically from other conventions of its 
kind. It was in great part simply owing to the psycholog- 
ical conditions achieved by the special surroundings that 
the event became the tense and complex encounter 
session that it did. The space in which the morning 
sessions took place— organized each day so that four 
speakers would discuss their previously submitted 
papers, before four panelists would then discuss them— 
was located in a large, studio-like room on Market 
Street, near the sea. The speakers and panelists sat in the 
middle of the room, in two rows facing each other; 
above them were two tinted skylights. On either side of 
the central platform were rows of low, bleacher-like 
seats, made of chunks of corrugated cardboard; this 
seating arrangement was designed by Frank Gehry. On 


the side of the large white room which faced Market 
Street, Bob, on the first day of the Symposium, set up 
large, white cardboard cylinders, floor-to-ceiling; the 
participants and audience entered from a smalt doorway 
in the rear. On the second day, the white cylinders were 
replaced by a large plastic tarp, letting in light from 
outside, but not wholly transparent; and on the third 
day, the entire side of the room facing Market Street was 
opened up. 

A combination of subtle psychological factors were 
brought to play on the dynamics of the Symposium 
sheerly by virtue of its environment: for example, the 

low seats were rather uncomfortable— intentionally so, 
according to Irwin— making it impossible for the audi- 
ence to relax physically. Nor was the space insulated 
from street noise, so it was often difficult to hear what 
the speakers were saying; again. Bob felt this was a 
positive factor, forcing concentration on the proceed- 

At the outset of the Symposium, one sensed a definite 
psychological tension between what Dr. Wortz character- 
ized as the "square" and "hip" participants— this dualism 
gradually gave way to other factional conflicts, and 
eventually a whole set of unpredictable positive situa- 
tions emerged in the dynamics of both the group as a 
whole and the discussion sub-groups, and in the nature 
of the information exchanged. Irwin commented later. 

"I was interested in it as an event. It was a chance to 
exercise some things I was personally curious about, 
directly in relationship to the A & T project .... It 
really worked. What happened with the afternoon 
discussion groups was fantastic; really heady kinds of 

It is not possible here to be more explicit about the 
circumstances and results of this Symposium; however, 
much of the proceedings were recorded and have been 
published by the Garrett Corporation, and a Second 
National Symposium on Habitability is currently being 

Simultaneously with their preparations for the Sympos- 
ium, and since that time. Dr. Wortz and Irwin have 


Donald Judd 

Born Excelsior Springs, IVIissouri, 1928 
Resident New York City 


continued to work together on various other projects. 
Wortz has consulted Irwin on several occasions in con- 
nection with his researches for Garrett. He spoke to us in 
September, 1970 about Bob's participation in an under- 
taking contracted by NASA: 

Right now we're establishing some criteria for a 
spacecraft. Bob has helped us on this .... We've 
looked at the problems of providing a very enriched 
environment. Bob is very Interested in the arts in- 
volved in the construction of things ... of hot-rod- 
ding, for example, as a very artistic endeavor .... 
Hot-rodders will massage portions of the machine 
that no one will ever see, just because it feels right. 
This is the way Bob feels about art. Everything has to 
feel right. He was thinking that portions of the 
spacecraft should be designed or painted to have an 
appropriate suchness for their function. He's designed 
us a little oven. So we have the first tentative art 
input into a spacecraft. 

Wortz spoke about yet another— rather mysterious— pro- 
ject in the works between himself and Irwin: 

There's a thing Bob and I would like to try. Right 
now it's just an experience, but if It could be made 
Into a thing it would be nice. If it works it will 
produce an emotional response which you might be 
surprised about. It has to do with the technique of 
producing a loving response in someone. 

(Irwin later "demonstrated" the technique to JL and 
MT; it does indeed work, and has to do with pulling 
people or objects into one's immediate circle of psycho- 
logical perception, in a sense as an extension of oneself.) 

Dr. Wortz and Bob Irwin have recently indicated to us 
their interest in realizing an environmental art work of 
the kind originally outlined, combining an anechoic 
chamber with a Ganz field. Turrell's involvement in such 
an undertaking is unknown at this point. 

Jane Livingston 

MT described A & T to Don Judd in his New York 
studio in April, 1969. Judd indicated little interest in 
collaboration perse, but stated his desire for a facility 
which could cast metal sculptures for him, and asked for 
literature on Kaiser and other companies. The following 
correspondence occurred between May and August, 

Mays, 1969 

Maurice Tuchman: I have considered the Kaiser 

aluminum casting project and am interested in it. 

Don Judd 

May 19, 1969 

Dear Don Judd, 

It is interesting to me that you are interested in 

Kaiser aluminum casting. However, we have never had 

Kaiser Aluminum as a Patron Sponsor. We have had 

and continue to have Kaiser Steel as a Patron Sponsor 

and this corporation is still available. 

Very truly yours, 

Maurice Tuchman 

May 22, 1969 

Dear Mr. Tuchman: 

Thank you for your letter to Don Judd of May 19. 

Don Judd is interested in Kaiser Steel as a Patron 

Sponsor. I mistakenly wrote "aluminum". Apologies. 


Dudley Del Balso 

for Don Judd 

May 27, 1969 
Dear Dudley Del Balso, 

Thank you for your letter of May 22 to Maurice 
Tuchman. We are currently considering three propos- 
als for Kaiser Steel Corporation. We would be inter- 
ested in learning the nature of Don Judd's proposal so 
that we can move on it in the event that Kaiser 
remains available. 
Very truly yours, 
Betty Asher 

June 19, 1969 

Betty Asher: Regarding your letter of May 27, I am 

interested in casting steel in rectangular shapes. What 

are the possibilities? 

Don Judd 

Julys, 1969 

Dear Don, 

Electronic Enclosures Division of Wyle Labs had 

recently been made available to us. We would be glad 

to send you a ticket to fly out and see it. Their most 

interesting piece of equipment is the Wiedemann ST 

tape controlled turret punch press. 

Ampex, IBM, Norris (porcelain enamel and metal 

Aleksandra Kasuba 
Born Lithuania, 1923 
Resident New York City 


stamping), Container Corporation and Rand Corpor- 
ation are still available. 
Hal Glicksman 

July 10, 1969 

Hal: I have received your letter and enclosures. Norris 

sounds especially interesting, but I can't make a 

decision now. I will be in California the end of 

September and will be in touch then. 


July 22, 1969 

Hal Glicksman: Don Judd has asked me to write you 

again about his Interest in the Norris project. It is 

impossible for him to come to California before the 

end of September however. 

IVlrs. Dudley Del Balso 

for Don Judd 

Judd did not contact us while in California in Septem- 
ber, 1969 and we could not locate him. 

In August, 1970, Aleksandra Kasuba sent us two project 


The Spectrum Environment 

The Spectrum Environment consists of seven units, 
each measuring 8' x 8' x 12' long, assembled into one 
linear walk-through ensemble. Each unit is made of 
translucent color material, intensely lit on all sides 
from the outside. The units are interconnected by 
22" wide and 7' high doorways whose openings are 
aligned to present a diminishing view of the Spectrum 
to visitors as they walk into and through the Environ- 
ment. Within each of the six spectral color units one 
hears its specific vibration— the sound of green, 
yellow, orange, red, purple, or blue. In the center of 
each spectral color unit, through an opening in the 
ceiling, a mild air stream carries in a related color 
odor and temperature. The seventh unit, combining 
all that has been passed through, is lit with intense 
white light, filled with the combined color sounds, 
each one octave higher, has no odor, and has normal 

Visitors passing through the Spectrum Environment 
would be totally engulfed by one color at a time, and 
experience the different effects of each with four of 
their senses. [1] 


The shells housing the element presentations are 4 
interconnected half-spheres, each 24 feet in diameter 
at the base. The interiors are lit by sunken lights 
moving around the perimeter of the floor clockwise 
at 12" per minute. 

The 4 elements— earth, fire, water and air— are each 
placed in one of the shells and presented in their 
common forms of behavior. 

The environment is to deepen awareness of the simple 
daily presences that have not changed through millen- 
nia. To emphasize their relationship to man, the 
natural processes are designed to intensify their 
activity whenever man is present. Thus, in terms of 
actions, space and time— the factor that brings about 
the interplay— is made perceptible and can be experi- 
enced as a vital force and not as an empty gap. [2] 





r'w- —^--r 1-^^ 




Ellsworth Kelly 

Born Newburgh, New York, 1925 
Resident New York City 

Philip King 

Born Tunis, North Africa, 1934 
Resident London 


MTsaw Elsworth Kelly in the fall of 1968 and de- 
scribed various available companies, particularly manufac- 
turing firms that could be used for sculpture projects. 
Kelly said that he was more interested in working with a 
computer corporation than in making sculptures. He 
described his paintings of the early 50s, made in Paris, as 
responses to the random play of lights on the Seine; he 
indicated that the systems of black and white configur- 
ations on these canvases might be analysed and permu- 
tated by use of a computer. He felt that this would be an 
important project to pursue but that his other commit- 
ments would prevent his serious involvement for at least 
two years. 

Philip King flew from England to visit a number of 
companies in which he expressed interest after reading 
literature we had sent him. Hal Glicksman took him to 
see Wyle Laboratories, Norris Industries, Kaiser Steel 
Corporation and American Cement, after which he 
indicated that he considered American Cement to be the 
only feasible location for a collaborative effort. He 
found Norris' steel forming techniques too restrictive; 
hydraulic press methods have limited size capability and 
necessitate expensive tooling processes. Kaiser's Fontana 
plant is mainly a steel rolling mill with only limited 
fabrication facilities, and he found nothing to inspire 
him at Wyle. 

At American Cement he wanted to execute a work on a 
hill behind the Riverside Technical Center. As he ex- 
plained in an interview, 

I could conceive of being able to spray a particular 
kind of colored cement onto the hill from an air- 
plane. I'd like to be able to introduce a kind of spray 
technique where you could lay down a dry powder of 
cement and then spray water over it in order to 
harden the cement to set in a consistency which 
would then, with the action of rain, dissolve and 
re-form at a different level according to time; it 
would eventually disintegrate. I want it to be able to 
be destroyed, to change; possibly it would be more 
beautiful while it's being destroyed. When I make a 
sculpture, I lay myself right out. This is sort of 
experimental for me, and I'd like to keep it as experi- 
mental a thing all the way through. I like the idea but 
I don't know if I can get into it philosophically as a 
work of art. 

In addition to the sprayed cement, King wanted to 
execute a number of cast cement objects and disperse 
them also on the hill. Of this method he stated, "I'd also 
like to introduce pre-cast forming, but I'd like it to be 
functional, to help prevent the kind of erosion process; 
it's sort of a landscape exercise for me, in color." 

After returning to England, King wrote us. 

After much deliberation and in the quiet of my 
London home, I think I cannot go ahead with Ameri- 
can Cement. The project which I outlined briefly on 
tape was too much an attempt on my part to fit into 
a situation in a hurry and although the idea has a 
certain appeal for me, it is not really the kind of thing 
I want to be deeply involved with. The limitation of 
cement as a material does not give me the kind of 
flexibility I need at the moment in an extension of 
my own work. I liked the people there enormously, 
and the atmosphere, and I am sorry about it. 


R. B. Kitaj 

Born Cleveland, Ohio, 1932 
Resident London 


In 1967, when A&T was still in the early stages of 
development, MT proposed to R. B. Kitaj the possibility 
of working with an industry. Kitaj's immediate reaction 
was to suggest executing in three dimensions an idea he 
had been planning for painting. He had wanted to do 
"some old-fashioned paintings about the kind of grey, 
haze-like, dull daylit, Bohemian, urban atmosphere you 
see in photos of places like studios in the old days . . . 
Medardo Rosso's studio [1] .... Brancusi's studio .... 
that sort of thing." Kitaj had been intrigued with the 
reconstruction of Brancusi's studio in Paris Musee de 
I'Art Moderne in 1964, and the experience served as a 
primary impetus for the idea. 

About a year later, in August, 1968, Kitaj came to Los 
Angeles during a teaching stint at Berkeley, to visit 
Lockheed Aircraft Corporation along with Los Angeles 
artist Robert Irwin. We accompanied the two artists in 
touring Lockheed's Rye Canyon Aeronautics Research 
facility and the Burbank Aircraft construction complex. 
On the way to Rye Canyon, Kitaj elaborated on his 
initial conception, stating that he wanted to create the 
physical situation of a fictional "modern sculptor"— to 
reproduce, in a sense, his studio atmosphere by means of 
a series of visual "clues." The space, he said, would 
evoke the artist's "complex, ethical presence" not 
through memorabilia and personal artifacts but through 
the objects— works of art in various states of comple- 
tion—dispersed throughout the "studio." Because of its 
emphasis on advanced theoretical research, the Rye 
Canyon Center was obviously not suited to Kitaj in 
terms of the proposal he already had in mind. (Irwin, on 
the other hand, was extremely interested in the research 
being conducted with their anechoic and sound cham- 
bers, as well as other aspects of the facility.) 

We next visited the Burbank production facility, where 
Lockheed was then developing the L-1011 commercial 
super-transport plane. We were introduced to a man who 
was later to become a key figure in the project, Robert 
Robillard, leader of the Lockheed team responsible for 
the interior design of the L-101 1 Tri-Star jet, and general 
supervisor in charge of various mock-up operations, 
including plastic, sheet metal, fabric and carpentry 
shops. After an exhaustive tour of these model-shop 
facilities and a brief look at additional production-line 
processes, Kitaj was satisfied that the Burbank complex 
had appropriate materials, equipment and skilled person- 
nel to carry out his scheme. We arranged, in agreement 
with the Lockheed management, that after several 
months in London, he would return to Burbank for a 
prolonged period of residence. 


In October, he wrote to his contact in the Public Affairs 
office, Don Christiansen: 

R. B. Kitaj in transit to London, September, 1968 

Among the few themes I have wanted to return to 
through the years, an attraction remains with me for 
those occasions, those contexts (in real life) where 
what I would like to call a modernist presence has 
taken shape, is finding, pursuing form, germinating. I 
mean to reproduce some of those conditions by 
designing a fiction: a place, a working space ... a 
studio, so to speak, where a convincing and/or extra- 
ordinary collection or conjunction of things have 
been made, are being made . . . what you might call 
art-things rather than sculpture . . . food for the mind 
at any rate, embraced by a human presence— (the man 
who works at the things has stepped out for 
awhile.) . . . 

so— what it may amount to is a room . . . perhaps an 
unlikely scale— maybe ten feet square or smaller with 
a fifteen feet or ninteen feet high ceiling or skylight 
.... three portable walls, a ceiling, a floor— all de- 
tachable and all to be designed according to what 
(Lockheed) can make available in terms of materials, 
artisans, time, energy . . . and then— what the open- 
face room space will contain . . . not clear in my mind 
yet but the issues should begin to resolve at my 
drawing board in London. In any case— various works, 
some standing free, some placed for working ... in 
various states of finish and development and size; 
maybe some twelve pieces invoking an intellectual 
range and time span (early works)— an uncommon 
stylistic ambition. From what I saw at Lockheed— IVIr. 
Robillard's mock-up shop might carry the weight of 
this plan. I would want to mock-up some models in 
small scale at first— like small stage sets and I might 
like to choose from whatever we make together, the 
things which will, in the end, go into the space . . . 
that is to say permutations should be possible. Your 
vacuum-forming facilities are on my mind and I 
should like to execute a few of the works in plastic— 
the final room space and the works it embraces 
should be brought into a considerable visual em- 
phasis . . . coloristic demands of a high order should 
be made of the constituents . . . spray work and 
anodizing and the natural values of materials. I should 
like to introduce the atmosphere of a working place 
without going into literary detail. And in the end I 
want to design something that will be as complex as 
experience is complex and ultimately quite simple. 

Early in February, 1969, Kitaj arrived in Los Angeles. In 
the first month of collaboration the artist was confront- 
ed by an overwhelming maze of bureaucratic procedures. 
Despite Lockheed's attempt to accommodate the artist's 
needs and to maintain some flexibility in their normally 

complicated system, Kitaj found it increasingly frustra- 
ting to find out how to expedite his needs. As he later 
explained in a letter. 

There was an air of trying to be helpful . . . some- 
times genuine, sometimes false among the brass and 
management with an undercurrent of reluctance to go 
along with this highly unorthodox intrusion, but it 
did and still does seem mad, in my terms, to imagine 
that one's poetic references could thrive with any 
ease in the very thin air of Big Business and Big 
Business was what the daily regime spelled out in no 
uncertain terms. Latterday Chaplinesque semi- 
heroics .... 

After weeks of futile attempts to actually begin working, 
it was Robillard who came to the rescue of the artist, cut 
through the organizational red tape of working proce- 
dures (purchase order numbers, supervisory control over 
the workmen assisting Kitaj, etc.) and set the operation 
in motion. Although Robillard had no direct participa- 
tion in the planning or modification of the project, his 
respected and important position in the company 
allowed him to settle the logistical problems. Robillard's 
feeling was, as he said to the New York Times, "Let's 
give him what he wants and get him out." 

One of the most interesting aspects of Kitaj's experience 
at Lockheed was the evolution of the original "studio" 
idea— partially reflecting changes in his own thinking 
before he even arrived at the site, but also as a direct 
result of circumstances he confronted at Lockheed. In 
January, 1969, while still in London, he had written to 
Christiansen asking him to arrange for a technician to 
oversee the project from beginning to end. He added, 
"My ideas are changing every day and will be condi- 
tioned by what I will confront in beautiful downtown 
Burbank ... as far as I can tell it will be a matter of 
making a number of things and bringing them together 
in a conjunction . . ." This statement, in the way of a 
casual aside, anticipated precisely the turn of events in 
the weeks to come. During the period before he arrived 
at Lockheed, Kitaj began to feel less and less inclined to 
follow through with his idea for a "studio," primarily 
because as he later wrote, 

I found it too attractive to do what / want to do 
rather than to try to imagine what someone else 
would do. And ultimately perhaps boring to imagine 
what someone else would do ... I didn't really like 
studios that much, or artistic situations in real life 
anyway and then I became bemused with the possibil- 
ity of having all kinds of different things made in 
those short two months— things which might be 
brought together in some more interesting way— some 
unique visual literary and political way . . . after the 
fact of their making. 

For some time Kitaj had been "obsessed" (as he put it) 



with imagery related to the Industrial Revolution. He 
studied and collected old photographs and engravings 
depicting industrial landscapes of the Victorian era, and 
had planned to execute paintings on this theme. He later 
explained his fascination with this period by comparing 
it with Roy Lichtenstein's interest in the moderne style 
of the 1930's. While still in London, Kitaj executed 
some sketches drawn in part from source material like 

illustrations in Samuel Smiles' Lives of the Engineers and 
Francis Klingender's/4rf anty tiie Industrial Revolution. 

These drawings contain the basis for most of the large 
objects eventually constructed at Lockheed. One draw- 
ing [2] depicts a tunnel with a shaft of light penetrating 
to the floor, a motif which had been of special interest 
to Kitaj for some years. (He lives near London's Science 





Museum which houses a full-size labyrinthine coal mine 
reconstruction— a favorite visiting place of his young 
son.) It was the quality of light— a cylindrical body of 
illumination— which particularly intrigued Kitaj and 
which he had encountered in numerous Victorian 
illustrations of coal mines such as J. C. Bourne's Kilsby 
Tunnel, 1837, reproduced in Klingender. [3] He con- 
structed such a coal tunnel at Lockheed [4] ; it measures 
about four feet high and six feet long, and is complete 
with tracks and box car; the shaft of light becomes an 
almost solid volume, rendering an eerie, spectral atmos- 
phere. A second drawing [5] consists of a backdrop of 








rectangles in a grid configuration, with varying surface 
textures. This motif evolved at Lockheed into a mural- 
like screen [6] titled Chelsea Reach (First Version for 
J.A. Mc.N.W.). Kitaj said of it. 

In fact this is the first manifestation of an idea I have 
wanted to execute for a long while. I got interested in 
fabrics and textiles when I was in Berkeley [in 1968] . 
Maybe it had something to do with exposure to 
Oriental stuffs that I hadn't had before. I conceived 
of a large wall hanging or a large wall screen which 
would be completely abstract— rather decorative, and 
it would be a collection of fabrics which would be 
separated on the tatami principle— you know, that 
you see on Japanese floors, divided by slatting and 
pinned down in that way so that you see a wonderful 
sequential floor situation. Well, I wanted to take that 
principle onto the wall. I actually had begun to 
collect some strange fabrics, some ancient ones, old 
ones, and some that were really cruddy, that came 
out of poor situations. That's where this idea came 
from. I just happened here to use airplane fabrics, 
aircraft seating fabrics. I wanted to call that screen 
piece Chelsea Reach after Whistler's usage of that title 
because he was one of the original Western artists 
who hooked onto chinoiserie, and the possibility of 
employing that. I don't want to leave it just as a 
backdrop; I want it to be a piece in some light. 








Another motif which occurs in the second preliminary 
drawing [5] , and again in the third drawing [7] , is that 
of an industrial smoke stack or chimney, a familiar 
object of the Victorian landscape. Three such towers, 
each twelve feet high and each with a different surface 
pattern and impediment, were eventually constructed at 

Lockheed. They were fabricated by a vacuum-forming 
process and were the largest forms ever attempted by the 
Lockheed shop using that method. [8] The third draw- 
ing [7] also formulates the basic notion for the main- 
entrance archway or viaduct which was designed by 
computer graphic process and built at the Lockheed 
plant. [9] The other large component [10] in the 
Lockheed series, which does not appear in any of the 
preparatory sketches, derives from an illustration in 
Metius Chappell's British Engineers [11], showing a 
half-completed lighthouse project under construction. 
Kitaj later commented that he liked the enigmatic 
quality of this piece-the fact that the type of building it 
represents is not easily identifiable as a lighthouse, but 
evokes the feeling of industrial activity. 


In addition to these large structures, Kitaj also produced 
a series of vacuum-formed medallions, depicting in relief 
various images such as a railroad box car or an airplane 
panel instrument [12] , and fabricated out of multi- 
colored, marbleized plastics used in airline interiors. The 
idea for these circular medallions derives from an ob- 
scure historical source; they refer to eighteenth century 
industrial trade tokens and coins, issued by some British 
factories to commemorate their founding. 

From the beginning Kitaj was interested in perhaps 
realizing at Lockheed a number of peripheral projects 
which he had begun to think about before arriving at 
Lockheed. In December, 1968, he had written to Don 

. . . There are one or two things you could do for 
me ... . could you dig up and send me any pictures 
of how Lockheed began. What would really help 
would be photos of the very earliest Lockheed 
workshops. (Like Henry Ford tinkering with his first 
car in a shed, etc.) . . . also photos of component 
parts (whatever is not secret), modern parts, etc. . . . 
perhaps there is a small pile of literature you could 
Airmail to me. I am also interested (as a side issue) in 
what would be called WASTE . . . waste which is 

fabrication of such "sculptures," when they could be 
picked from a storage shelf, would have been pointless. 

Consequently the studio piece was channelled into a 
secondary project, the production of the book titled 
Wings (Recent Sculpture and Buildings). It consists of 
color photographs of individual airplane parts which the 
artist had anodized, chromeplated, and spray painted in 
bright primary colors. The "sculptures" were then 
arranged against scale-deceiving or neutral backgrounds 
and photographed by Malcolm Lubliner. Kitaj had the 
photographs mounted in a handsome leatherbound book 
(in an edition of five) and gave each one an ironic, 
humorous and literary caption-title. [13, 14, 15] In his 
original conception of the "artist's studio" piece, which 
he decided not to make at Lockheed, Kitaj had intended 
the "studio" to have certain satirical overtones— to make 
a kind of implied statement concerning modernist or 
formalist sculpture, using a fictitious sculptor's work as 
the agent of the irony. But even before leaving London 
it had occurred to him that "that particular irony wasn't 
strong enough conceptually to carry the weight of this 
expensive and ambitious collaboration." The book 
Wings, then, developed as the most suitable means for 
expressing this unique complex of ideas. 

thrown away and waste which is too valuable to 
throw away and perhaps is used or sold else- 
where .... Is there any possibility of sending me 
examples of drawings being made of planes in the far 
future? Dream planes as it were? 

Once he began work at Burbank and had searched 
among the storage bins he was amazed to find literally 
hundreds of custom-made and prototype airplane parts 
which in isolation bore for Kitaj a striking resemblance 
to the forms of abstract minimal sculpture, such as those 
which he had intended to disperse in the studio environ- 
ment. The quality of these objects strengthened for Kitaj 
his feeling that the studio idea was not an appropriate 
project for his Lockheed venture: to attempt a full-scale 

The small group of six or seven men in the mock-up 
shop who became enthusiastically involved with Kitaj's 
project were, for the most part, a now rare breed of 
artisans skilled in traditional methods of hand tooling 
and model making. Kitaj's relationship with these 
workmen was greatly satisfying to him. These men— par- 
ticularly Arthur Monroy, William Stullick, Clyde 
Gossett, James Scott and Nicholas Eckhert— provided 
valuable contributions to the design of the work. Al- 
though Kitaj maintained control over every aspect of 
esthetic decision-making, the individual components 
took shape largely as a result of the interchange between 
the artist and these men. In one specific instance, Kitaj 
and his co-workers had tried by several methods to 
achieve the effect of a volumetric shaft of light in the 





; ; ' iiB»" 



coal tunnel by modifying the light source at the top or 
forming the light beams using a piece of plastic, but 
without success. William Stullick finally devised the 
solution: he attached strands of very thin fishwire to the 
top, surrounding the light source opening; these were 
then spread out and attached to the bottom, forming a 
volume as the light struck the transparent wire. 

Looking back on this involvement with the workers, 

Kitaj reminisced: 

. . . the guys on the floor were everything I would 
have wished to find again ... I felt very much at 
home and warmed up and on their side in no time at 
all . . . old Bolshevik merchant mariner sentiments 
welled up and a hundred daily dramas played them- 
selves out like an anthology of Proletarian literature 
brought up to date . . . Viet Nam arguments, sub- 
urban life and all the newest terrors of layoff in 
aerospace. Many of the guys I knew best were for 
[Tom] Bradley [the current mayoral candidate] and 
against the war and it all felt good and I won't forget 
them in that stinking suburban valley and hope they 
get out into those National Parks a lot. 

The artist also worked closely with David Belson, from 
Lockheed's computer department. Belson first instruc- 
ted Kitaj in computer drawing methods. (On one such 
occasion Dr. Richard Feynman accompanied the artist 
and participated in the lesson.) Gradually Belson became 
fascinated by the types of images the artist wished to 
execute on the computer. Together they designed the 
man-figure which was subsequently fabricated [16] ; 
they also computed the shape for the arch. [17] While 
still in the midst of this work, Kitaj described to us the 
nature of his relationship with Belson: 

Dave began as one of those peculiar birds out there 
who has a blank check— that means that every time I 
walk into his office he can get up off his desk without 
permission from anybody else and walk away with 
me and spend as much time as I require. For instance 
he seems to be able to satisfy his own curiosity about 
the project as if he was being paid to do that. We sat 
all morning in front of all the scopes, and Dave will 
go back there late this afternoon when the scope is 
not being used, just to satisfy his curiosity and to find 
out more about what we were learning this morning, 
not only to be in a position to be able to explain 
more to me when we meet next, but for his private 






In addition to preliminary designs for the sculptural 
components, Kitaj executed with the computer a series 
of drawings which constitute another aspect of the 
project. He made a portrait drawing of a girl's head in 
several variations [18] and intended to execute other 
portraits after leaving Lockheed by sending material 
back and forth to Belson from London. But after return- 
ing to London, he found it too difficult to carry through 
this scheme by correspondence. However, the female 
portrait and several abstract drawings also made with the 
computer [19] were later incorporated into a series of 
lithographs which Kitaj produced in conjunction with 
the poet Robert Creeley. 

Kitaj's retrospective evaluation of the diverse and often 
fragmented aspects of his total experience at Lockheed 
is ambivalent. He wrote. 

Thinking about it now, so much seems so funny, so 
ridiculous; maybe that's got to be one of the best 
results: walking down endless corporate corridors 
each day, back and forth, miles of modern hallways, 
wearing a badge or two badges, carrying all kinds of 
important plans and papers .... Then when the 
hallways reach the more executive parts, the floors 
become nicely carpeted and indirectly-lit old prints 
and photos of early primitive aircraft, seaplanes, 
nostalgic passenger planes like from Lost Horizon 
spaced along the walls. And the kind of fake and 
ultimately meaningless (for my own life) encounter 
over those weeks with the really enormous tidal wave 
of machinery and a massive technology I could never 
hope to approach intelligently let alone fathom. 
Maybe the heart of the experience lies there for me-a 
confirmation of the utter boredom I always feel when 
art and science try to meet— that is to say, the feeling 
of very slender accomplishment in those forms of art 
which pretend to operate scientifically. Over the last 
fifty years, these art and science people only manage 
light jabs and then seem to wither . . . while an 
immense technology remains . . . progressive, destruc- 
tive, what have you .... Dealing with the people in 
the corporation and in the plant was by far the most 
memorable experience— far better that intercourse 
than the indeterminate results. 



In describing the works, Kitaj elaborated on the "ironi- 
cal ambition" which had been a primary impetus in the 
studio piece and which carried over into the present 

There is a certain irony in the historical thing. Some 
of it can be construed clearly, and other aspects of it 
needn't be talked about; it goes without saying. 
Obviously those times were the beginnings of a 
capitalism that we've learned to live with and mistrust 
in many ways. Especially in those times and in our 
own time, industry has brought all sorts of energy 
and misery and poverty and ambition into the world. 





What fantastic ironies lived in those times, we're all 
aware of. Obviously just seeing a stack on a landscape 
in Cornwall isn't a heavy enough occasion for me to 
live and die with. It's everything that those beginnings 
of industry imply that interests me more, that have 
always conditioned my thinking— the poverty, des- 
pair, loneliness. So that these are tips of an iceberg. I 
don't expect that any of that will be apparent or 
terribly interesting from the visual fact of looking at 
those things in an installation. That's why I've always 
insisted in my whole working life on an explanation- 
some kind of help. Even in the case of appreciating 
abstract art an incredible amount of spade work is 
necessary to enhance your position— to enjoy the 
work or criticize the work or live with the work or 
whatever .... No matter what anyone says, any 
visual work is not going to stop at its visual nature; it 
will always carry philosophical implications. 

Kitaj's Lockheed work will finally be realized only in the 
process of installation. The presentation will convey all 
of the diverse aspects of the artist's Lockheed experi- 
ence, including an array of enlarged photographs, draw- 
ings, computer graphic material, the book Wings, and the 
major sculptural components dispersed in a room-sized 
space, in much the same way as he originally envisioned 
the studio environment. Kitaj here describes the whole 
complex, which he calls. 

Mock-up: Lives of ttie Engineers 

A room full of things and fragments of things mostly 
made or mostly relating to things made in the mock- 
up shops at Lockheed while the very craftsmen were 
also working on the model parts for their new L-101 1 
passenger liner . . . (working men moving back and 
forth as in a film) (Rene Clair etc. . . . precision/con- 
fusion) the room space shd be introduced by the large 
black arch which may yet have to be completed by 
addition of: white? viaduct cut-out strip design; (with 
tiny puffing train image? or people) various stenciled 
wording (SELF-HELP; THRIFT; DUTY etc re: Sam 
Smiles); and one of the variant (red?) sets of wooden 
inner doorway pieces creating an unorthodox en- 
trance space .... 

At the far side of the space, (against a wall, maybe 
20'— 25' away) the large screen (which I have called a 
version of CHELSEA REACH-a Whistlerian connota- 
tion because I want a version to carry Chinoiserie 
fabric combinations but settled here for aircraft 
seating fabric which gives it its van Doesberg look) 
. . . there still remains the fact of either having or not 
having to deal with the 2nd set of (I believe-com- 
plete) fabric panels in, I think, a dark color range . . . 
but I may dispose these on the walls in a certain way 
I have in mind. The complex begins to take on 
attributes of a very crowded and allusive theatre 

staging area . . . incomplete but complicated innu- 
endo . . . historico-political-literary ... as if specific 
drama could emerge as a possibility. 

like a Meyerhold Production from Akimov p. 
701 (Soviet Theatre) [20, illustrated on p. 717; 
set design by Akimov for Verneuil's My Crime 
at the Leningrad Theatre of Comedy] 

My fondest dream is to develop the expressiveness 
of things to a point where 1 need not be ashamed 
to put them on the stage beside the best of actors. 
As yet this waits in Utopia, but if I should ever 
succeed in bringing upon the stage a chair at the 
sight of which the audience as one would sob, I 
would die in peace. If Van Gogh were working in 
the theatre today, I am convinced that he would 
be able to do it. 

Walls are to be heavily hung with large computerized 
sheets (orange); framed computer abstractions; large 
grey, sepia, violet detail-like panel blow-ups like film 
clips enlarged, highly varied; also the set or portrait 
engravings (retouched?); some framed pertinent book 
jacket prints inspired at Burbank (i.e.— the Burbank 
cover etc.); some unfinished work leading on ... . 

Most of what is hung above shd bear hig!.,, msinu- 
ating captioning etc. 

A disposition will be found for the set of plastic 
emblem-tokens (printed stencils— Walker Evans, 
James Agee have yet to be attached). 

Within the staging space places can be found for the 
tunnel oblong (I believe wording has yet to run 
around the facing frame of this piece) also a lighting 
fixture may be involved. The chimney pieces— one or 
some, standing, lying and/or fragmented, torn . . . 
they don't seem right or good but we'll see. The 
flying man— (with a nod to Schlemmer) . . . placed 
out of context, I think on the floor or leaning some- 
where rather than mounted atop a tower as before. 

The half lighthouse complex (OUR THING?)-is it on 
its cork covered base? ... are the mechanical parts 
put together? 

Some of these pieces may have things added to them 
or images implanted in or on them or things subtrac- 
ted from them or allusive characteristics given to 
them to heighten effects in themselves or in the 
general drama of the combinations.— glass cases are to 
contain at least some open copies of WINGS and 
most likely other material . . . also enlarged details 
from the collection of photos for the book (some not 
used in the book) shd join the dramatic hanging in 
the place. 




Kitaj's Mock-up— Wke most of the other A&T projects- 
will assume the distinctive marl< of the artist only in a 
final disposition of the individual components in the 
installation. Judging from the above description, the 
environment will relate to Kitaj's style of painting and 
become in the end a complex of objects, the character of 
which will be determined by the conjunction of multi- 
layered, often obscure, poetic, historical, and esthetic 
associations. Kitaj once commented, 

What is and was important was to connect often over 
the weeks and months with those fugitive passions 
which occasion themselves and pattern themselves at 

the centers of one's interest .... There is no, or very 
little question of, ultimate meaning, as, I think, issues 
of meaning are far less clear than is often supposed, 
even in simple, abstract art ... . The [project] might 
have been called 'The Vitality of Fresh Disorder.' 
That's Blackmur's phrase . . . and he goes on to say: 
'Each time we look at a set of things together, but do 
not count them, the sum of the impressions will be 
different, though the received and accountable order 
remains the same.'* 

Gail R. Scott 

^Letters from 31 Artists to the Albright-Knox Gallery 
Spring 1970, P. 18 

Piotr Kowalski ^^'^ 

Born Poland, 1927 
Resident Paris 

Primarily because of his successful participation in the 
International Sculpture Symposium in 1964 at Long 
Beach State College we invited Piotr Kowalski to submit 
a proposal for A & T. Kowalski indicated he would, but 
surprisingly, he did not. 

Rockne Krebs 

Born Kansas City, Missouri, 1938 
Resident Washington, D.C. 


The Hewlett-Pacl<ard Corporation contracted with the 
IVIuseunn as a Sponsor Corporation in August, 1968, after 
a fairly prolonged exchange of correspondence between 
the Museum and David Packard. Hewlett-Packard had 
declined to join as Patron Sponsor, and we might not 
have persisted so long in soliciting their cooperation 
except that we had toured their Palo Alto facility with 
Mr. Packard in July and felt strongly that their techno- 
logical potential for an artist, especially in the area of 
lasers, was exceptionally important. By joining the 
program in the Sponsor capacity, Hewlett-Packard 
ultimately provided valuable resources and went to 
considerable effort and expense in assisting the artist 
matched with them— their commitment finally equalled 
that of most Patron Sponsor corporations. 

After Hewlett-Packard had signed a Sponsor Corporation 
contract, nearly a year passed before they received an 
artist, though the assignment, when made, was accom- 
plished easily. 

In March, 1969, Hal Glicksman received a letter from 

Washington, D.C. artist Rockne Krebs: 

Walter Hopps suggested that I contact you if I was 
interested in participating in the L.A. County 
Museum's 'Art and Technology' show. I am. 

Perhaps Walter mentioned my light structures to you. 
I would be particularly interested in producing one in 
collaboration with a corporation which makes lasers. 
I have been plugging away at these things since the 
spring of 1967 when I panhandled a laser and set one 
of the structures up in my apartment. Since then 
there have been three one-man shows— a fourth 
coming up at the Corcoran in May [this was later 
rescheduled for November] . I have yet to scratch the 
surface in terms of the possibilities. The inevitable 
inhibiting factors for me are technical assistance and 
the equipment necessary to realize the work. Needless 
to say, your project sounds attractive to me. 

I now have eight lights of my own. All but one were 
purchased from Spectra-Physics, a firm based in 
Mountain View, California. Their local rep has been 
reasonably cooperative about lending me equipment 
when he has it available. I understand that Spectra- 
Physics is one of the few companies left whose 
primary product is lasers. I mention this because 
Spectra-Physics might be limited in how much they 
could afford to subsidize this kind of project as 
compared to a large corporation for which lasers 
would be a subsidiary product. I am just speculating, 
however. Laser applications apparently have not kept 
up with what was envisioned initially. 

If you are interested, I will prepare a detailed pro- 
posal for a piece. 

We were indeed interested, and on April 1 1, Rockne sent 
us a carefully drawn up proposal. It described two 
works, one to be set up outdoors and shown at night, 
the other an indoor piece. He called them Night Passage 
and Day Passage. In May, we brought Krebs to California 
for three days to tour corporations. He visited Hewlett- 
Packard, and signed an artist contract. It was immedi- 
ately evident that Hewlett-Packard would be well equip- 
ped to work with Krebs, and following Krebs' tour, we 
sent his proposal to Dan Lansdon, Administrative Head 
of Hewlett-Packard's laboratory, with a letter urging that 
a collaboration be initiated. On June 6, Lansdon phoned 
to say that Hewlett-Packard was prepared to work with 
Krebs: it was agreed that Krebs would begin residence in 
mid-July. A year later, Rockne wrote about his feelings 
at that time, just after he had first toured the corpora- 

Initially, from the point of view of realizing a laser 
piece, I had some misgivings about a collaboration 
with Hewlett-Packard. They made lasers, but I had no 
idea if they were the type suited for my work. The 
security lid was on the project they had going with 
lasers and they refused to discuss it with me. 

I did feel that there were some interesting people 
there but in terms of Hewlett-Packard's products, I 
did not immediately see any possibilities for the kind 
of work that was on my mind when I went to Palo 

To be completely honest about it, at the time I 
wanted very much to make a piece. This is not the 
cool, think-tank theme that might be popular to 
peddle, but several years of ideation and attempts to 
visualize pieces that were beyond my resources to 
realize, both technically and financially, had preceded 
my initial visit. 

Maurice Tuchman and Hal Glicksman stressed the 
importance of the unknown possibilities that this sort 
of collaboration might point to: Quote MT: 'You 
may not even want to make a laser piece.' 

Okay. I was skeptical, but I told MT, HG, JL and BA 
that I would be glad to go to Hewlett-Packard and 
spend time in the labs and see what happened. 

Who knows what was on the group mind at the 
Hewlett-Packard labs? There was an unknown. 

Krebs was at this time more enthusiastic about doing an 
outdoor piece (some version of Night Passage), than the 
indoor Day Passage and in June sent us an RCA price 
schedule on laser equipment with hand-written notes on 
how he might use their argon laser. Model LD 2100, for 
such a project. He wrote, 


The LD 2100 has an internal cavity prism assembly 
which permits the selection of a minimum of six 
individual frequencies— colors. 

It should be possible to devise a way to run through 
its color range continuously which is from green- 
yellow to blue. Now try to imagine a huge exterior 
light structure of three of these on different cycles 
and one stable red 50 mw helium neon zapping 
between the buildings and finally shooting off over 
Wilshire into the L.A. atmosphere. [1] 

Flowers would grow in the cement out front of the 
L.A. County Museum the three or four hours a night 
that it was turned on. 

In fact— let this be my proposal to Hewlett-Packard. I 
recall that they have one argon laser some place. They 
would begin by making an automatic wavelength 
selector device that runs on a continuous cycle for 
their argon laser. (Although I would be interested in 
how it's done, it is not necessary that I know. Then if 
I'm allowed out there I could have that to begin 
experimenting with when I arrive in July. If it does 
what I think it will, we could then see about renting 
or borrowing the one or two more lasers necessary to 
realize the piece.) I would like to be able to control 
the cycle rate— slow or fast, and to be able to stop it 
on a specific color if I wanted .... 

By the time Krebs arrived in Palo Alto in July, and the 
collaboration was underway, it had become fairly certain 
that some of the A & T projects would go to Expo 70, 
and we encouraged Krebs and Hewlett-Packard to 
execute a laser environment that could be displayed in 
the New Arts area. Thus, the idea of creating an outdoor 
work was relegated to secondary priority. Krebs and 
Hewlett-Packard's physicist Laurence Hubby did run 
some night tests during his stay at Hewlett-Packard 
involving a laser beam directed into the atmosphere and 
hand-manipulated mechanically to change color. This 
peripheral experimentation was actually of key impor- 
tance to the artist in many respects. He afterward wrote, 
I have a reasonably good science-fiction background. 
When I arrived at the Hewlett-Packard labs I could 
turn a laser 'on' and 'off.' I felt that the technology 
involved was best left to the technicians. Still do with 
this qualification: I want to know all the capabilities 
and limitations of the tool. What we were doing 
wasn't merely collaborating on the execution of a 
piece for Expo. I was able, with the assistance of 
Hubby and others, to research in a much broader 
sense, possibilities for work that had nothing to do 
with any particular piece. For example: Larry Hubby 
and I would go back to the labs in the evening (on his 
time off). We would set up and run the tests for 
outdoor pieces. With Larry's assistance I was able to 

determine the power of laser required to do an 
outdoor piece, and the size of optical telescope 
necessary to refocus the laser light to get minimal 
divergence in relation to distance. In other words, 
what my scale limitations were. I learned that there 
was a definite relationship between the particle size, 
the frequency of the light (color), and how well it 
scattered under normal atmospheric conditions— ap- 
peared visible along the path of the beam. I learned 
that the blues and greens would be scattered better 
by the incidental matter present in the atmosphere 
than the longer wavelengths of red. 

Throughout Krebs' initial residence at Hewlett-Packard, 
from July 21 through August, and in the later stages of 
the project, Dan Lansdon served as his principal contact. 
Lansdon was extraordinarily helpful in directing the 
artist to the right personnel for advice and assistance in 
the various technical aspects of the project; according to 
Krebs, "Lansdon had the authority, and used it: he 
knew what people to see and how to approach them." 
Krebs not only worked with a great number of tech- 
nicians at Hewlett-Packard, but made several connec- 
tions with laser experts outside their laboratory. The 
Palo Alto area is probably the world center of laser 
research, and on five or six occasions, Krebs was led by 
Hewlett-Packard people to seek information from 
experts at such nearby organizations as Spectra-Physics, 
Coherent Radiation Laboratories and Stanford Research 
Laboratories. He presented a slide lecture to personnel at 
Spectra-Physics which was received with considerable 
enthusiasm. Indeed the first two or three weeks of 
Krebs' stay in Palo Alto were devoted primarily to a 
process of gathering and exchanging information and 
simply conversing informally with various laser research- 
ers. Krebs said later that when he arrived at Hewlett- 
Packard with his project In mind, he "didn't know if the 
piece vja% possible; I suspected it was, but it was much 
more complicated than I had envisioned. Technically, 
it's more complicated than any work I've done." 

Rockne also commented that he was intensely affected 
intellectually by his experience in Palo Alto: "My mind 
was stimulated," he said, "in a way it never had been 
before, and probably never would be, particularly by 

Krebs was extremely gratified to find that he could 
easily obtain direct and precise answers to questions he 
had hitherto not been able to resolve. For example, he 
consulted with a Stanford Research Institute physicist. 
Dr. Arthur Vassiliadus, on the issue of the precise 
threshold levels of eye damage by laser light, and got 
exact quantitative information from him, based on 
recent studies, that probably was not available at that 
time anywhere else in the world. 





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One incident occurred, not directly related to his work 
on the main project, which may have especially signifi- 
cant ramifications for Krebs. He was asked to present a 
lecture with slides to a group of Hewlett-Packard em- 
ployees. The talk elicited similar interest to that expres- 
sed by the Spectra-Physics audience, and one man, a 
scientist named Egon Loebner, approached Krebs at the 
end of the presentation to invite him to lunch. Loebner 
is an authority on patent procedure (he was teaching a 
course in invention at Stanford), and he felt that some- 
thing Rockne had demonstrated might in principle be a 
patentable technique. He saw in some of Rockne's laser 
light configurations a potentially utilitarian function as a 
device showing particular ways of architecturally deline- 
ating space, or "light as structure." Loebner and Krebs 
sought the advice of a patent lawyer whom Loebner 
knew, and as a result a patent search is presently under- 
way for what is being termed "architectural photon 
structures." According to Krebs' description of the 
projected uses for this phonomenon, it would be em- 
ployed literally as an architectural element. For ex- 
ample, temporary walls, false ceilings and room dividers 
might be created with laser light. Such structures could 
be constructed indoors or outdoors; one advantage, for 
instance, might apply in a landscape situation, in which 
one wished to mark out a space without physically 
disrupting the terrain or flora. Although this potential 
function for his laser environments had not occurred to 
Krebs, he quickly saw its rationale, as envisioned by 
Loebner. Krebs had used light in this way repeatedly, 
but was not particularly aware that it might constitute a 
patentable invention, or even that he may indeed have 
been doing it for the first time. 

In executing the piece for Expo, Krebs worked perhaps 
most closely with Hewlett-Packard physicist Laurence 
Hubby [2] , who designed and put together the optical 
apparatus, and with optics engineer Bruce Ruff. Of the 
system designed by Hubby, Krebs was to say later, "The 
apparatus that controls the argon beam is a work of art 
in itself. It has been absolutely beautifully de- 
signed." [3] (A technical description of the optical 
system developed for Krebs was written for us by John 
Lazier, and is included as an appendix on p. 176.) Besides 
the intricate optical system, which incorporated hun- 
dreds of parts, the work basically comprised a series of 
small mirrors to direct the light beams, two helium neon 
lasers, special mounts for the helium neon lasers, the 
large argon laser, the fog-producing machine needed to 
increase the visibility of the beams, and two eight and 
one-half by fourteen foot plate glass mirrors which were 
made in Japan. The Japanese company that provided the 
mirrors stated that they may be the largest true mirrors 
ever made. Rockne wrote, elaborating on the system. 
These small mirrors were no small design problem. 
First, they needed to be adjustable through three 
axes— X, y, and z, with as much adjustment as pos- 

sible. The latter was necessary to give me flexibility 
when redirecting the light beam. Second, they had to 
be stable, so that once a position was determined the 
mount itself would not slip and cause misalignment. 
Third, the mount had to be attached to a wall of 
similar plane. Fourth, I wanted all this to happen in 
as discreet a piece of apparatus as possible: a small 
three inch diameter mirror mount that would pro- 
trude little from the wall. (My feeling about these 
pieces is that the work of art is not the apparatus. 
Rather, it is a score or arrangement [or whatever] 
determined in relationship to a specific enclosure. 
Allowing for the obvious contradiction of the neces- 
sity for some kind of apparatus [mirror mount] to 
redirect the light it is important to me that they be as 
inconspicuous as possible.) 

This kind of mirror mount (or IVlaurice's term 'beam 
joint') is not stock optical equipment. Dan Lansdon 
and I spent an amazing number of hours discussing 
the requirements and attempting to find some kind of 
existing mount that could be altered— none existed! 
Although several of Hewlett-Packard's mechanical 
engineers worked on it at various times, it was Lans- 
don who resolved and perfected a miiror mount 
which satisfied my requirements, with the beautiful 
plus of being relatively inexpensive to produce— about 
$30 per mount. If I continue to work with lasers, as 

seems likely at this time, try to imagine how long it 
would have taken, how much it would have cost, how 
difficult it would have been for me to locate people 
capable of and willing to bother designing this one 
little item. With the prototype which I now have I 
can have them made myself. 



The main aspect of the project accomplished in terms of 
realizing the piece for Expo during Krebs' initial stay at 
Hewlett-Packard was the designing of the programmed 
optical system; this is of course in some ways the crux of 
what the work is about, but it still remained to actually 
obtain the large argon laser (a problem which caused 
difficulties until the last moment) and physically set up 
the entire structure for final experimentation and 
perfection. This process had to take place in the installa- 
tion area at Expo. Fortunately, there was considerable 
flexibility in the final disposition of the components 
within a prescribed space. 

HG wrote this memo to the staff on August 28, 1969: 
Rockne Krebs has left Palo Alto for Washington, D.C. 
He will return mid October. [This was eventually 
postponed.] Hewlett has approved $10,000 worth of 
mirrors and other devices for the infinity reflector 
system and other uses which Krebs gets to keep. The 
Argon laser has not been approved. Jelco (Japan 
Electronics Co.) makes a suitable laser that could be 
rented in Japan. Lansdon is investigating this and 
other possibilities. 

In September, Krebs met in New York with members of 
the Expo Exhibition Design Team and us. At that time a 
tentative location for the work was selected. It seemed 
then that the major problems were the hazard created by 

-■^' /SL: 


the artificial fog (this actually posed no difficulties) and 
the rental or purchase of the argon laser. Krebs needed a 
corridor-like space or spaces with low ambient light; 
these requirements were easily met, and it was provision- 
ally decided to distribute the bouncing light beams in 
several sections located at various points in the area, 
mounted high overhead. Krebs made several drawings 
showing alternative plans for distributing passages of 
laser light through the New Arts area. [4] 

After this meeting, some radical revisions in the New 
Arts area were effected. 

Krebs wrote to Dan Lansdon on October 15, 

... I mentioned when I called last week that the 
architect of the U.S. Pavilion in Osaka, Ivan Cher- 
mayeff, indicated there were going to be some 
changes in the New Arts Exhibit area. I have just 
received a revised plan for the area. The space is now 
divided into rooms rather than having it in one big 
area. IVly new space is roughly forty feet by twenty 
feet. This changes the enclosure to the extent that my 
piece will have to be reworked. I am concerned now 
that in a more confined area the intensity of the 
Argon's green and blue beams will wipe out the lower 
power He Ne red. 

The altered space should not change the apparatus we 
collaborated on this summer except for reducing the 
number of small mirror mounts required. I think I 
said twenty versus thirty mounts last week when we 
talked. Reduce that to fifteen total (or fourteen in 
addition to the prototype I have), and hold up 
making the mount for the He Ne lasers .... 

Hewlett-Packard and the Museum attempted to procure 
the argon laser as a donation from its manufacturer. 
Finally, it was purchased by Hewlett-Packard from 
Coherent Radiation Laboratories, and two helium neon 
gas lasers, model 251, were lent by University Labora- 

Once it was determined that the large parallel mirrors 
would be made in Japan, and the sources of the three 
lasers and the fog juice was resolved, the question of 
actually installing the work at Expo was at issue. There 
was no doubt that Krebs would have to supervise the 
installation himself, but before his arrival considerable 
preparation was expected. 

Krebs wrote to David Sutton, November 28, 1969, 
Regarding your suggestion in your November 18 
letter that the Japanese contractor purchase and 
install the mirrors— I have three enclosures which 
should give you the information he would need. I like 
the idea of having the floor to ceiling wall of mirrors 
as you suggested over the phone, and I think it could 

be done. It would make for a better looking installa- 
tion than what is called for in my enclosures. My 
reasons for not suggesting this possibility initially 
were the additional expense of the mirrors and the 
difficulties encountered in aligning the mirrors in a 
co-planar relationship. It would be necessary to install 
the plywood paneling in such a way that you could 
insure the two walls used with the mirrors be co- 
planar before any attempt is made to install the 
mirrors. Then, in installing the mirrors, I would 
recommend covering the entire surface of the ply- 
wood with an even coating of 'mirror mastik.' This 
could certainly be done before I arrive in Osaka. 
(Note: the mirrors to be used are simply standard 
one-fourth inch thick plate glass. They come in a 
stock size of eight feet by ten feet in the U.S.) Once I 
am there and install the lasers and other apparatus, it 
would be necessary to drill three holes in one mirror. 
However, I do not think this will pose a problem. 

Krebs returned to Hewlett-Packard for a week in Janu- 
ary, 1970, to finish the work begun the previous sum- 
mer—the lasers had still to be tested in operation with 
the small mirrors, and the optical system completed. 
During this period he worked intensely with Laurence 
Hubby, and again Lansdon assisted him significantly. 
Because Krebs was to accomplish the installation him- 
self, without the assistance of the Hewlett-Packard 
scientists who had developed the work, he had to be 
taught to assemble and operate the optical system. Krebs 

John Lazier, the Hewlett-Packard electronic tech- 
nician who designed the electronic shuttering system 
and the program which could control the rate of 
change and configuration and color change, had 
worked out a number of variable program possibili- 
ties. He and I discussed these at length, he trying to 
visualize what the various program possibilities might 
look like. I decided for the most apparently random 
program. The limitations were: three positions, 'A,' 
'B,' and 'C which could result in three separate light 
configurations and two basic colors. I wanted the 
rates, color, and position changes independent of one 
another. We were told the average viewer would 
spend roughly three minutes in the space, so the 
possibility of the piece completing its cycle— running 
through all three positions and the final 30-second 
rapid stage— had to be worked out with this three- 
minute time factor in mind. The more we discussed 
it, the more I began to see how important the rate of 
color change and the rate of re-positioning would be 
to the final piece. And without actually experiencing 
it in the space I was reluctant to settle for a basic 
program which I could not alter. John Lazier was 
sympathetic and spent considerable extra time 
designing into the system a control mechanism which 
would allow me to alter the rate of the cycle to fit 





the situation. Also, to facilitate making the piece, a 
switch was put in so I could leave it on at any de- 
signed point in the cycle. 

The last night I was in Palo Alto, Lansdon, Hubby, 
and I were up into the wee hours setting the argon 
laser and its optical system up to test it. We actually 
mounted several small mirror mounts and put up a 
test configuration. Everything worked beautifully 
except the collimating telescopes. I felt that visually 
the beam's intensity was too weak because of the 
beam diameter. I asked Larry Hubby to redesign the 
telescope and reduce the beam diameter to one-half 
inch, which he did. 

On January 24, Krebs arrived in Osaka to begin the six 
week job of installation. The space in the New Arts area 
allotted for the work measured twenty-three feet by 
forty -six feet; it was a parallelogram-shaped room. 
Beside it there was a separate, walled off utility room 
within which the laser apparatus was to be mounted; the 
large mirrors were placed face to face in the center of 
the room. [51 Krebs accomplished nearly all of the 
immensely complicated installation himself. He moved 
into a schedule whereby he would work at night, alone; 
it was easier for him to function undisturbed by the 
workmen in adjacent areas. 

The work is difficult to describe, but in assessing the 
artist's intentions for it, and the important issue of its 
special nature as a collaborative project, some attempt at 
description is necessary. 

Two kinds of laser light were used. The argon laser 
produced most of the light, and because its powerful 
light green and blue beams could be controlled by the 
optical system (in conjunction with the small "beam 
joint" mirrors, to disperse the beams) [6, 7] , to flash on 
and off, or change color, it was used to generate the 



complicated configurations of continually changing light 
structures. The red beams emanating from the smaller 
helium neon lasers formed a static configuration seen 
reflected "to infinity" in the two parallel mirrors. 

The argon beams were structured in three basic sections. 
Originating at each end of the room, and traversing it 
length-wise, were "fans" of light. At one end, "joints" of 
light originating from a single beam (sections of beams 
reflected between small mirrors) traversed the area in a 
parallelogram which hung horizontally, at a distance of 
seven and one-half to eight feet above the floor. At the 
other end, a beam was positioned vertically, up the wall, 
from eight to twelve feet above floor level. This beam 
would then fan out in a vertical line and twist into a 
horizontal configuration. Then this entire system would 
be reversed, and the same thing would occur at the 
opposite end of the room. The configurations of light 
were programmed to run through a repetitive cycle; they 
would pop back and forth, or seem to swing; just as the 
spectator began to apprehend the pattern from one 
point of view, it would suddenly begin to enter a "dia- 
logue" phase, popping back and forth across the space. 
The cycle was determined at seven minutes, based on the 
anticipated rate of traffic flow through Krebs' room. 

The third argon beam was positioned vertically in the 
center of the space, running down the center of the 
mirrors. This generated a kind of "wall," but worked 
into the sweep of the beam activity originating from 
each end of the room. The center beam worked in 
various combinations with the peripheral argon struc- 
tures. Reflected in the infinity reflection system it 
moved in and out and changed shape in relation to the 
"armature" of the red (helium neon), static beam 

The apparent depth perceived as one stood between the 
parallel mirrors was calculated by Krebs to be about ten 
times that of the actual distance between them (about) 
eighteen feet). Thus as one walked through the area, he 
entered a passageway between the mirrors which was 


actually narrower than the rest of the room, but seemed 
to open out suddenly into a great expanse. 

When this description of the work had been written, it 
was shown to Krebs in the hope that he could add to, or 
clarify it. Krebs felt that it was not totally accurate, and 
submitted three drawings which he hoped would make 
the structure more easily visualizable to us. [8] 

In relation to Krebs' past work with lasers, this piece 
represents a significant departure chiefly by virtue of the 
programming system, which he could not have devel- 
oped without the assistance of specialists. The artist had 
for some time wanted to find a way to weaken the 
psychological persistence with which laser beams are 
perceived as apparently real matter. He felt that by 
making the beams temporarily disappear, and then 
reappear, or by repositioning the light from one source 
into a series of varying configurations, he might succeed 
in achieving a sense of the light in its true character— as 
simply light. The ability of laser light to suggest spatial 
delineation, and to convey both the transiency and 
relativeness of this process, is realized, Krebs found, only 
when clues are given to counter the strongly illusionistic 
felt presence of a laser beam projected uninterruptedly. 
The clues were provided by the programming system. 
Discussing his intentions for the Expo piece, Krebs 

The light beam would fill the room with one config- 
uration and then another— versus 'to flash on and 
off .... you just have the sense of something that's 
in one place and then it's in another. As you noticed, 
the beams of laser light have visually a tangible 
presence. But I am not dealing with material in the 
same manner the sculptor has in the past. Conven- 
tionally a sculpture is a configuration of mass that 
one sees because it is illuminated by some light 
source. I reversed this proposition. I put incidental 
matter into the atmosphere (or use what is already 
present) and project light through it. The path the 
light beams take as they pass through incidental 
matter in the atmosphere is the sculpture. It is a piece 
of sculpture that one could physically move through. 

But, it is light (I think Newton called it 'a unique 
form of matter') and it has unique capabilities. In the 
configuration that resulted from positions 'A' or 'C 
there was never any sense of the structure as a kinetic 
thing— of the light moving from one point to another. 
Rather it was simply there in a space that had previ- 
ously either been empty or occupied by a different 

general or laser light in particular. It was an attempt 
to realize a particular work of art which did of course 
use some of these properties. 

The visual presence of the laser light can be sufficient- 
ly convincing that one forgets with his eyes and 
ultimately with his mind the reality of what he sees. 
The idea of reconfiguration is then a self-conscious 
attempt to tickle both his mind and eyes. 

Rockne plans to expand the basis for the Expo piece 
somewhat in doing a work for the Museum exhibition; 
there will probably be a greater profusion of light beams 
from the argon lasers, and possibly the addition of one 
or two helium neon lasers. We are planning as well to 
arrange for the artist to set up an outdoor work, using 
one or more powerful argon lasers, shooting beams out 
over the city of Los Angeles from the Museum. 

Jane Livingston 

So these are some things that I am able to do with my 
medium that I could not do with another. There are 
other possibilities. This piece was not an attempt to 
demonstrate all the unique properties of light in 



The room looks In plan 
like this: 


Lasers mounted on 
wall with light 
entering the I.R.S 
through holes in 
the mirror 


Blow-up of 
Argon section of 
the above plan 

Structure "A" 

Side View 

Mirror with 1" diameter 
hole for the three 
separate beams of Argon 
laser light to enter 
the space. The hole Is 
10' above floor and 

A, B, C are the green and 
blue light beams which 
produce the three separate 
configuration - A, B, and C. 
Actually the beams would 
enter the space either one 
at a time or In the combinations 
of "A" and "B" or "B" and "C" 

Beam ends 

Top View 

End View 

Structure "B" 

In "B" the light walks 
down the two mirrors 
of the I.R.S. which 
run vertically from 
floor to celling. 

structure "C" Is slmlllar enough to "A" that It 
should suffice to think of "C" as "A" reversed. 


Beam ends 


2 HeNe red-projected 
through two holes In mirror 
9' above floor - from the 
configuration shown as the 
light beams walk down 
mirrors diagonally. 



A Simplified Explanation of the 
Beam-Switching Sequence 

There are three separate angles at which the beam can be directed, 
and two separate colors (blue and green) . 

It is easiest to visualize nine shutters, one for each angle and one 
for each color (at each angle) , as shown below. For a blue beam at angle A, 
we would open shutter "a" (blue) and shutter "A", etc. 

The actual shutter-control system is more complicated but less versatile 
than as outlined above, due to limitations in the practical placement of the 

177 A&T 


There are two, separate, adjustable "clocks" or oscillators. One, 
designated as the basic clock, controls the rate at which the beam changes 
position (angle). The other is called the color-change clock and does just 
that; i.e., it controls the rate at which the beam changes color. 

Let's consider the basic clock first. In its direct (fast mode) it 
sequences the beam thru the three angles: A, B, C, A, B, C, etc. The 
time, T, at each angle is as indicated on the dial calibration, and may be 
adjusted from .14 to 3.5 seconds. 

After 10 cycles (30 angle changes), the basic clock output is switched 
to a slow mode. Now the beam will stay at each angle for a time equal to 
either 80 times T or 160 times T (depending on a rear-panel switch). For 
example, if the switch is in the 80 position and the basic clock is set for 
a period of 1.5 seconds, the time at each angle will be 120 seconds. 

After one complete cycle (3 angle changes), in the slow mode, the clock 
output is switched back to the fast mode and the process repeats. 

The color-change clock operates at a generally slower rate (1.6 to 80 
seconds), changing the beam color alternately between blue and green. Thus, 
during the fast mode of the basic (angle) clock, the beam will normally go 
through several angle changes before changing color. In the slow mode, the 
color will change faster than the angle. 

This color-change control is totally independent of the other timing circuits. 



A third cycling circuit, called the additional-color flip-flop, 
provides an added (and opposite) color beam at angle B along with the 
normally-provided beam at angles A or C. The shutter-gating table may be 
helpful in visualizing this sequence. 

This additional-color effect is operative half the time, being triggered 
on or off after each fast-slow cycle. 

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n IT. 
O n 

Wesley Duke Lee 

Born Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1931 
Resident Sao Paulo 


Hal Glicksman became acquainted with the work of 
Brazilian artist Wesley Duke Lee while in Sao Paulo 
installing the 1965 Bienal. He recomnfiended that we ask 
Lee to submit an A & T project proposal, and in Febru- 
ary, 1969, we wrote to the artist to this effect. In March 
he replied enthusiastically, stating that in June en route 
to Tokyo (where he was to install his Helicopter piece at 
the Museum of Modern Art) he could stop off in Los 
Angeles and discuss this possibility. 

When he arrived in town, HG took him to Information 
International and to Hall Surgical Systems in Santa 
Barbara, a small company which produces air-driven 
surgical drills. Lee was intrigued by his visit to Hall, 
especially by Dr. Hall himself, and promised that while 
in Tokyo, he would work out an idea for presentation to 
us and the company. On June 14 he wrote to us, describ- 
ing The Birth Capsule, or The Suspended Pneuma of Los 

I think I have already hit upon an idea; it can be 
easily constructed and would be a continuation of the 
Helicopter, deepening the idea that, if you could 
provoke a full regression in time in an adult person, 
he would be suddenly enlightened about his origin 
and his main problems, thus taking full consciousness 
of himself, his environment, his time; so I arrived at 
The Birth Capsule or The Suspended Pneuma of Los 

The piece in itself would be a plastic or glass box 
3x3x3 meters (a cube) in which the observer would 
go in, put on his space suit, look at himself, adjust his 
'Air Helmet' from which he Is going to breathe, and 
receive the special smells of: blood-shit-sea-forest, and 
hear the sound of a heart beating plus the blood 
running through his vessels; after he presses several 
buttons of his 'hand control panel' a quantity of air 
would go in the capsule and press him or support him 
(if he decides to lean forward!). Then the whole box 
would start getting dark, to pitch dark, then slowly 
turn to red, then to some kind of mirror surface (so 



3Wtt Cait 




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as to reflect him to himself) then to yellow, then to 
white or transparent and the air would go out and 
decompress the camera. To do this the walls would be 
made of five sheets of plastic so as to make a space 
between each other where compressed air introduces 
a colored liquid to tint the capsule. [1] The whole 
mechanism would be the two principles of air: 
positive air and negative air. The negative would be in 
the pads below the capsule that would allow a second 
person to move the capsule with the person around 
the room while 'he is getting born.' 

The plans for construction would depend on some 
information from technicians as to how much pres- 
sure a person or 'an average person' can hold, site of 
materials, etc. 

I read the catalogs from JPL and maybe I can use 
some ideas from their construction of space capsules, 
if it is possible. 

In addition to its direct inspiration from the artist's visit 
to Hall Surgical Systems, the inception of the Birth 
Capsule is related to his three previous environments; it 
is the fourth in a group of five such rooms (the last is 
still in a conceptual state) which comprise a series 
entitled The Five Stages of Man. In different ways each 
of these environments is meant to involve the viewer at a 
"profound psychological level." Lee later indicated 
several other sources for the Birth Capsule idea. At one 
point he wrote to us on the back of a Xerox copy of a 
Zap comic strip, indicating that the Birth Capsule was 
inspired by this particular Victor Moscoso cartoon and 
by a statement of the Greek philosopher Anaximenes, 
"As our soul being air sustains us, so pneuma and air 
pervade the whole world." [2] In addition he later 
commented that "capsule" refers to space travel and the 
piece itself is a sociological comment on the state of 
consciousness that prevails as a result of the drive to 
master space. He said. 

The farther away we go in space, the more frustrated 
we become; going to the moon has to do with power; 
it's a political power play. It's already boring, essen- 
tially. I'm trying to deal in fast processes of commun- 
ication; something that could shorten all the fears we 
have of getting together. And I think we only do that 
by full examination of our structure, and this is what 
the Capsule is about. 1 have an idea which is not 
mine; it comes from a lot of reading in psychology 
and my admiration for Freud. If you could re-enact 
the birth process and your whole life seen with the 
adult eye, you would have at your disposal a life 
power which can be used to live with your fears. So 
my dream was to invent a machine so that man could 
be exposed for a short period and would be so 
shocked by the experience that he would automat- 
ically start to revise himself. 

When Lee returned from Japan in July, he and HG met 
with Dr. Hall, to whom the artist described in detail the 
Birth Capsule idea. On the basis of Hall's encouraging 
comments and suggestions, Lee agreed to research 
certain problematic areas— such as the feasibility of 
extracting and projecting odors and the amount of 
pressure the human body might safely withstand in the 
space suit— and to refine the mechanism. Hall offered the 
assistance of one of his design engineers, but after 
waiting for two weeks for this man to free himself from 
other duties, Lee set out independently to seek advice 
on these problems. With the help of our corporation 
roster, Lee met with numerous technical experts, such as 
Dr. Francis J. Petracek, a medical chemist at Dart 
Industries' Riker Laboratories, and Carlos Diaz de 
Villalivilla, research chemist at Max Factor, both of 
whom provided helpful information not only about 
distilling the odors, but also about the mechanical 
design. With Dr. Edward Wortz of Garrett Corporation's 
Life Sciences Division, Lee discussed the air pressure 
system. Hall had also introduced the artist to a young 
mechanical engineer, Peter Mele, who was interested in 
assisting Wesley. 

Early in September, Lee estimated the total cost of the 
project and presented his findings to Hall, who agreed to 
provide financial and whatever technical support he 
could toward realizing the project. Hall made arrange- 
ments (unique among all the budgetary procedures for 
A & T artists) for Lee to purchase necessary materials 
and pay for labor, on a special Hall "Art and Tech- 
nology" checking account. 












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With Hall's commitment confirmed, Lee's travels 
throughout Southern California began in earnest. In the 
course of the project he dealt with over forty companies, 
individuals and small businesses, covering 14,300 miles 
from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Lee and his assistant 
labored indefatigably to design the capsule and its 
mechanisms. The walls of the tank were at first intended 
to be eight foot square sheets of plate glass, constructed 
in two layers, for the passage of various fluids. However, 
several consultants had expressed serious doubt that 
glass walls would be strong enough to withstand the 
pressure of the flowing liquids. Lee and Mele investi- 
gated substituting plexiglass instead and contacted 
numerous local plastic firms for estimates. Ray Products 
in Alhambra took the job and promised delivery in 
November. Meanwhile construction of the mechanical 
system began at Gold Divers, a manufacturer of portable 

underwater mining equipment, located in Hawthorne. At 
Gold Divers Lee refined the programming cycle. He 
outlined "the twenty steps to birth an adult": 

1 . Enter Capsule 

2. Close door 

3. Put suit on 

4. Press button ON OFF Button deflates suit— open 
door— system continues 

5. Capsule lift 

Ventilation system in helmet— sound system in 


Capsule lights on 

6. Dark period starts 

7. Suit inflates 

8. Smell of blood 

9. Red bubbles start 

10. Empty black 

1 1 . Smell of shit and sex 

12. Empty red bubbles 

13. Room lights off 

14. Ocean smells start 

15. Yellow period starts 

16. Forest smell starts 

17. Empty yellow starts 

18. Release air from suit 

19. Door opens 

20. Lower capsule 


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For several weeks work progressed on these separate 
fronts, but by early November a series of delays and 
schedule setbacks occurred. Then, on Novennber 22, Hall 
indicated that his company could expend no further 
funds on the project. Wesley was startled and upset, but 
determined to see the project through. Since the major 
components of the Birth Capsule ■<Ne'ie nearing comple- 
tion, we decided to underwrite the few remaining 
estimated expenses from our "materials" budget. 

Construction continued at Gold Divers, and by the 
middle of December the plexiglass walls of the chamber 
were completed and the unit was ready for testing with 
the fluid pump system. Lee was of course extremely 
anxious to see the Birth Capsule In operation for the 
first time, and he and the designers of the cubicle were 
prepared to celebrate the long-awaited culmination of 
their efforts. The injection system was turned on, the 
liquid was forced by air pressure between the sheets of 
plastic forming the walls of the cell, and one entire side 
immediately cracked. The material used, which already 
represented a considerable expense, was clearly not 
strong enough to withstand the pressure required to 
inject the flowing liquid, and thus it was not simply a 
question of replacing the damaged component, but of 
re-designing the entire structure with heavier gauge 
plexiglass. At this point the project foundered. Without 
the unilateral supervision of a company prepared to 
make a sustained and well organized commitment to 
execute the Birth Capsule, it was destined to remain 

From the beginning of his involvement in the program, 
Lee had kept a journal on the project, containing sketch- 
es, calculations, and notes documenting every stage of 
the Birth Capsule's development. He kept meticulous 
accounts of every expenditure and every individual or 
company approached along the way. Excerpts from this 
journal follow: 

My feeling is: There's a form of corruption in these 
people, they go through life without knowing what is 
the meaning of 'Ethics'— consequently they wish to 
know even less about Esthetics, which puts an end to 
the possibility of Art and Technology to come 
together, for Ethics and Esthetics is the very base of 
Art. So, my project is running the possibility of being 
considered incomplete for the exhibition .... The 
distaste for technology increases, and for the man 
that deals with it. I haven't met yet a 'Technologist.' 
What I have dealt with until now is 'employees' of 
corporations that exploit minor results of technology. 
Something should be changed. This new race carries 
the same 'pomp' that medical doctors have. And that 
bothers me quite a bit ... . 

Da Vinci gradually slowed down more and more in 
his painting until it finally became completely inhibi- 

ted as he turned to science— a turning away for which 
da Vinci apparently bitterly condemned himself as he 
lay dying. Technology to start with is in a very crude 
state in comparison with art, that has a much longer 
tradition. The 'crazy dream' comes when you try to 
melt the two together. If we want to go further 
technology will have to, first, pay full tribute to 
art— go through a process of modesty— which I think 
very difficult in our time— when apparently the 'wings 
of success' touched several projects— like going to the 
moon! Now we have to go to other planets, because 
going to the moon did not answer 'The Question' and 
brought no pleasure. Before technology learns about 
'Pleasure'— Art is Ahead— And I will stick to it. 

Before leaving Los Angeles, Wesley wrote to MT, sum- 
marizing his experience: 

Basically, it made me reconsider painting as my most 
important output, and that all the dealings that I had 
with machines, technology, and such, were connected 
to a very neurotic process, which I used as a substi- 
tute to my natural resources and ways of expression. 

Your exhibition exposed me to a complete situation. 
Through the process of 'building the birth capsule' I 
trapped myself (naturally with a lot of help from 
Acapuico Gold) into seeing the 'sin' I was commit- 
ting. First to myself, through deviating from my 
natural and best ways of expression. Second, against 
Nature, you don't build a mechanical womb! as in the 
same way you don't take heaven by assault!!! 

I committed the sin that many have before me, who 
believed in a perfect imitation of nature. 

For me this is the jewel of the whole project, this 
discovery about me and my time. So the Birth Cap- 
sule will be my last endeavor along this path. I will 
work from now on, on 'the magic of arrest time' on a 
piece of linen with a few brushes and pencils, nothing 
should move, but your mind, and that's a secret I 
discovered only now. 

On October 31, 1970, Lee wrote us, 

I've been thinking that the Birth Capsule is the most 
important work I've done so far; even though you 
haven't seen anything concrete, I know that it is 
almost finished .... The importance of this piece to 
me is that never before has a Brazilian artist engaged 
in a project of this importance, and it would remove 
some of the distrust that exists about our art. Maybe 
this is not relevant to you, but it is capital for our 
environment, and I am interested in the development 
of things here and the repercussions it would have 
.... If you come to Brazil you will understand my 
reasons .... 

Les Levine 

Born Dublin, Ireland, 1936 
Resident New York City 


Les Levine was one of the few nationally known artists 
to contact us with an unsolicited proposal. In Novennber, 
1968, he sent us the following letter indicating his 
interest in Art and Technology: 

Donald Droll tells me that you are doing a show 
which involves artists and connpanies and he suggests I 
contact you directly. 

I have been working in this area for some time and 
have been successful in obtaining some cooperation 
from large companies. As a matter of fact for almost 
five years this kind of cooperation has been kernel to 
my work. In the past I have worked with both Ameri- 
can Cyanamid Co. and Eastman Kodak. I am present- 
ly working in the area of television. Perhaps you are 
familiar with my large plastic environmental works. 

I would consider it of enormous value to my work to 
be able to work with a company in the area of plas- 
tics or of video equipment. 

In subsequent staff meetings we discussed the possibility 
of Levine's participation in connection with both Am- 
pex and the Container Corporation of America— Ampex 
for audio-visual equipment, and CCA for mass produced 
"disposable" works of art. 

In February we contacted Levine and invited him to 
tour these two facilities. He arrived on April 14, and Gail 
Scott accompanied him to Container. He was enthusi- 
astic about their four color lithography press on which 
they print six foot square sheets for margarine, deter- 
gent, and other consumer product packaging. He consid- 
ered their printing process more "contemporary" than 
the leading lithography art workshops. Although Levine 
was certain he could easily make a "disposable" or 
giveaway item, he was not enthralled by the idea, assert- 
ing that with the experience he had had with more 
sophisticated technology, it would be a wasted oppor- 
tunity for him merely to produce an object. Levine 
suggested that instead of a one-artist to one-company 
match at CCA, we should invite each artist participating 
in A & T to execute a large lithographic print on their 
four color press— a proposal to which we subsequently 
gave serious consideration. 

The next day GS and Levine flew to Ampex with the 
hope that their advanced audio-visual equipment might 
be of greater interest to the artist. Levine was intrigued 
with their small-scale television studio, housing a sophis- 
ticated array of broadcasting equipment including 
Ampex's RA-400 machine; a random access videotape 
programmer, an elaborate closed-circuit television set-up; 
and a multi-track tapie recorder with a modular expan- 
sion of eight to twenty-four channels. 

Levine was certain that, given an opportunity to experi- 

ment with these resources, he could create something— 
probably involving specially designed equipment rather 
than Ampex's standard products. He proposed spending 
some time at the company without outlining any defi- 
nite project. He desired a completely open-ended situa- 
tion without being restricted to a preconceived idea. We 
were in accord with this plan, but Ampex insisted on 
following their option to request from Levine and us 
detailed descriptions of the scope of the project before 
agreeing in principle to work with the artist. 

Levine agreed to study Ampex product brochures, 
consider the information gleaned from his visit, and 
contact us with some sort of proposal. On April 22 he 
sent the following sketchy description of his intention: 
Enclosed is a rough idea of what I want to do and it is 
not at all worked out at this point for obvious good 
reasons as I think it is important to keep the system 

I would also probably want to use their television 
studio for the production of a T.V. special but this is 
something I could probably work out after their 
initial involvement. 

I hope that this will be of some help and if there are 
any further questions we could talk about them when 
I get back from London. 

Project for Ampex Corporation is to create audio- 
visual model of a human being. A piece that will 
allow the spectator to consider himself as though 
he were a working model. 

The audio aspect would permit the viewer to hear 
whatever sounds can be detected from his own 
body as it moved through space, played back on 
several channels such as pulse, heart beat, blood 
flow, muscle manipulation, etc. 

The visual aspect of the piece would allow any 
movement to be seen from all its possible views as 
somebody other than the subject would see it. To 
paraphrase this idea I suggest that a man driving in 
an automobile should be able to have inside his 
automobile the view of his automobile that a 
hitchhiker could obtain. 

The system will probably require several small 
television cameras and monitors and some record- 
ing equipment for delay processes. It will also 
probably require some switching devices and 
information storage. 

We informed Ampex of Levine's plans but they declined 
to accept his proposal, indicating that it exceeded their 
financial and technical commitment to A & T. 

Roy Lichtenstein 

Born New York City, 1923 
Resident New York City 


From the earliest staff meeting in the Spring of 1968, 
Roy Lichtenstein was considered by us in connection 
with Universal Film Studios. MT saw Lichtenstein in 
June in New York, described A & T, mentioned some 
available companies and suggested that the artist tour 
Universal. Roy was interested, and although he was 
unable to travel West until the Fall, we were so confi- 
dent of his collaboration that we postponed considera- 
tion of any other artist for Universal until after his visit. 

Lichtenstein toured the studio on September 12, 1968. 
In two days he visited most of Universal's key facilities 
on their vast grounds in the San Fernando Valley. 
Several department heads explained the capacities of the 
film laboratories, including optics, cutting, editing and 
special effects. There was a visit to the set of Topaz, 
then being filmed; and a behind-the-scenes look at the 
mechanical set-ups for the public tour of the studio. 
Lichtenstein was enthusiastic about Universal's facilities 
and was introduced to Alexander Golitzen, Supervising 
Art Director, who was established as our primary con- 
tact man. The artist also met several top executives, two 
of whom had Lichtenstein lithographs hanging in their 
offices. There was no problem in obtaining Universal's 
agreement to work with Lichtenstein as artist-in-resi- 
dence, even though he had made no indication as to the 
nature of the work he might do there. 

Before Roy returned home, he said he would probably 
work with film. This was a surprise to us, and, we later 
learned, to Universal. Comic strips, basic to Lichten- 
stein's past work, possess, at least for him, a distinct 
cinematic quality— he mentioned how narrative is devel- 
oped in comics with abrupt compositional transitions 
from close-up to aerial to interior views, etc. One pro- 
posal which he outlined would be a sequence of shots of 
a woman's face with contrasting lighting (for example, 
green light on the left, red on the right), or tattooed 
with dots, or with varieties of makeup. He rejected this 
plan because it was too "zippy," or slick; also it would 
have been too expensive and elaborate an enterprise to 



justify the idea. He was also intrigued with making a 
literally "moving picture." On the basis of this pun, he 
proposed a series of landscape moving pictures. The 
films, displayed as a group, would be sequences of 
landscape fragments— water, clouds, sky— in combination 
with synthetic images such as textured aluminum for 
sunrays or a Ben Day dot grid for sky. He wanted it to 
look "fairly phoney." 

Lichtenstein affirms a direct relationship between the 
films and his 1964-65 series of landscape collages made 
from heterogeneous materials— shiny, textured plastics 
and metals resembling rays of sunlight or expanses of 
undulating water. [1] Some of these collages were 
kinetic, incorporating motor-driven parts to simulate 
moving water or daylight to night-light changes. The idea 
for showing the films simultaneously on different 
screens derived from the installation of kinetic land- 
scapes at the Pasadena Art Museum's Lichtenstein 
exhibition in 1967. They were displayed side by side and 
their different rates of motion fascinated the artist. 

Our initial impression of Roy's idea was that it was too 
simple; we were later disabused of this opinion. We 

encouraged him to develop his idea for films and exploit 
Universal's technology and expertise. Lichtenstein felt 
his best work in the past had always evolved from a 
basically simple concept and that he might attempt 
something more complex after his primary project was 

Lichtenstein returned on February 3, 1969 and was 
given as a studio Jack Benny's old dressing rooms. He 
had decided to do the landscape, or as they turned out, 
seascape films. Each sequence would be divided by a 
heavy black "horizon" line. Above it would be a "sky" 
image, either clouds of a blue expanse, or a grid pattern 
of Ben Day dots; below would be a rippling water 
surface, or an underwater scene with tropical fish, or, 
again, the dot pattern. Some of the image combinations 
would rock slowly back and forth as if the camera were 
in a boat. Roy stressed two requirements for the film: 
that it be projected in such a way that the viewer would 
not see or interfere with the light source or mechanics of 
the system, so that the film would appear to exist 
autonomously, as a painting; and that the images be 
exceptionally clear and precise. 



Although his ideas were intelligible, if not yet complete- 
ly defined, and his demands were by no means beyond 
the capability of the Universal facilities and experts, it 
seemed difficult for them to comprehend why he wished 
to use film in this way or combine images of this sort. 
Despite their uncertainty as to the esthetic intentions of 
the artist, they were eager to evolve a method for pro- 
jecting the films as Lichtenstein wished. The only rear 
screen projection system developed to date required 
forty feet of throw between screen and projector, which 

was processed the results were unsatisfactory for several 
reasons; the color could not be controlled, as the dots 
and ocean required different exposures; the foreground 
of dots and background of ocean could not be held in 
focus simultaneously; and by tilting the camera, they 
could not simulate the water's movement successfully 
because of the "depth of field" phenomenon. After this 
unsuccessful attempt, they decided to film the natural 
landscape fragments and the dots separately, combine 
the images on film, add horizon line and rocking motion, 
and synchronize the whole in an optical laboratory. 

They filmed clouds, various bodies of water in both 
color and black and white, and tropical fish in a tank. 
Roy particularly wanted a series of sunrise, daylight, 
sunset and starlight sequences in which the sun would 
rise and set in a vertical course directly in the center of 
the picture, not in an arc as is apparent in nature. To 
film a sunrise over the Atlantic and keep the sun in the 
center of the scene required an elaborate time exposure 
procedure. The sequence was made frame by frame in 
intervals of two minutes. The camera was shifted after 
each shot to keep the sun in the center. But this effort 
resulted in failure. In the print the sun wiggled back and 
forth. Another unsatisfactory trial was made, using a 
telescope calibrated to the camera. 

would be an impractical use of exhibition space. Cus- 
tomarily, a series of mirrors is used to reduce the dis- 
tance between projector and screen but this results in a 
loss of clarity. Universal technicians agreed to investigate 
ways to shorten the projection throw without sacrificing 

By this time the logistics of the project became a pri- 
mary concern. Because of other commitments Roy 
could only stay in California for about two weeks, but it 
was necessary that he be closely involved in every stage 
of the operation, particularly in the initial steps of 
selecting certain types of images to be filmed. It was 
agreed that on his return to New York he would consult 
with his friend Joel Freedman of Cinnamon Productions 
and propose the idea of working with Freedman on 
some experimental filming. 

In his New York studio, Roy made a series of sketches 
showing fifteen variations of combined images. [2] With 
these drawings and a precise idea of the imagery and 
effect he sought, Roy approached Freedman. After 
studying the problems and searching for suitable loca- 
tions, Freedman, Roy and two technical assistants began 
filming near the artist's summer house at Southampton, 
Long Island. For the first attempt the assistants stood on 
the ocean shore and held a four by six foot wooden 
board, painted with blue dots on a white field, suspend- 
ed over the water. The camera was rocked back and 
forth to simulate the motion of a boat. When this film 

Roy returned to Los Angeles in July with the sample 
footage. Golitzen arranged a screening of this film for us 
and several Universal technicians including William 
Wade, head of Camera Department, James Phillips of 
Projection Department, and Wes Thompson, head of 
Process and Projection. The moving water shots (some of 
which Roy had filmed himself) were especially impres- 
sive. In the next few days Lichtenstein selected footage 
from Universal's film library of sequences which he and 
Freedman had been unable to shoot— an airplane passing 
horizontally through the sky and going through a cloud 
bank, as well as certain sunlight and artificial starlight 
shots. He asked to have these sent to him in New York. 
Again, Lichtenstein opted to return to his New York 
studio and his summer house in Southampton, where he 







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and Freedman would continue filming and editing. Roy 

commented later, 

I think . . . that had I been in California and lived 
there, I could have really worked with them closely 
but as it turned out, most of this was done with Joel 
Freedman in Cinnamon Productions. He's a freelance. 
Independent film maker who lives in New York and it 
was easy for me to work with him and get the film 
made. It was a question of proximity and of course 
our friendship more than anything else. Universal was 
perfectly willing to give me all the help I needed, but 
I wasn't there. And some of these things have to be 
filmed and looked at and color-corrected, and you 
can't really— although they would be willing— fly 
things back and forth. So most of the work took 
place between Joel Freedman and me, even though 
Universal footed the bill. I learned a lot about how to 
proceed from them. 

The disturbing thing I feel about any idea that people 
present to me (and I think there is a tendency to 
present artists with things to do— everybody's doing 
that— they have projects they want done and they 
want certain artists to do it. It's the same ten artists 
all the time, but that's something else) is that you're 
getting led by other people's ideas. Sometimes it's 
interesting and sometimes you get into things that are 
useful and lead you to interesting things; but other 
times it's like filling orders. I didn't really get that 
feeling in this project, I must say, but there are so 


many things that people want you to do. I think you 
could fill orders and never go in your own direction. I 
prefer not to be led .... I like to work in my studio 
and let one painting lead to the other. 

We were seriously considering Lichtenstein's project for 
the Expo show and asked Alexander Golitzen to advise 
us about a projection system for displaying the films. In 
discussing this with Lichtenstein, we described the 
special conditions of a World's Fair exhibition— particu- 
larly the massive crowds expected to pour through the 
U.S. Pavilion— and explained that there would be room 
to have only two screens, rather than the optimum 
arrangement of ten to twelve. Lichtenstein then selected 
two seascape sequences he felt were suitable. One was a 
sequence of gently moving blue-white-black water below 
with blue dots on a white field above; the other used 
footage of rippling sunset-lit water below and blue sky 
above, with a white seagull poised in flight but station- 
ary. [3] The water in each rocked back and forth, but at 
different rates. He had eliminated the scenes with 
tropical fish, and those with the passing clouds-passing 
water combination, because those images were too 
exotic or interesting. 

To satisfy Lichtenstein's standards of quality, the job of 
editing and composing each film loop became a complex 
task, involving much consultation with optics and 
animation experts. First it was necessary to determine 
the exact composition of the images. After filming many 
shots of seagulls— both flocks and single birds— Roy 
selected a bird image that he liked, but it appeared in the 
wrong section of frame on the original film. It was cut 
out from the frame, blown up and remounted on a field 
of blue sky in the correct location. The exact specifica- 
tions for the dot pattern— how many, of what size, and 
in what grid configuration— were calculated through a 
series of graphs and charts. Lichtenstein was especially 
concerned about the quality of color; he attempted to 
control the color of the film as precisely as he would in 
mixing paint, and therefore demanded numerous correc- 
tion prints. Roy's decisions about composition and 
motion were made intuitively, on the basis of each film's 
internal consistency, as well as its relationship to the 
group and the type of installation. In the two films for 
Expo, the motion of the internal elements was minimal 
and thus called for rocking motion. In the Museum 
exhibition, on the other hand, there will be ample time 
for spectators to view the film, and it will be possible for 
Lichtenstein to select sequences with more engaging 
internal activity, as well as a rocking motion. But for all 
sequences that rock, the key factor is that they be set 
out of synchronization with the others in the group. 
After processing the film, the final step was to match 
exactly the beginning and ending frames to form a 
continuous loop, without skips. At the completion of 
this tedious editing process, which took about nine 

months, Joel Freedman commented in a letter to us, "It 
was quite a difficult project, I've now got to say— behind 
the quiet tranquility of a suspended seagull over sunset 
water there is a maze of graphs, charts, photography, 
animation. Neanderthal lab technicians driving me nuts 
and— a bit of money." 

Throughout his association with A & T, Roy maintained 
a certain skepticism regarding the possibilities for tech- 
nological collaboration which he later explained in an 

The thing that's advanced scientifically is the theory, 
and artists don't get anywhere near the theory; 
they're usually using the equivalent of a refrigerator 
or a light bulb or some by-product of the theory, it 
seems to me. In being avant garde, they're really using 
old-fashioned products. There's nothing to under- 
stand in a laser, even if you understand the principle. 
I'm not putting down the laser as useful in art; I'm 
just saying that you can immediately comprehend the 
laser— what it does, what it looks like and how it's 
done. It can be explained to you in five minutes and 
you get it. There's nothing mysterious about the 
medium. I'm not sure it should be mysterious; that's 
not the point, either. Very few artists are really using 
anything that can be considered advanced tech- 
nology. It's not putting it down, it's saying that it 
Isn't advanced, and one tends to believe it's advanced. 
There's something disturbing connected with both 
the artist using technology and the scientist wishing 
he were an artist, and I think that both of them get 
into a kind of romantic fantasy— It's a longing for 



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something, to be something you're not. And there's 
nothing wrong with that, either, esthetically; it could 
really work out. I don't think art has anything to do 
with either of those things. If you really invent 
something in order to conceive of it you also have to 
have a new conception of form. You don't conceive 
things without conceiving their form. To invent the 
theory is really being the inventor; to use the product 
is the same thing as using a paint brush— it isn't any 
more advanced. 

In spite of Roy's disclaimer regarding the complexities 
of technological tools, it is worth noting that perhaps 
alone of all the artists who worked in this program, 
Lichtenstein completely altered the conventional nature 
of his medium. In fact, he used film in an utterly anti- 
filmic manner. This anti-filmic quality, which is common 
to all fifteen films, involves a basic sense of contradic- 
tion, "a play," as he said "between reality things and 
artificial things." In part this derives from Lichtenstein's 
method of structuring the two compositional elements, 
water and sky, as one image on the picture surface. They 
are meant to be seen as a total visual field. In a custom- 
ary cinematic sequence of water, horizon line and sky, 
the intended effect is a vista, and the ordinary percep- 
tual process of the viewer is to integrate foreground and 
background into a visual pattern which creates the 
illusion of three-dimensional space. In Lichtenstein's 
films this effect is intentionally avoided and even contra- 
dicted, and makes it impossible to feel any sense of 
spatial recession. All motion takes place on the picture 
plane; the rippling water does not move back into space 
but up the surface of the screen, abruptly meeting the 
horizon line. This line itself further underscores the 
flatness of the picture plane. Moreover, Lichtenstein 
gives no visual clues (no localized objects like a boat on 
the horizon) but isolates fragmented bodies of water or 
sky. In the case of the tropical fish which swim in 
random multi-planar patterns, a certain degree of three- 
dimensionality is defined, but the area (that of a foot 
deep fish tank) is strictly circumscribed and confined. 

The installation planned for the Museum, using three 
screens [4] , should discourage a focused concentration 
upon any single image and should induce a scanning, 
contemplative viewing of all the images in the visual 
field. This inclusive or "dedifferentiated" way of viewing 
is possible because nothing happens in any of the films. 
There is no action, no narrative element. Lichtenstein 
remarked that they are "useless" films. In this context 
Andy Warhol's films come to mind, particularly Empire. 
In both the effect is boredom. But there is a difference: 
in Empire, the film's action is created by the environ- 
mental changes affecting the building during an eight 
hour time span; whereas Lichtenstein's films are perpet- 
ual cycles of repetitive imagery with no beginning and 
no end. 

Len Lye 

Born Christchurch, New Zealand, 1901 
Resident New York City 


Len Lye arrived in Los Angeles on August 20, 1968 to 
tour Kaiser Steel Corporation in Fontana. The artist 
described three pieces he wanted to execute, and drew a 
rough sketch of each. Gail Scott described his plans in a 
memo at that time: 

Gateway to the Universe: is ideally conceived as an 
oval structure of steel resting on a large base. The 
dimensions of the oval would be ninety feet long, 
sixty feet high, twelve feet thick, but a more feasible 
scale for our exhibition would be thirty by twenty by 
six feet. The exact dimensions would depend on 
technical calculations, permanent and temporary 
exhibition sites, and transportability. The entire 
structure would oscillate back and forth in a rolling 
motion, controlled by an electro-magnetic device, 
attached at two points at the base of the piece. In its 
ultimate situation. Gateway would be the entrance to 
a whole complex of kinetic objects in a total environ- 
ment, but obviously this is outside the range of 
possibility for A & T. He describes Gateway as: the 
nearest I can see it is a great elephant reincarnated as 
an ebb tide at Big River where the meeting of the 
tides creates a rolling whirlpool action. He has a nine 
foot model in his New York studio which he would 
advise having the engineer assigned to the project 
look at. There are several structural problems which 
need to be worked out: type of base; securing the 
oval to the base, finding a type of steel which would 
not bend at the top of such a large oval shape; pro- 
gramming the electro-magnetic device. 

Blade: is a sheet about twelve feet high, twenty-two 
inches wide, made of 3/64" thick steel, standing 
upright with a striker device to one side, consisting of 
a steel ball on a pipe. The sheet steel would be pro- 
grammed to oscillate in a waving motion creating 
double and at times triple harmonic sounds. When the 
movements reach a certain curvature, the striker 
would then hit the sheet with a bonging sound. The 
entire structure, striker and all, would then rotate on 
its axis, shimmering and reflecting light projected 
onto it. A composer, perhaps in percussion, would 
program the reciprocating device. Lighting would be 
coordinated into the motor stepping. 

Storm King: is a sheet of steel, sixteen feet long made 
of 3/64" thick steel with two brass curved arms 
extruding from one side. The whole structure would 
oscillate, creating storm sounds and reflecting light 
projected onto it. This piece would be placed against 
a long sheet of brass which is also programmed to 
move in a waving motion. The piece would be sus- 
pended from the ceiling with a small reciprocator at 
the top. 

Len Lye wrote MT on August 26, 

Oom. Seeing you at the helm prowing the art and 
technology seas was wow fore and aft. 

The fly in the kiss me quick of my unto consists of 
motion comp as the end of the fabricating trip and 
what that's to be I alone decide so the trick is know- 
ing when the goal is getting off course. 

Attached is what it takes for that and a few other 

Along the way there's the listed kind of squalls and 
all of us learning to keep our seats dry but if the 
ancients could deliver Stonehenge, the Nile temples 
even unto those Aztecs and Tolmecs with a lot of 
heave ho why can't we and we with the plan you've 
got can. 

As you know I'm up to my eyebrows but while 
passing through I'll give it a go, otherwise it's no skin 
off my bowspit if the conditions listed can't be met. 

Could you let me know a final reaction as soon as 
poss.? I don't want to back and forth at all with 
skidding verbiage. What happens will affect my next 
lot of doings including something for next all summer 
I'm about to sign but if we go ahead, then I'll ask for 
spare time to keep in touch from Japan where we'll 
be 1969 with Ann and a job and maybe Garrett have 
a private plane or space suit outfit to get the to and 
fro done. 

Once again for your efficient smoothing and under- 
standing of all the aspects of which I know I'm but 
one. Last but almost the most the perfect hospitality 
of your friends. It was all magnificient. 

Oom . . . thanks 

*Points which must be agreed to by both the Museum 
and the donor manufacturing corporation: 

(1 ) Whatever work may be chosen by the manufactur- 
ing corporation, I would expect a second model be 
made for me not to be used for public display. This 
version should not be in any way inferior to the one 
they build for themselves. If any improvements were 
made which could not be repeated on my model, 
then, rather than accept the first, I would require a 
new version. 

Four works. Sky King, Universe, Blade, and Moon 
Bead, [a sculpture he had only mentioned in passing] 
are now being considered for construction. I realize 
the right of the corporation to retain copies of the 
works promoted by the museum, but, should they 


Jackson MacLow 

Born Chicago, Illinois, 1922 
Resident New York City 


construct all four, it would be unfair to me, the artist, 
that I should be deprived of future commissions on 
these pieces because they already exist in a public 
collection. Therefore, for this and other reasons I will 
only allow two works of the four to be copies. 

(2) Len Lye, the artist, would retain the authority to 
cancel and have destroyed either work in progress or 
work completed if he sees it becoming somebody 
else's thing. This means that he, or his assistant, 
would have to be kept in constant touch with stages 
of appreciable development of a piece and approve of 
them. If unable to visit the shop, he would want to 
see decipherable drawings. 

(3) Whatever work chosen by the fabricator, and 
built, should not be exploited commercially (such as 
a roadsign type of role), nor subverted to a gimmick 
type attraction (such as being lit up in garish colors), 
but rather it should be set in surroundings which 
enhance it. To this end I would like some authorita- 
tive say in its exhibition. I would also, therefore, have 
approval of any ultimate disposition of the work, that 
is after it leaves the museum. 

(4) When the exhibition is finished at the museum, 
my work is to be immediately crated and shipped to a 
given destination, possibly overseas. 

(5) I retain full copyright of the start and end design 
and a blue print copy of all mechanisms and wiring 

Lye had outlined several other definite requirements for 
the works: Blade and Storm King had to be fully pro- 
grammed, and a type of steel must be used which was 
both resilient and would produce a proper tone when 
struck; Gateway, as an outdoor piece, had to be weather- 
ized; Storm King and Blade would have to be placed in a 
soundproofed area in an installation; all three required 
secure bases to withstand constant vibrations. 

The major drawback, as the Kaiser engineers pointed 
out, was that the company does not manufacture either 
spring steel or stainless steel, both of which are suffic- 
iently ductile materials for kinetic sculptures. Kaiser 
produces structural steel which is strong, flexible and 
brittle, for architectural purposes and bridge building— I- 
beams, H-beams, piping, etc. The other difficulty was in 
programming the works; Kaiser has no electronic facili- 
ties to devise a control system. 

Lye had also toured the Garrett Corporation and de- 
livered the same proposals. Garrett had agreed to survey 
its various divisions to determine the capabilities for 
execution. Both Kaiser and Garrett eventually declined 
to take on the project. 

Jackson MacLow's participation in A & T came about 
for several unusual reasons. His was from the beginning a 
special case, since he is not an artist but a poet, and 
could thus not be expected to have the same kind of 
relationship to a corporation as other artists contracted 
with us. Our rationale in approaching MacLow had in 
part to do with an intensely frustrating impasse reached 
with an important corporation: namely, there came a 
point in our dealings with IBM when it seemed we must 
either try a totally new approach or simply give it up. 
Since we had attempted unsuccessfully to obtain IBM's 
approval for interactions with several artists— Vasarely, 
Robert Irwin, Eduardo Paolozzi and Vjenceslav Rich- 
ter— and since one reason for this failure appeared to be 
the difficulty for these artists of using computer technol- 
ogy in a way mutually satisfactory to them and IBM, we 
thought of bringing in a poet, who could use computers 
as a linguistic medium. The suggestion to include Mac- 
Low was David Antin's. 

MacLow is associated with concrete poetry, an interna- 
tional, heterogeneous school of poetry, which came to 
prominence in the early fifties. However, unlike many of 
the younger exponents of this poetic movement who 
specifically seek a synthesis between traditional poetry 
and painting, MacLow has conformed to an older mani- 
festation of this style. In his Anthology of Concrete 
Poetry, Emmett Williams discusses a kind of poetry 
which best describes MacLow's own work: 

The visual element in this poetry tended to be struc- 
tural, a consequence of the poem, a 'picture' of the 
lines of force of the work itself, and not merely 
textural. It was a poetry far beyond paraphrase, a 
poetry that often asked to be completed or activated 
by the reader, a poetry of direct presentation— the 
word, not words, words, words or expressionistic 
squiggles— using the semantic, visual and phonetic 
elements of language as raw materials in a way seldom 
used by the poets of the past. 

MacLow studied music from the age of four and began 


composing music and poetry at fifteen. His educational 
bacl<ground includes studies in philosophy, comparative 
literature, Greek language and music. In 1954 he pub- 
lished Five Biblical Poems, in which he invented a kind 
of verse using as the basic unit the "event" rather than 
the traditional foot, syllable, stress or cadence. The 
poems are based on actual Biblical happenings and the 
events are either single words or silences, each equal in 
duration to any word. Integers in the title Indicate the 
verse structure which can be made verbal by musical or 
other non-verbal sounds produced at the ends of lines 
and stanzas. Five Biblical Poems is also the first work 
MacLow composed by chance operations, a method he 
has developed and extended in his later work. Since 
1954, he has written several plays, as well as a book 
published in 1968 by the Black Sparrow Press, Twenty- 
two Light Poems. Besides writing poetry and plays, he 
has done a number of paintings, collages and construc- 

Besides admiring MacLow's work in general, Antin knew 
of several performance pieces he had composed involving 
simultaneous readings of randomly ordered fragments of 
poetry by several people in concert, following a rhyth- 
mic "score," and accompanied by musical sounds. The 
principle behind this technique, it seemed, could be 
applied to computer input and output, similar perhaps 
to methods used by John Cage. 

In April, 1969, Jane Livingston met with MacLow in 
New York, where he lives and teaches at NYU. Jackson 
was immediately enthusiastic about coming to California 
to work with IBM: in fact he had even then a definite 
idea for a project. He talked in terms which seemed 
impressively knowledgeable: the areas he indicated were 
of interest had to do with artificial grammars and word- 
string processing, computer-generated sounds, modifica- 
tion of speech by computer or related methods, and the 
use of APL consoles and various educational machines. 
The theme he wished to pursue was "The Conservation 
of the Earth": he would draw on regional ecological 
information for the words and images. He wanted, he 
said, to combine words projected as pictures, with 
sound-recorded words or abstract sounds. 

We contacted IBM to describe MacLow's general inten- 
tion for collaboration. It was agreed that MacLow would 
come to Los Angeles to meet with personnel at IBM's 
Scientific Research Center in Century City, rather than 
touring the enormous San Jose facility which had until 
then been intended as the base for an artist's residence 
with the corporation. In June, 1969, MacLow arrived 
with his wife and young children— they came by train, as 
he avoids flying— and a meeting was held the day of his 
arrival at Century City with the poet, JL and a number 
of IBM physicists and mathematicians. It was a two hour 
session, and a memorably uncomfortable occasion, at 

least for Jane Livingston. MacLow had formulated an 
immensely ambitious proposal, involving an egg-shaped, 
environmental housing for the work— he had a rough 
sketch for this structure, which stood on legs and was 
conceived to be large enough in its interior to accommo- 
date several people— and an elaborate computer system 
for accepting and feeding out massive amounts of 
information based on the ecology of the Los Angeles 
metropolis. It was to be a participatory experience. The 
viewer should, according to his scheme, be able to 
request information at will and receive it in one of 
several forms— flashed onto a screen, orally recorded and 
emitted through a speaker, etc. As Jackson presented his 
idea (which was obviously more complex and technical 
than outlined here), the seven IBM computer scientists 
attending the meeting listened politely, but with palpable 
skepticism and even amusement. The contrast between 
MacLow's demeanor— he looked, on one hand, like a 
mad professor, and on the other like a gypsy itinerant— 
and the cool, groomed appearance of the gentlemen 
whom he addressed, was extraordinary. After the poet's 
initial description, the conference developed into a series 
of patient explanations as to why Jackson's ideas were 
totally beyond the realm of practicability, both from a 
financial standpoint and in view of the limitations of 
computer technology. Gradually, MacLow altered his 
requirements to conform to the realities of the situation, 
and by the end of the meeting it was plain that he would 
be willing to compromise significantly enough to work 
within whatever parameters IBM might set for his 
project. However, it became evident to us later that IBM 
was not interested in working with MacLow no matter 
what his project involved. IBM did, as a sort of consola- 
tion gesture, arrange for MacLow to attend a week-long 
course in computer programming at IBM's downtown 
Los Angeles headquarters. 

Fortunately another, much smaller, computer com- 
pany—Information International— had joined A & T as a 
Sponsor Corporation in December, 1968. We had visited 
the company with Eduardo Paolozzi and Vjenceslav 
Richter, and had discussed with them the possibility of 
working with Ron Davis, but no match had been effec- 
ted. The computer system that I.I. wished to make 
available to an artist, and demonstrated for each visitor, 
was a graphic display console manufactured by them. It 
is described in a letter from their Public Relations 
consultant. Dawn Walker: 

A system made by this firm seems exceptionally 
suited to your purpose. It is a computer optical 
system which can be used as an artist's tool to pro- 
duce graphics. It is capable of generating computer- 
animated film and other graphics. The machine, 
valued at half a million dollars, is used for a number 
of scientific and industrial purposes. However, it 
becomes a tool for the artist because of its high 
capability to react to what is desired of it graphically. 



Because it has the capability to record directly on 
35-mm or 70-mm film, it can be used to produce 
computer-animated movies from digital information. 
The creation of these movies is controlled by the 
operator through a number of means, including 
monitoring of the process via a television-like screen. 
In essence, film is created via a number of controls, 
and emerges ready for the camera from the machine. 

(A widely-shown animated film made with Information 
International's system was created by John Whitney and 
his son, Michael, we had seen this, and the Whitneys 
were eager to participate in A & T, but we were not 
especially interested to have another such film done 
through the program, although such an undertaking by 
an artist would have exploited the unique capabilities of 
the machine in a way more advantageous to the corpora- 
tion for commercial exposure than what was finally 
done with it by MacLow.) 

On June 19, MacLow visited Information International, 
met with Charles Ray, Manager of Applications Develop- 
ment, who demonstrated the graphic display console. 
(Both Ray and the company's president, Alfred L. 
Fenaughty, were to be extremely helpful to MacLow 
and enduringly cooperative with us in the course of the 
project.) One of the programs used abstract, linear 
geometric configurations which appeared on the screen 
and moved rhythmically through a randomly ordered 
sequence of alterations, accompanied by music— a Bach 
fugue in this case. A program accompanied by abstract 
sounds— bips and bleeps— synchronized to image fluctua- 
tions was also shown. Programs could be called up or 
altered with the use of a light pen held to certain points 
on the screen; MacLow sat at the typewriter console for 
fifteen or twenty minutes experimenting with this 
device, which fascinated him. 

It was agreed on this day by the company, the poet and 
us that MacLow would enter into collaboration with 
Information International. The poet began work immed- 
iately, commuting each day for ten weeks from his 
rented apartment in Hollywood to the company's 
facility in Santa Monica. He was at first assisted princi- 
pally by the Corporation's Director of Programming, 
John Hanson. The use MacLow made of the company's 
PDP-9 Computer (manufactured by D.E.C.) was actually 
not technically difficult or sophisticated in terms of the 
programs themselves; according to Charles Ray, the basic 
programming for MacLow's poems was accomplished in 
an eight hour period early in the collaboration, and was 
later refined. This was done by Hanson. In later stages of 
the project. Senior Programmer Dean Anschultz was 
heavily involved in working with MacLow, refining and 
extending the program to enable greater sophistication 
in his word groupings than was initially possible. 
MacLow didn't learn to actually program himself (this 
would have been virtually impossible in the time he 
had)— in other words, he couldn't instruct the machine- 
but he did learn to operate the equipment, by manipula- 
ting the typewriter-console. He was given access to the 
computer system for four hours a day, from six to ten 
A.M., five days a week, and working on this basis he 
composed a significant body of poetry. 

Although MacLow's demands on Information Inter- 
national's programming expertise were relatively modest, 
he did provide a novel experience for Information 
International's personnel in that the PFR-3 system (this 
is the designation for the entire graphic display unit, 
including the programmable film reader, magnetic tape 
units, etc.) had not previously been used by them to 
produce word images, but was employed chiefly for 
graphic patterns. By relying on the computer's ability to 
propagate words directly onto the screen (as a series of 
dots, rather than by scanning lines, as in a television 
screen), MacLow bypassed the PFR-3's film reading 
capacity, which involves photographing images. 

MacLow finally composed nineteen poems. Each one 
was built differently, and they became progressively 
more complex as he, John Hanson and particularly Dean 
Anschultz elaborated the program. Only one program 
was made. It initially consisted of forty-eight characters, 
including spaces, which could be generated by pressing 
the typewriter keys on the display unit. During the first 
phase, individual two- or three-letter words could be 
permuted in various ways. They then devised a linker 
mechanism, enabling series of words to be always linked 
together in the same way; thus larger blocks of words 
could be permuted in various configurations. Finally a 
carriage return device was added to the program, so that 
a number of lines of poetry could be made to appear 
simultaneously on the screen. In the last poem, THE, 
each message was composed of a number of complete 

sentences, rather than just linked words or phrases. Most 
of the poems were based on a family of words with 
related imagery. SOUTH, for example, uses words all 
referring to plants and animals in Latin America and 


MacLow submitted several of the poems made with 
Information International to Stony Brook, for its no. %, 
1969 issue. He included a letter to the Editor, George 
Quasha, explaining the way in which the poems were 

The . . . poems enclosed are xeroxes of print out 
realizations of poems I composed last summer (1969) 
on a PFR-3 programmable film reader at Information 
International, Inc., in West Los Angeles, for the Art & 
Technology exhibition of the Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art, organized by Maurice Tuchman. A 
PFR-3 programmable film reader is a device, or rather 
a linked group of devices including a DEC PDP/9 
computer, which 'reads' film in the sense that it turns 
the image on the film into digital form and thence 
projects this image via a computer onto a special type 
of cathode-ray tube (CRT) in a monitor console. It 
can modify the image when it is in digital form or 
analyze it in myriad ways (e.g., it can project the 
x-ray image of an organ of the body, increase the 
contrast of its features, trace the contours and give 
notice of anomalies, etc.). Its applications range from 
medical diagnosis to oil prospecting. 

In composing nineteen poems this summer (see below 
for what I mean in this case by 'poem') on the PFR-3, 
I didn't make much use of the film-reading potential- 
ity of the device (I did wish to work with photos of 
handwriting, but my programmers, John Hanson and 
Dean Anschultz, were too deluged with other work to 
be able to get to that program before I had to leave 
L.A.). The program made for me by Hanson and 
Anschultz began as a simple permutation program: It 
allowed me to type in (on a teletype) up to one 
hundred forty eight-character, single-line 'messages' as 
one group or poem. When one was not typing mes- 
sages in, the computer would pseudo-randomly range 
over the entire group of messages, settle on one, 
select one or more or all of the units in the message, 
and select one permutation of that group of units. 
This group of units would appear at a pseudo- 
random position (I say 'pseudo-random' because 
the means used were pseudo-random numbers) on the 
monitor CRT. 

Two special features of the CRT must be noticed: the 
fact that it propagates its image by a series of dots 
rather than by line-scanning as in video., and the fact 
that images fade gradually rather than abruptly from 
the face of the two due to the use of long-persistence 
phosphors. As against the bluish-white first appear- 



ances of images, the after-images are chartreuse and 
black. In addition, the particular PFR-3 monitor 
console I worked on was wired to an audio amplifier 
in such a way that every time an image (e.g., a series 
of words) appeared on the CRT, the same series of 
impulses from the computer which fired the electron 
gun to produce the image also went through the 
audio system to produce a sound. In the case of my 
word groups, the longer the series of characters was, 
the deeper in pitch the tone (a sound in the oboe- 
bassoon family, more or less) and the longer its dur- 
ation. Thus single words would produce high pitches; 
several-line groups (which the later forms of the pro- 
gram made possible) had the sound of deep organ 

In addition, if one desired printout, one could push 
down one of the 'program-sense' levers on the con- 
sole, whereupon the teletype would type out every 
tenth word group that appeared on the screen. This 
feature of the program is the source of the present 
examples. IVloreover, in the later forms of the pro- 
gram, I was able to vary the speed of propagation of 
the word groups by depressing various combinations 
of the AC levers on the computer itself. A regular 
feature of the console itself is a group of knobs that 
enables one to shift the image horizontally or vertical- 
ly or change its horizontal or vertical size (or any 
combination of any number these four possibilities); 
when one shifts the setting of one or more of these 
knobs while an image is being propagated, one pro- 
duces chartreuse tracks! 

In the earlier forms of the program, the permutable 
units were single words and I had no period as a print- 
able character. The program would pull out any of 
the permutations of any of the combinations of the 
words of any of the up-to-one hundred messages 
which constituted a single 'poem' in this sense. The 
two-page run beginning 'ALWAYS ARE TRANS- 
earliest example of this stage. It is printoff from the 
poem 'TRAN,', which consists of the single message 
ETERS ALWAYS' and which I improvised on the 
PFR-3 teletype the first day I worked on it in the 
middle of June, 1969. From the same stage is the 
poem 'DANISH' (or 'DANSK') which was the first 
one completed with one hundred full-line messages. 
(Of this I enclose the first realization drawing on all 
one hundred messages— the actual printoff beginning 


enclose three xeroxed runs of printoff of 'DANISH': 
the single-page beginning 'CRUNCHING ARE'; the 
three-page run beginning 'PAVEMENTS CARPET- 
the single-page beginning 'TROMBONES LOUD 


'DANISH' consists of one hundred complete senten- 
ces, some composed by means of systematic chance, 
some just dreamed up, each of which has its verb in 
either the present progressive (e.g., 'is/are going') or 
past progressive (e.g., 'was/were going') tense and 
each of which consists of a maximum of forty-eight 
characters, including spaces. It was composed during 
most of the last week of June, 1969. The use of the 
'ing' form of verbs as present participles, gerunds 
(nouns), adjectivals allows for a maximum of at least 
fragmentary grammaticalness when these words 
appear in random groups as in these examples: it is 
easy for the -Ing form to shift from one grammatical 
role to another according to the permutational con- 
text. Elements of some of the sentences were drawn 
by chance from a dictionary and from Black Elk 
Speaks (Neihardt). 

In later stages of the program, I had a 'linker' by 
which I could link up any number of words— even 
whole sentences— and use them as units rather than 
merely single words. 'SOUTH,' of which I send you a 
complete sixteen-page run, is one using this linkage 
feature. It began as a series of sentences improvised 
the first time I worked with the PFR-3. Somehow the 
lack of grammaticalness in the resultant printout of 
pseudo-random permutations of combinations of the 
words of the sentences I typed in didn't 'make it' for 
me, but by scanning through it for actual and sugges- 
ted sentences, I produced the one hundred messages 
of the final version of 'SOUTH'— each of which con- 
sists of one or two whole sentences which are the 
actual units of the messages since their words always 
appear in the same succession because of the linkage. 
The imagery of 'SOUTH' is an indiscriminate mixture 
of flora and fauna from both Central and South 
America and Africa (possibly also southern Asia) .... 

A very late feature of the program was a workable 
'carriage return'— i.e., the possibility of messages 
having more than one line of forty -eight characters, 
of propagating on the CRT face multiline groups of 
units or whole messages, and of printing out such 
multiline messages and unit groups. This was a terri- 
bly complex programming problem (or rather, mak- 
ing these three types of carriage return possible and 
compatible and also making it possible to edit such 
messages— which is another long story)— finally solved 
by Dean Anschultz, the red-bearded Demon Program- 
mer of Venice on the Pacific. 

In the poem 'DAVID' (the name refers to Dave 
Antin, I guess, whom I saw several times in both Los 
Angeles and in Solana Beach, and who saw and heard 
the PFR-3 in action— both 'playing' some of my 


poems and having new ones typed into it), all of the 
one hundred messages are questions or statements 
about questions involving 'DAVID' asking questions, 
etc. All of the words of each question or statement 
are permanently linked, and they run from two words 
in length to three lines. See the page beginning 
'DAVID ASKED.' (By the way, I also got an opera- 
tional period about the time that I did the final 
[sentence] version of 'SOUTH.') This page is from 
the middle of a long run of printout-realization of 

The last poem I worked on (for two or more weeks, I 
believe) in August, 1969, was 'THE'— of which I 
enclose three short runs of printout. In 'THE,' each 
message consists of four to six short sentences, each 
typed originally on a separate line. These short 
sentences are the units of the messages of the poem, 
and their words are permanently linked within each 
sentence. Thus each word group propagated on the 
CRT face and/or printed out is a sort of strophe of 
one to six lines, each line of which is a complete 
sentence. As is obvious from the printout-realization 
examples enclosed, each sentence mentions a more or 
less 'universal' phenomenon; each strophe consists of 
a closely related group of such phenomena. Ex. 1 
('THE SUN SHINES.') is from an early stage of this 
poem, in which I had not yet accreted many mes- 
sages. One may print out at any stage of the game, so 
that earlier printout draws from small numbers of 
messages; later printout is drawn from larger numbers 
of messages— up to one hundred, except for 'THE'— 
which has such long messages that it overran the 
memory core of the PDP/9 at about the 43rd mes- 
sage: it's the Saint-Saens' 4th— organ pipes and all— of 
my PFR-3 poems. It reached the limits of the compu- 
ter's capacity and had to be trimmed back before the 
computer stopped, just giving up altogether (as it did 
every time I passed a certain limit in adding messages 
to the poem). There were a lot of human phenomena 
that I never got to put into the poem because I put 
them off to the end of the list of messages, thinking 
I'd be able to accrete up to one hundred of them 
despite the extreme lengths of the individual mes- 
sages. The organ pipes came from the fact that there 
were so many characters and lines in most of the 
word groups propagated on the CRT that most of the 
corresponding audible tones were similar to those of 
very deep organ pipes— still vaguely 'double-beating- 
read' in timbre, some being chords or tone clusters. 
(This isn't the Saint-Saens' 4th but the Mahler 9th of 
the PFR-3 poems.) 

late stages of 'THE'; they are, respectively, complete 
two and four-page runs of printout. 

We seriously considered displaying MacLow's computer- 
generated poetry in the New Arts Exhibition at Expo 
70, and even went so far as to have some test film foot- 
age made of the PFR-3 screen with the poetry appearing 
on it. (It was plain that the equipment itself, in opera- 
tion, could not be seen long enough or closely enough to 
be understood by crowds of people passing through the 
exhibition area.) The film as we saw it was not entirely 
successful, and it would have required an expenditure 
beyond our means, or the company's, to produce it in 
acceptable form. 

The following are excerpts from six poems made by 
Mac Low at Information International: The, Danish, 
Diane, David, South and Trans. They are reproduced 
from Xeroxes of direct printout. Diane is given in two 
forms: the first is a series of "messages," which are then 
randomly arranged to form the poem. 

Jane Livingston 

Ex. 1 is early since it draws from only a few messages 
and still has the word 'animals' rather than 'mam- 
mals'—the word used in the later stages of 'THE' 's 
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Robert Mallary 

Born Toledo, Ohio, 1917 
Resident Amherst, IVlassachusetts 

Charles Mattox 

Born Bronson, Kansas, 1910 

Resident Albuquerque, New iVlexico 


In early November, 1967, while investigating the possi- 
bility of making sculpture via the computer, Robert 
Mallary sent us a written description of the system he 
was employing at the University of Massachusetts in 
Amherst. Mallary's work in this area had its origins in his 
research in the mid-forties into various types of three- 
dimensional cinematographic projection. He wrote. 
What I propose, put in its simplest terms, is this: that 
I create a simple structural form here in Amherst 
which is contoured, digitalized and taped. The com- 
puter on the campus is hooked up for a few minutes 
(probably only a few seconds) with a computer, say 
at Cal Tech and the constituent contour of the form 
emerges out there as a print out. These are taken over 
by technicians at the Museum, photographed on to 
slides, enlarged by projection on to plywood (or 
possibly plastic) sheets, cut out, assembled as a lami- 
nate, surfaced (to eliminate the contour 'steps') and 

In August 1968, Mallary told us of a simplified method 
that could be used to produce a sculpture by converting 
the output to paper tape and guiding thereby "a numer- 
ically controlled tool which would directly carve out the 


In the spring of 1969, kinetic sculptor Charles Mattox 

sent us plans for a proposed fountain. 

Fountain consists of a fibre glass shell, eight feet high, 
six and one-half feet through center. It would be a 
contained system, the upper section above the seal 
would have a pattern of photo cells over the surface 
up to the jets. These cells would produce electrical 
energy from light and store it in the sixteen batteries. 
The level of power storage would actuate a voltage 
regulator switch and when the correct level was 
achieved the pumps would operate. The pumps to be 
controlled by a timer and the jets to squirt in a rota- 
ting pattern that will be tuned to the natural cycle of 
the mass so that a rotating oscillation of the piece is 
achieved. When the energy level in the batteries drops 
to a predetermined point, the pumps shut off and 
cells again recharge the batteries. The inner water 
level will be controlled by a float valve and switch. 

The piece would be anchored with a swivel at the 
base to prevent its drifting. The weight inside will be 
adjusted to hold the piece in an upright position. 

John McCracken 

Born Berkeley, California, 1934 
Resident Venice, California 

Glenn McKay 

Born Kansas City, Kansas, 1936 
Resident San Rafael, California 


Los Angeles sculptor John McCracken toured Litton 
Industries and Philco-Ford in March, 1969. After study- 
ing company brochures and reflecting on his two tours, 
he indicated to us that although both facilities interested 
him, he had no specific project involving electronics in 
mind. But he explained, in a letter to us, 

The only possibility I consequently see at this point is 
to go into it with pretty much that attitude— not 
knowing at all what might happen, and maybe even 
accepting the possibility that nothing might happen 
beyond the occurence of an educational experience 
for me and hopefully for the engineers as well. This 
would be a meeting of minds interested in doing 
something together, with very few preconceptions on 
either side, and as I think about it it seems like a 
pretty exciting idea. 

Since he was in New York for several months, 
McCracken asked that we not reserve either company for 
him, but said that on his return he would like to visit 
Kaiser Steel Corporation. Kaiser, however, was already 
working with Richard Serra. Instead we took McCracken 
to Norris Industries' bathroom fixture manufacturing 
plant, but the facility did not inspire him to propose 
working there. 

Glenn McKay leads a light show group called Head 
Lights based in San Francisco. On the recommendation 
of Hal Glicksman, we invited McKay to propose a work 
for A & T. He wanted to build a multi-media environ- 
ment including an array of closed-circuit televisions, 
movie screens and a programmed sound system. HG 
took him to RCA, and McKay returned several times on 
his own in the process of refining his proposal. 

In April, 1969, he presented to us plans outlining the 
environment, which was to be a U-shaped room, each 
wall containing a movie screen surrounded by sixteen 
televisions. Each of the forty-eight closed circuit tele- 
vision cameras would focus differently on the spectators; 
one would locate on a face; another would be a wide- 
angle view of the crowd, etc. These live images were to 
be superimposed over a sequence of previously taped 
abstract images. Simultaneously on the central screen of 
each wall McKay's special type of light show would be 
projected. Programmed into the visual display would be 
a sound sequence comprising music by Eric Satie, elec- 
tronic noise, the Jefferson Airplane and Marshall 
McLuhan reading. 

McKay came to Los Angeles to make a special presenta- 
tion of this ambitious display at RCA. They studied the 
proposal, projected a cost estimate and submitted both 
to the New York office for consideration. Several weeks 
later we received word that RCA turned it down on the 
basis of prohibitive expense. 

Boyd Mefferd 

Born St. Louis, Missouri, 1941 
Resident New York City 


Jane Livingston went to see Ralph T. Coe's Magic Thea- 
tre exhibition in Kansas City in June, 1968 and reported 
that Boyd Mefferd's piece was in her view the most 
interesting work presented. She wrote in the September 

Boyd Mefferd's Strobe-Lighted Floor was . . . 
unquestionably the most important work in the exhi- 
bition. In it, one entered a large, carpeted room con- 
taining square lucite floor insets, spaced regularly in a 
simple grid pattern, each surmounting a strobe light 
made to fire with capacitor overflow, and thus 'ran- 
domly,' as the viewer walked about the room. The 
lights were placed beneath colored filters, but ap- 
peared white on actually looking at the flash— only 
the after-image took on color. On first entering the 
room, my impression was that the lights emanated 
from walls, ceiling and floor, and even when I had 
become oriented to the location of the light sources, 
it was impossible to look at them, or to discover by 
looking at any particular spot in the room precisely 
what was happening all around at a given moment. In 
short, what Mefferd presented was a way of seeing 
(retinal images) that does not relate to looking direct- 
ly at an object or objects. Unlike most of the other 
environments in the exhibition, the spectator was not 
compelled to move in any specific way, or to 'play' 
the work, in order to fully apprehend it. Certainly the 
dream-like sensation of having one's head filled with 
vaguely colored images which endure, multiply and 
actually seem to assume different shapes, and to 
expand or contract, to sharpen and fade, is an extra- 
ordinary state. By limiting himself to a basically 
simple format and allowing only the effect that inter- 
ested him to make itself discernible, Mefferd succeed- 
ed in exploiting that effect to a high degree. 

On the basis of the Magic Theatre piece, we contacted 
Mefferd and asked him to consider working with a com- 
pany which would allow him new technical possibilities. 
He responded, 

... I should be able to get right to work on a floor 
unit which will have two side-by-side rows of 50 flash 
tubes each, arranged so that the protective glass for 
each unit joins the one next to it, eliminating the 
carpeted sections of the Magic Theatre format, and 
making continuous blankets of intense light possible. 
Also, instead of the random firing of the Magic Thea- 
tre, this work will be fully programmed. I think that 
this kind of work must move in the direction of in- 
creased control if many of its possibilities are to be 
developed and effectively presented. I have been 
experimenting with a ring-counter type of circuit 
which will fire the entire line of lamps, or part of it, 
with microsecond delays between each lamp, so that 
as an after image, one end of the line is different in 
color from the other, and the change between ends is 
completely gradual. Color in this case is completely a 

product of timing, and not of color filters as was the 
case in the Magic Theatre. Obviously I won't know 
how well this will work until the 100 lamp unit is 
finished, hopefully late this winter. From this kind of 
stripe experiment, I would like to go directly into a 
20' x 30' or so floor of continuous flash tubes, with 
about 600 separate units. This would require quite an 
elaborate tape programmer, and I would have to work 
with someone like IBM if many of the various possi- 
bilities were to be worked out. This is the kind of 
work that I would like to build in Los Angeles. 

IBM was at this time seriously considering a major pro- 
ject we had proposed with Victor Vasarely. Since we 
could not approach them about Mefferd, as he had sug- 
gested, we went to Litton Industries, which had already 
had unsuccessful encounters and discussions with three 
artists: Robert Morris, John McCracken and Vjenceslav 
Richter. Litton had thus far offered for an artist's use 
only one of their many divisions, which dealt in the area 
of microcircuitry. We requested of Litton that more of 
their diverse facilities be made available for potential 
artistic use, and that serious consideration be given 
Mefferd's proposals. 

Litton seemed to respond favorably. Fred Fajardo, in 
the public relations department of the head office, be- 
came our new contact man, and offered us information 
about other divisions. Mefferd then toured Litton in Los 
Angeles and wrote us from New York on June 12, 1969: 
The idea of the project is still wearing well on me. If I 
am to work with Litton, it would be good to spend 
more time snooping around .... My last four years 
or so of working with lights and circuitry seem to 
have taken me into various areas of mildly complex 
equipment, to seeming dead ends, now only to put 
me back into an area where most everything I want to 
do can be accomplished fairly simply .... Without 
my experiments I would not have come so clearly on 
my simple works, of course, but I do seem to be in a 
state of mind where complex ideas seem unnecessary. 
Complexity being the advantage of Litton (or very 
new materials, used simply, which is also probably a 
complex process of some sort), my ideas for other 
work would probably have to come out of the advan- 
tages of what they could show me rather than any- 
thing I might know about now. 

Based on the meetings with Litton personnel, we expec- 
ted that the company would execute this project, which 
was already fairly well conceived, and then might 
prompt Boyd to explore fresh areas of invention. Two 
weeks went by, with no commitment forthcoming from 

On June 16 Hal Glicksman called Fajardo and wrote the 
following memo to MT: 



Call to Fajardo. Litton does not like Mefferd's pro- 
ject, too much expense in non-Litton material and 
Litton contribution would be very simple-minded, 
and it could be done at any computer facility. 

We asked Boyd to call Fajardo himself and explain his 
position. HG wrote this memo to MT on June 27, 1969: 
10:30 call from Mefferd. Call with Fajardo ended 
vaguer than he would have liked. iVIefferd had to 
admit that there was no necessary reason that only 
Litton could take on the project. IVIefferd said he was 
not there to think up technological puzzles but to 
bring them ART. 

1 1 :00 from Fajardo. Project is very expensive and 
does not seem to be especially a 'Litton type of pro- 
ject,' others could do it, etc. He asked what others 
were doing, and I gave him the bit about Universal 
film studio's project being simplistic but costly, etc. 
'F' was impressed that we wanted the project so 
much. He said he would have trouble selling the pro- 
ject to higher ups. I said we sold them on A & T and 
we can sell them the project. He said, 'You may have 
to do that.' 

Fajardo set up a meeting with us and James Lewis, Di- 
rector of Public Relations and Advertising. No signifi- 
cant objections were raised by Lewis; indeed the tenor 
of the discussion was optimistic, even enthusiastic, since 
we were considering the Mefferd room as a definite 
possibility for the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 70. Nevertheless 
the project was refused by Litton, for reasons no more 
explicit than appear in HG's memos cited above. We 
despaired of Litton but pressed on for Mefferd. RCA 
officially joined A & T at about this moment, signing a 
Patron Sponsor contract after having for several months 
studied proposals by Vasarely and Glenn McKay and 
eventually turning them down. With these artists out of 
consideration, we approached RCA's Government and 
Commercial Systems Division in Van Nuys, California 
with Mefferd's project, and we simultaneously urged 
Mefferd to personally contact Julius Haber of RCA in 
New York. Mr. Haber is directly responsible to Dr. 
Robert Sarnoff, President of RCA, and we had been 
informed that Dr. Sarnoff, an art collector, would per- 
sonally inspect any art project involving the company. 
Boyd saw Haber in early August and followed up with a 
letter to him on August 20: 

I am enclosing a few of the things published on my 
Strobe-Lighted Floor which was originally shown in 
Kansas City, and later in St. Louis, Toledo, Montreal, 
and will be seen this year in New York. Other descrip- 
tions appeared in Time, Newsweek, and a number of 
other publications. Essentially this work is serving as 
my prototype for the Los Angeles project, and helps 
me speculate on the psychological impact of the 
larger, more powerful floor which will be built there. 

The Los Angeles floor will differ in that the negative, 
non-luminous carpeted areas of the Strobe- Lighted 
Floor are not in the plan, and instead the entire floor 
will be glass, with a flash unit under each of 500 
sections. The floor will become one positive, lumi- 
nous sheet of light and electrical energy, and viewers 
will see each other etched as dark shapes in what I 
guess will be the most luminous background there has 
ever been. This is a direct reversal of the figure- 
ground relationship in traditional art. Color will be 
produced as a product of timing, taking advantage of 
a chain of retinal reactions which are triggered by 
bombarding the light-adapted eye with a brilliant 
flash of pure white light. 

I am sympathetic with RCA's interest in wanting to 
take advantage of your most recent and impressive 
advances in electronics and color television. I realize 
that if a good work of art can possibly be made 
around these, it would be the best statement of the 
unique qualities of RCA. I realize that any one of a 
number of companies has the technological capability 
to build my work. The only solid reasons I can give 
you for building mine is that I think it will be good, 
and that it will be very electric, a really massive use of 
electric power, controlled for esthetic ends. To the 
general public RCA is an enormous, diverse company, 
involved in everything from making washing machines 
to getting men on the moon, and electricity is the 
only common ground which runs the gamut from 
Johnny Carson to integrated circuits. While RCA 
executives have one idea of what RCA is, and would 
appreciate your most recent advances shown in a new 
way, an artist's way, I imagine that the public sees 
RCA in a completely different way, doesn't know 
what you can already do, and will look at anything 
that you can do well and powerfully as something 
good and memorable, whether it is technically in- 
volved or not. 

My entire premise for a good work of art is that it 
transcend materials to reach an esthetic consistency. 
Just as Whirlpool takes the most expedient path to 
making a good, convenient washer, in the same way I 
am dedicated to taking the most direct line to the 
best work of art I can make. My experience with 
color television led me to believe that it is a cumber- 
some, limited art medium. For communications and 
entertainment it is ideal, but art is really not about 
communication or entertainment. My experience 
with more complicated electronics has led me back to 
attempting very precise control of some relatively 
simple circuits. I think that the reason that we have 
seen so little quality in art and technology projects is 
that artists have spent too much money and energy 
trying to compete with industrial consumers who 
need advanced technology to make things more 


expedient. Art, and an artist's standards, are still quite 
different from the motivations of industry, and it 
seems out of place to expect both groups to be able 
to utilize all the same hardware. Companies, working 
with industrial aims, have tended to support art 
works which best demonstrate their products and 
capabilities, but art is not really a process of demon- 

In closing I'd like to add that I am more than a little 
amused when you think, on quick examination, that 
my project is not electronic. As a paying customer in 
the last four years I have purchased about ten thous- 
and dollars worth of RCA semiconductors for various 
exhibitions and commissions, and if more artists were 
as 'non-electronic' as myself, RCA stock just might go 
up a few fractions. 

Julius Haber replied immediately to Mefferd: 

Thank you for your letter of August 20th and the 
accompanying material describing ^ our Strobe- 
Lighted Floor. 

These were very carefully reviewed by a group of us, 
and while we found your ideas very stimulating the 
consensus was, regretfully, that we would forego the 
opportunity of sponsoring this interesting project 
because it seemed too far afield of our own technical 

We do appreciate very much your courtesy, and that 
of Mr. Tuchman, in giving us an opportunity to look 
at this proposal. 

Next we tried Wyle Laboratories, through Frank Wyle, 
President of the company. We also enlisted the services 
of Los Angeles artist Frederick Eversley, who had for- 
merly worked for Wyle Labs as an engineer. Eversley was 
hired as a technical consultant to A & T, primarily to 
resolve the Mefferd situation. We felt he could explain 
the technical needs better than we could, and also, since 
he knew Frank Wyle, effectively present the case for the 
important esthetic potential of the work. We felt then— 
correctly, it would now seem— that resistance to 
Mefferd's proposal was based on the corporation's skep- 
ticism as to its artistic merit. 

Eversley argued brilliantly for the work as a suitable and 
important project for Wyle Labs. Frank Wyle remained 
unconvinced of its potential value, wary of the costs 
envisioned, and felt not at all challenged by the nature 
of the technical problems involved in designing a control 
device or programmer. Eversley sought to clarify and 
reduce the budget, assuming, as we all did, that Wyle 
would at least begin to interact with Boyd if the com- 
pany's monetary reluctance could be assuaged. Eversley 
wrote to numerous Japanese electronic firms in an effort 




to find one that could fabricate five hundred strobe 
modules at a reduced rate, since the lower component 
and labor costs in Japan would be more economical and 
also cut shipping expense for installation at Expo. 

Encouraged by our determination to find a company for 
him, Mefferd made a small working model of the piece 

in his New York studio. This was seen by James Kenion, 
Ivan Chermayeff and Jack Masey, with the end view of 
including the resolved environmental work in the U.S. 
Pavilion. Everyone was impressed with the mock-up, and 
had no difficulty imagining its impact as a room-size 
work containing a sophisticated light control system. 


Not wishing to depend on Wyte's decision alone, we 
extended our search to include other companies that 
could do the job, or part of it. We phoned General Elec- 
tric (Patron Sponsor) to ask for a donation of strobe 
units. G.E.'s Photo Lamp Department declined, but 
offered a discount on a new model. In New York, MT 
met with executives of the Xerox Corporation, which 
owns a Pasadena-based electronics firm, Electro-Optic 
Systems. We asked Missy Chandler to have another try at 
Litton. HG wrote and phoned Spiratone, Inc., Rodan, 
and E.G. & G. Corporations. 

Boyd iVIefferd suggested calling Monsanto, thinking that 
a plastics contribution would be helpful to provide the 
facing of the strobe units and thereby reduce costs. It 
should be noted here that the various estimates for his 
project were strangely inconsistent, ranging as they did 
from $6,000 for materials and construction, to $25,000. 
In another attempt to reduce the budget, Mefferd began 
designing a room whose walls, rather than floors, would 
contain the flashing lights. He wrote to us in October, 

I am pressing the idea of a plastic room, because 
Monsanto makes plastic buildings. If they will get 
into this, I think that I would get pretty enthusiastic 
about expanding the work up the walls more and 
making more use of the tall space. Dr. Gordon knows 
a key executive at May Company, and if Monsanto 
will do the plastic room, I think that he can approach 
May Co. to help with the electronics. Then perhaps I 
can keep a pretty tight control on them and hire what 
technical help I need with the programmer. I would 
be ready to start work on that immediately, and I like 
the idea of making the electronics as simple as pos- 
sible. I suspect that once I get into it, some simple 
things will turn out to be significant. If I am in con- 
trol of that aspect, I imagine that I can build the 
controls bit by bit and do my experimentation as I go 
along, and thus do without the versatility of a cross- 
bar scanner or other elaborate controls which would 
have the options of going various different ways. 

Boyd simultaneously wrote to Richard Gordon at Mon- 
santo in St. Louis, 

From my work, the originators of the exhibition are 
counting on a high-impact experience which will 
reach a large number of people. Rather than using the 
floor, as I did in the Magic Theatre, in Japan I will 
develop an entire plastic room and place my strobe 
lights behind the walls. The luminous plastic interior 
will become the artwork. I feel that collaboration 
with Monsanto could result in developing such a 
plastic interior, and I hope that we can work together 
on it. 

We also put Boyd in contact with Today's Displays, a 
fabricating company recommended to us by designers of 

the U.S. Expo Pavilion Exhibition Design Team, who 
had had experience with this firm. After meeting with 
Joseph Grunwald of Today's Displays, Boyd wrote to 

I am not too impressed by Today's Displays, and I 
don't really see what they can offer. Grunwald talked 
about using one of the cheap Japanese photoflash 
units, and their building the control. I have great 
reservations about something like that. I feel strongly 
that we should try to build our own flash units with 
the lamp that GE will sell us for $4.50 ea. This is 
vastly better equipment than the little Japanese units 
and will give us longer life, more light, the option of 
changing lamps if necessary, and the advantage of 
being able to use top quality parts throughout instead 
of things selected to make the cheapest possible units. 
I think that a good flash can be built for about $40 
each, including labor. For 250 units, this would be 
$10,000 .... Grunwald was talking about roughly 
$100 a unit, which based on 250 units is exorbitant. 
I'm sure they can do some good things, but in general 
they seem to be uninformed and over-priced. I will do 
some more thinking on how the control could be 
handled simply. 

By the end of October every lead had failed. Wyle had 
phoned to decline, and the other companies we had 
contacted similarly expressed no interest. On October 
31 , with Mefferd's project hanging fire, and the USIA 
deadline nearly at hand, MT remembered M.A. Gribin, a 
collector of Cubist paintings whom he had met a year 
previously. Gribin was president of an electronics com- 
pany in Los Angeles, Universal Television. We persuaded 
Gribin to visit Mefferd's studio and see the model. 
Gribin was interested and subsequently signed a Patron 
Sponsor contract. However, even with the company's 
support, no collaboration between Mefferd and a Univer- 
sal technician could be effected; but Mefferd proceeded 
on his own to prepare for the Expo show. 

No project was more difficult or frustrating to imple- 
ment than Mefferd's, despite the fact that from the start, 
his intentions were clear and his ambitions were high but 
not unrealistic from either a technical or a financial 
point or view. Nor was this a reflection of the artist's 
temperament, for he is eminently likeable, articulate and 
modestly business-like in his approach. Mefferd wrote to 
us in retrospect evaluating his numerous corporation 
contacts and commenting on the A & T program in 

I found the brass incredibly cautious, slow moving, 
and stodgy, for people who had their power, and 
middle management, while a little more lively, were 
completely afraid to do anything to counter the 
higher-ups, so they might as well have not existed. I 
am convinced that Monsanto spent at least a thous- 
and dollars just to decide not to do my project. Brass 



would not act without first having lower people re- 
search and investigate, and then when the report was 
favorable, they decided that there wasn't enough time 
to do it anyhow. I began to think that it is quite an 
accomplishment just to make a profit with so much 
heavy baggage in a firm, and they give you the feeling 
that they could clean up the land a little, lower prices 
a little, do most everything they will have to do for 
the good of the country, if they could only stream- 
line and up-grade management. This is an optimistic 
feeling, I suppose, but it doesn't help much if you are 
trying to work with a company as it exists now .... 

One of the key problems in working with companies 
seems to be that they like to take things over, to 
demand that things be approached in their way. Be- 
cause they are usually nervous over costs, insisting 
that an art project be a relatively small undertaking 
for them, and then deny the artist his own unique 
way of doing things, it is no wonder that the projects 
seem to provide so little challenge. It is important 
that the initial concept was a challenging one, the 
concept of artists in residence. Individual flair seems 
to have been lost somewhere in corporate thinking, 
and nobody in these companies seems to feel much 
compulsion to do anything with much style. Probably 
they look to artists for that sort of thing now. Maybe 
artists will be the last of the big time spenders. Com- 
panies seem to have forgotten about the value of 
independent operators. Obviously they hire people 
who have little interest in independence, and nobody 
seems to remember that the men who started our 
giant corporations were all small and independent, 
more like artists than the people who run the com- 
panies now. They don't seem to understand the value 
of injecting this kind of thinking back into their 
ranks. They go to great expense to hire strong, bright 
people, and then do their best to isolate them. I sin- 
cerely think that an artist would be a great encourage- 
ment to the individual aspirations of a company's 
employees, and of great long-range value to a com- 
pany. I'm sure that in the midst of penny-pinching 
budget talk, A & T people were tempted into the old 
saying, if you have to ask the price, you can't afford 
it. It seems that just as money stands between the 
artist and his exploration of simple technology, it also 
stands between the companies and their sharing of a 
more sophisticated technology. If things are going to 
hang up on costs, the potential of technological 
sophistication is meaningless. Accordingly, Universal 
Television was able to work with me, and hopefully 
with the Los Angeles installation we can all learn 
from the project, even though their technical capabil- 
ities are limited, while giants like Litton, RCA, Mon- 
santo and the like were not able to work. I get the 
feeling that much of the energy that giant corpora- 
tions expend on development is wasted because they 

don't have the human foresight that it takes to utilize 
it. Of course this can be expanded to include our 
growing global ecological problems, but I presume the 
purpose of the catalog is not to insult industry, and 
there is no point in going more into this now. 

In the U.S. Pavilion, Mefferd's space comprised the 
introductory area to the New Arts section, occupying 
ninety-two feet of running wall space in two adjacent 
V-shaped configurations. One hundred twenty identical 
flash tube units, covered by two foot square plexiglass 
sheets, were mounted in a grid pattern on four walls to a 
height of six feet; the walls were then furred out. The 
flash tubes were designed by the artist, adapted from 
normal photographic flash units; they are 450 volt 
xenon lights operating off normal line current. Since no 
one working in the U.S. Pavilion was as well-equipped as 
the artist to assemble the piece— a delicate, time-consum- 
ing chore— he did so himself with the sole aid of his girl 
friend; the process took three weeks. 


A critical factor determining the success of the work was 
the degree to which ambient light could be reduced in 
the surrounding space. As the Mefferd room was at the 
entrance of the New Arts area, we cut down the size of 
the passageway to the minimum set by Japanese safety 
codes. It was expected that dense crowds of visitors 
would further block out light and greatly darken the 
room, but this could not be precisely calculated before- 
hand. For a week Mefferd tested various rhythms of 
firing. This was the creative period for him, all that had 
gone before being merely a question of technical prepar- 
ation. Mefferd's intention for the Expo piece (in antici- 
pation of the massive traffic) was to produce the 
strongest possible impact in a short time span. He finally 

arrived at a carefully determined system which he felt 
was direct and "formal"— especially in comparison with 
his Magic Theatre piece. Each V-shaped group of lights 
had a separate trigger mechanism, controlled by a simple 
motorized timing device. One group fired at fifteen 
second intervals; the other received its impulse every 
thirteen seconds. The total frequency of flashes was 
thereby staggered within those sequences; at times both 
groups exploded simultaneously with subsequent length- 
ening of the flash. 

On March 15, Expo opened and swarms of people 
poured through the Pavilion in a dense stream. Mefferd's 
room was significantly darkened by the enormous 



crowds, and the piece worked— provided that the specta- 
tors delayed their rush through the room for two or 
three seconds. Most Japanese would not pause, however, 
and they experienced the work only as a minor eye 
irritation— like the flash from a nearby camera. For those 
who dallied long enough to receive the series of light 
discharges the experience was intense. 

The first burst of white light to hit a spectator's eyes was 
the most startling and disorienting; with the firing of 
successive charges, one's vision was subjected to a series 
of brilliant color mutations: from white, the light shifted 
to turquoise and to blue; then from rose to violet, and 
finally to orange. In the first moment one may be fearful 
and instinctively shut one's eyes from the light, but it 
has been observed that this fear vanishes almost instan- 
taneously, as the multitude of hues explodes in one's 
visual field. Whatever shapes were between the spectator 
and the walls of light— usually other people— interrupted 
this pure color field, resulting in frozen chromatic silho- 
uettes and bifurcated forms. 

These two elements of the strobe pieces— discontinu- 
ousness and intangibility— constitute Mefferd's esthetic 
concern, rather than manipulation of an optical effect. 
Regarding the notion of discontinuousness, Mefferd has 
stated in a previous exhibition catalog: 

Because viewers are free to decide how long they will 
spend with a work, time has always played a role in 
the perception of art. Undoubtedly artists of the past 
have given thought to the duration of involvement 
that could be expected of their audiences. In recent 
years, however, some artists have taken to direct 
manipulation of time, making visual change the basis 
of their art. This development has placed new impor- 
tance on the total role of time. If the visual changes 

Mefferd has not studied these optical phenomena from a 
scientific standpoint; nor is he particularly interested in 
the various theories which explain them. Indeed, he has 
said, "Essentially, I believe that an artist is still an artist 
and that his growth will be one of intuitive decisions, 
utilizing feedback from his work, with occasional flashes 
when confusing things become clear, and that the mater- 
ials he works with are still secondary to traditional art 
work habits." The process which brought Mefferd into 
strobe lighting was not the result of research in the field 
of optics, but (in confirmation of the above statement) 
an empirical development, based on intuitive judgments 
of his past work. In 1967 he had executed a series of 
small light boxes using fluorescent lights layered be- 
tween plexiglass, formica or chrome-plated metals. He 
began to evaluate them, in terms of other light sculp- 
tures being done at that time, and in terms of what he 
really wanted from light as a sculptural medium. He later 

The boxes were modulations on a certain cycle; you 
could enjoy looking at them for some time, but 
you've seen the content in a very short time. I got 
more and more interested in trying to make works 
that are completely discontinuous; which would exist 
and then cease their existence. I was also interested in 
making works that didn't have any physical form- 
not even any tangible product. What you saw was 
completely intangible. I got into using flash units as a 
way of making an interval and identifying something, 
but I found that the strobes do that, but not very 
gracefully. The optical quality, which is very strong, 
is something I really wasn't looking for in the begin- 
ning, but being there, it is the strongest thing about 
them. The intangible thing was not something I ex- 
pected to find but happened onto. 

were likened to the plot of a book, the total viewing 
time would correspond to its length. Just as it is 
unlikely that an author would approach a full-length 
novel in the same way he would write a short story, 
likewise it is unlikely that an artist who is interested 
in time control to design similar works for the mu- 
seum viewer, who has anywhere from several minutes 
to several hours with a work, and the private collector 
who may be with it a lifetime. If he is interested in 
both public and private audiences it is likely that the 
time oriented artist will develop distinctly different 
public and private art forms.* 

Thus Mefferd's A&T projects are predicated on the fact 
that spectators are expected to remain in the room for 
certain lengths of time (obviously it will be longer at the 
Museum than at Expo). Based on that expectation, 
Mefferd arranges the timing sequence of the flash units 
to establish the pace at which the work moves. 

It is the quality of intangibleness which most distinguish- 
es Mefferd from other artists dealing with light as a 
medium. In traditional art forms which utilize electric 
light as a sculptural component, the form of the work is 
defined primarily in terms of the shape of the light con- 
tainer—the neon tube or incandescent bulb. In Mefferd's 

'Milwaukee Art Center, l/l/hite Lightning: A Public Situation, 1969 


Strobe pieces, the experience generated by the light is 
independent of a tangible light source; one is only con- 
scious of the immediate visual experience which takes 
place in the eye; the only tangible objects are the sur- 
rounding persons which comprise the fragmented image. 

The piece Mefferd plans for the Museum exhibition will 
contain an expanded electronic system, and the installa- 
tion should be more supportive of that system than was 
possible at Expo. The room itself will be rectangular 
with a light-trap entrance way painted black to fully 
dark-adapt the viewer before he enters it. Lights will be 
arranged in two L-shaped groups with entrance and exits 
between, allowing adequate space to linger in the en- 
vironment as long as desired. 

The most significant modification will be with the strobe 
units which will contain not one flash tube, as at Expo, 
but three; the two additional tubes will be color filtered 
and programmed to fire at intermittent intervals. There 
will be the deliberate, rhythmic overriding pattern of the 
Expo piece with its repetitive sequence of color muta- 
tions; but added to this will be bursts of colored lights, 
interrupting that set pattern. In the months between 
Expo and the Museum show, Mefferd researched these 
colored lights; he had units specially made using neon, 
argon and crypton gases, hoping that a specific gas might 
produce a certain dominant color. Since there was no 
significant result, he decided not to go to the expense of 
having these made but to use filters instead. Program- 
ming this new network of flash units, with its complex 
array of possible color combinations, will be the major 
task in preparation for the Museum exhibition and will, 
at last, involve a collaboration between the artist and 
Universal Television technicians. In excuting the Mu- 
seum piece, Mefferd's intention was not to disregard the 
Expo piece, but to elaborate on it and expand the basic 
idea. In a letter describing the new work, Mefferd said, 
"I favor doing it as richly as possible as I want an or- 
ganic, luxurious end product, rather than the rather 
stark affair we have in Osaka." 

Gail R. Scott 




•*-iar'^- :■ 

Michael Moore 

Born Los Angeles, 1942 
Resident San Francisco 


On May 17, 1969, after trying to contact MT in New 
York on behalf of Pulsa, Michael Moore sent us his own 
project proposal: 

This project is concerned with the activity of sunlight 
on and within a structure in the landscape. The 
sketch (1] fancifully illustrates an application of this 
idea in the area of Point Dume, although any location 
along the coastal range with exposure to the sea 
would do as well. Programming equipment will be 
buried beneath the floor of a box defined by four 
walls, each In turn comprised of four nearly trans- 
parent, continually moving panels 10' x 10' to a side, 
inconspicuously contained within four 10' x 15' 
metal frames, with a solar battery mounted atop a 
clear plexiglass pylon in the center as an on-site 
energy source. 

lately open up manifold additional possibilities. 

As to energy conversion, I favor the solar source both 
practically and conceptually and understand a unit 
6' X 6' with a storage battery to conserve overflow for 
sunless periods would furnish the requisite power. 

The programming package, in addition to governing 
the behavior of the panels, must also incorporate 
timing devices for Initiating and stopping programs as 
well as a system of sensors and attendant motors to 
align the solar batteries with the sun. These and all 
other aspects must be simple, sophisticated, and 
impervious to the vicissitudes of humanity and nature 
for a period of at least several months without main- 

The realization of this project requires research in the 
areas of plastics, solar energy conversion, program- 
ming, and movement of the panels. Research into 
plastics will require experimentation with as many 
materials and processes as possible to determine a 
maximum amount of information on light transfer- 
ence properties under a variety of conditions before 
the panels can be constructed. Lamination and etch- 
ing are two processes that would be good starting 
points, and exp)osure to the appropriate research 
department of a chemical company should immed- 

Drlving the panels In accordance with the program 
will be achieved either by the use of 16 reversible or 
32 non-reversible electric motors of the necessary 
quality, or, more hopefully, electromagnetlcally; 
efficiency and availability of materials are the crucial 
factors In this particular choice. 

The end realization of this endeavor should be anony- 
mous; Its electronics refined to the point of invisi- 
bility; Its origins obscure. It will rise prominently but 
unobtrusively, a hymn to the sun of space. 



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Robert Morris 

Born Kansas City, Missouri, 1931 
Resident, New York City 


Robert Morris was one of the first artists we approached 
for A & T, and our efforts to effect a satisfactory match 
have continued to the writing of this catalog, still with- 
out success. Throughout most of this two year period, 
Morris had a specific project in mind; to work— hope- 
fully in an aerospace firm— with environmental control 
systems. In September 1968 he sent the following pro- 

An environmental situation involving temperature 
control systems and utilizing the devices themselves 
which generate heat and cold. What is envisioned is 
not an entire room which gets hot, cooler, etc., but 
rather specific areas controlled by specific units. 
Certain amplification of sound from the devices pro- 
ducing temperature changes is also being considered, 
but the primary concern is to explore local changes of 
temperature within an extended spatial situation. 

In attempting to locate a company working with temper- 
ature control, we contacted Litton Industries. Roy Ash, 
President of Litton, had requested, at the time the con- 
tract was signed, that the collaboration take place at 
Litton's Data Systems Division. We called Ralph Oliver, 
our public relations contact at Data Systems. We de- 
scribed the artist's field of interest, and Oliver eagerly 
and unequivocally assured us that Litton could "do 
anything" along that line. Encouraged by his willingness 
and optimism, we arranged to visit the facility with 
Morris on October 29. 

On this occasion, we were first conducted into a confer- 
ence room for an "S.O.B." (Standard Overview Briefing) 
of Litton Industries, consisting of a movie and a flipcard 
chart talk on the corporate structure. Oliver then took 
us through three major areas of the facility— the com- 
mand and control display center for live radar testing, 
environmental testing laboratories and a microcircuitry 
manufacturing plant. Data systems only works with 
temperature control consisting of tiny humidity and 
heat-cold chambers used to test the endurance of micro- 
circuits and other small electronic parts. 

Morris maintained that such machines, having very 
limited capability in scale and versatility, would be of no 
help, and that he wanted to work in a department where 
research was being conducted in environmental (meaning 
on a scale relative to people, not computer parts) control 
systems; in reply the Litton management explained that 
all research at Data Systems was applied to specific 
contracts, usually military, and that no general research 
went on at any level. Oliver, however, assured us that 
there was another area of the division we had not yet 
seen that was working with air conditioning systems. 
The following day we returned to Data Systems to inves- 
tigate this section, which contained a fabrication shop 
for aluminum quonset huts, housing tactical computer 
equipment called, in Data Systems' abbreviation system. 

IFF (Identification of Friend or Foe). But it was a futile 
trip because the air conditioning "system" turned out to 
be merely self-contained units acquired outside Litton. 
We were to discover in the coming months that in being 
restricted to "DSD," where the military involvement of 
Litton was concentrated and where there prevailed a 
misconception about the nature of an A & T collabor- 
ation, our efforts to find an artist to work at this giant 
firm with its diverse potential would be repeatedly 

In the hope that Morris would be stimulated by other 
types of technological resources, and perhaps revise his 
proposal, Gail Scott took him to Ampex Corporation in 
Redwood City. They met with Dr. Charles Spitzer, and 
since it was the first visit by anyone from our Museum 
staff, they had a thorough briefing and tour. Although 
Morris found the tour interesting, he persisted in his 
desire to carry out the original thermal project. 

After an abortive effort to interest Philco-Ford in 
Morris' proposal, we toured Lear Siegler, Inc., an aircraft 
corporation recently contracted to A & T as a Patron 
Sponsor. Two particular divisions seemed capable of 
implementing Morris' project: the Holly Division, a 
fabrication plant for home and trailer air conditioners; 
and the Hokanson Division, producing technically exact- 
ing systems for aircraft missiles. Both divisions were 
interested in the artist's scheme, and both claimed to be 
able to handle "any requirement." That promise was 
becoming familiar, but we were anxious to have Morris 
see both facilities first hand. We mailed him brochures. 



and he responded directly with a letter on March 3: 
Hokanson's heaters and coolers look sweet. Can 
hardly wait to get my hands on one of those 'Male, 
female cap duct coupling— MS 33562' or some skid 
mounted water chillers .... Then there's the whole 
world of 'Strongback mounted electric driven (Rail 
Mobility Concept) air conditioner that operates 
normally when strongback is in horizontal or vertical 
position or during transition for missile erection.' 
Each one sounds better than the next. I just had to 
close the book when I got to a device that supplies 
'automatic head pressure control.' Zowie bang snort 
lemme at em. 

Pretty big, hulking devices all of these toys. Want to 
ask only one thing: when the show that eventuates 
from all the collaboration takes place does it have to 
be inside? Because I want to do it outside. Want to 
bury all this technology right in the ground and have 
nothing there but a little more weather than was 
there in the first place— what miniature golf did for 
the game this piece might do for the National Parks. 

Due to other commitments, Morris couldn't begin work 
until July 1 , but we felt assured that the Lear Siegler 
collaboration would develop fruitfully. We therefore 
reserved that company for several months until Morris 
arrived. In June he sent a more detailed description of 
the thermal project: 

Site: Want to make the installation outside in unin- 
habited land, any type of landscape, about one square 
mile to work within. 

Preliminary Studies: Want to make and record some 
ecological processes in the site area— changes of tem- 
perature, rainfall, animal food chains, etc. Want to 
start this before installation of machinery. 

Technology: Installation of several air conditioners 
and heaters underground. Outputs above ground, 
interface between technology and nature disguised 
with fiberglass rocks, etc . . . frigid rocks, hot wind 
coming out of a tree perhaps . . . etc. 

Additional Records: Would like to make two films 
shot from helicopter traversing entire area at constant 
height. One film in color, one in infra-red (after ma- 
chine installation). Have ideas for a particular way of 
presenting these films in the museum ... a continu- 
ous showing. I'm at present working on a similar film 
for Kepes for Brazil. 

On July 3 GS took Morris to the two LSI divisions, 
guided by George Moak from the general administrative 
offices. An account of that tour was recorded in the 
following memo: 

GS went with Bob Morris for initial tour of two di- 

visions of Lear-Siegler. First saw the Holly Division 
which manufactures residential heaters and air condi- 
tioners, but the capacity of these is not really suf- 
ficient for Bob's needs. Then went to the Hokanson 
Division (Santa Ana) where they manufacture large 
air conditioners for industrial purposes. These will be 
much more suitable for Bob's project, and he is confi- 
dent that they will have all the equipment he'll need. 
We met with R.W. Rowlin (manager of Industrial 
Relations at this plant) who will be one of the main 
contacts and will introduce Bob to engineers. Bob 
will study their catalogs in the next two days, then 
contact Rowlin to begin work. George Moak made it 
clear that it was the division's responsibility to see 
through the project as far as they can. If we need 
approval for funds we should first contact Moak who 
seems fairly open towards Bob and the project in 

For consideration: 

(1 ) Bob wants a plot of land on which to do the 
project. He doesn't want to use the Museum's park; 
wants it to be near some foothills, on land which is 
not being used. He needs about 14 square mile. 

(2) He will need to rent a helicopter and camera 
equipment to make the infrared and color films of 
the site. 

Morris rented a house in Balboa, not far from the Hok- 
anson Division where he went several times, trying to 
discover some engineer or scientist who might be doing 
research in environmental controls or the conductivity 
of metals and other structural materials, or at least some- 
one interested, at a theoretical level, in his concept. But 
unfortunately, research at Hokanson was geared primari- 
ly toward quality control of specific products; as at 
Litton, there was no general R&D department. After 
three weeks, Morris finally found someone, William S. 
McKinney, Director of Engineers, who expressed interest 
in the proposal. 

Meanwhile, we had made inquiries and finally located a 
piece of land on which to install the work— one square 
mile of a cattle ranch in Irvine, near Balboa, owned by 
Mr. and Mrs. Richard O'Neill, who are art collectors. 

Morris had to leave for Europe in July and couldn't 
return until December to devote a long period of time to 
the project. He promised, however, to send William 
McKinney drawings, plans and diagrams of the necessary 
equipment, as well as a map of the site on the O'Neill 

Morris wrote us on September 16, 

The next step that has to be taken on the part of 

technology is the following: 

How to get five or six heat sources, as varied as pos- 

Bruce Nauman 

Born Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1941 

Resident Pasadena 


sible, into a natural environment and make them 
function and also conceal them. 

How to get five or six cooling sources, as varied as 
possible, into a natural environment and make them 
function and also conceal them. 

How to power these dozen devices, how to reduce the 
noise to almost zero, how to switch them off and on. 

These are essentially the problems I presented to the 
several engineers I met out there. I realized that some 
authority had to come from the top for them to 
actually put in some time and solve the above prob- 
lems. That is where we still are with the project— i.e., 
the same question exists: Will LSI provide the equip- 
ment, will the engineers solve the problem? 

We called McKinney to forward Morris' message but 
were told that he was "unavailable"; successive attempts 
found him out of town or similarly unreachable. Mysti- 
fied by this response we contacted George Moak in the 
head office. Several days later he called back to say that 
LSI wished to be dropped from Patron Sponsor partici- 
pation, adding that McKinney had been assigned to some 
high priority engineering project and would not be able 
to assist the artist. He frankly admitted that there was 
no one else with sufficient "imagination" to carry on the 
collaboration. Obviously the project was verging on 
collapse, so we asked Moak to come to the Museum. At 
this meeting, it became apparent that LSI's main con- 
cern was the estimated costs for the project— including 
rental of a helicoptor, cameras, film, installation of the 
equipment, etc. Further negotiations proved futile, and 
the collaboration ended precipitously. 

In May of 1970, after Dan Flavin had ceased to work at 
General Electric, the company pressed us to find another 
artist; they were eager for concrete results from their 
participation in A & T. We contacted Morris to see if he 
was still interested in doing something in the program. 
He replied by suggesting that he and Craig Kauffman 
might tour G.E.'s Nela Park Laboratories in Ohio, and 
possibly collaborate on a project, but by October, 1970, 
when they were free to visit the company, G.E. main- 
tained that they were no longer able to commit to an 
extensive collaboration. 

Gail R. Scott 

In March, 1968, after hearing about A & T from Ed 
Kienholz, Bruce Nauman wrote to us describing his 
interest in holograms: 

I have made photographs and film loops of myself 
making faces and will do a set of 3-D pictures using 
the plastic lens material which I imagine you have 
seen as soon as Leo Castelli has enough money for an 

I would like also to do a similar set of holograms. I 
talked with TRW in Los Angeles and while they make 
a lot of the equipment and do a lot of the experimen- 
ting, they won't do outside work. They gave me 
Conductron in Michigan and they (Conductron) are 
supposed to make and reproduce holograms that can 
be viewed in white light so there is apparently not 
much display problem. 

Basically what Nauman wanted to do at this point and 
when we later talked to him was to make holograms not 
only of his face, but also a set large enough to depict his 
entire body. He was able to accomplish both these goals 
without assistance from the Art and Technology pro- 

Claes Oldenburg 

Born Stockholm, 1929 
Resident New York City 


Walt Disney Productions is a corporation whose partici- 
pation we hoped from the outset of A & T to enlist, 
because of their enormous production capacity and their 
sophisticated research into problems of visual illusion. 
No more strenuous attempt to contract any company 
was made than our effort with Disney, or its partner 
firm, WED Enterprises. In January, 1968, Missy Chand- 
ler made the first of numerous calls to Roy O. Disney, 
Sr. in an attempt to arrange a meeting with MT and him. 
Eight months after that initial call, a meeting was finally 
arranged in Glendale between MT, Missy Chandler, Irena 
Shapira, and WED's Neal E. McClure, Secretary (Legal 
Counsellor) and Richard F. Irvine, Executive Vice-Presi- 
dent. McClure and Irvine were not terribly interested in 
A&T, but neither were they eager to offend Mrs. 
Chandler, and they promised to consider the idea in 
further meetings with their Head of Design and Mr. 
Disney. On October 2, McClure wrote. 
My Dear Mrs. Chandler: 

After checking further both here at WED and at the 
Studio, we must advise you that we are not in a po- 
sition to participate in your imaginative 'Art and 
Technology' plan. 

As discussed with you last Thursday, there are several 
reasons persuading against our participation, the two 
most cogent being our extreme work pressure to 
complete Walt Disney World in Florida, and the high- 
ly confidential nature of much of the work per- 
formed here at WED. 

MT immdiately called Claes Oldenburg and went to see 
him. Oldenburg had been approached by us some time 
previously, but had not responded favorably to our 
invitation, primarily because there was no contracted 
corporation relevant to his needs at the time, but also 
because of doubts he had about working with company 
people, engineers and administrators. He was skeptical 
about the advantages industry could provide in execu- 
ting his work, and about the necessity for his being at a 
company in person: "As far as I'm concerned," he said 
to the New York Times, "the Yellow Pages provide 
enough technology for me." From our point of view, 
however, to have an artist of Oldenburg's importance 
and prestige working under the project was critical at 
this early moment in the development of A & T. Such a 
collaboration as that between Oldenburg and Disney 
would, we knew, lend concreteness to the public concep- 
tion of the program, which was at that time rather 
vague. It would also, we felt, prompt participation by 
other corporations and strengthen the preliminary inter- 
est we were encountering in discussions with other 
artists. (We made an effort to involve Dubuffet at 
around this time for similar reasons.) We persuaded 
Oldenburg to come to Los Angeles and tour Disney's 
facilities. He came on November 17, 1968, and was 
shown various workshops and research areas in Glendale 
and several rides at Disneyland by John Hench. 

Despite this letter, MT urged Missy to continue arguing 
our case, and she succeeded in arranging a second meet- 
ing at Disney on October 31 with the company's Head 
of Design, John Hench and Executive Vice-President, E. 
Cardon Walker. MT was in New York on A & T business 
at the time of this meeting, and received a phone call 
from the Museum, informing him that WED had com- 
mitted to the program as a Patron Sponsor. Disney's 
legal counsellor Neal McClure later requested and ob- 
tained an interesting alteration in the contract— one of 
tenor, rather than substantive legal import— by "reserv- 
ing the right to the Company to disapprove any artist or 


Hench and Oldenburg were at first wary of each other, 
and MT was put in the position of attempting to explain 
one to the other and somehow alleviate the sense of 
mutual suspicion. By the time Oldenburg left, he was 
convinced that Disney could be of enormous benefit to 
him,* and even displayed a degree of excitement about 
certain plans he was already envisioning. He said he 
would draft a schedule for visits to Disney throughout 
the coming year. Oldenburg remained cautious, however, 
as he indicated in a letter to MT on December 14, 1968: 
"John Hench 's quote in the Glueck article** certainly 
makes me pause. I wonder to what extent he will assume 
the position of spokesman for what might be done. The 
trouble with WED is that they are ideologically involved 
as well as technologically, as we know."t Nevertheless, 
he then sent John Hench and us a proposed schedule: 

Set up housing March 2—16 2 weeks 

Describe project 

Main work on project May 

4'/2 weeks 

Additional work on June 29— July 12 2 weeks 
project (if necessary) 

Additional work on 

Nov. or Dec. 
(or Feb. '70 

3 weeks 

(if necessary) 

Disney was still worried. Neal McClure called Betty 
Asher on January 30, and she reported this conversation 
in a memo to MT: 

A Mr. McClure called from WED Enterprises. They 
would like to see a proposal of just what Claes in- 
tends doing at Disney. Also, they have not had the 
opportunity of approving the artist or the project as 
per the contract. They would like that opportunity. 

He would like to have you call Mr. Hench. They are 
afraid they might get a Kienholz-type product and, 
after all they are a family directed-operation. 

I assured him that "set up housing' just meant that 
Claes was planning on taking some time to find his 
own digs convenient to their facility. He was afraid 
that he expected them to provide housing there. 

*Much later, Oldenburg told Max Kozloff that he was fascinated 
with the idea of working at Disney because he "wanted to know 
what people who have been making animals without genitalia for 
thirty years are lil<e. " 

**Grace Glueck, "Los Angeles Museum Plays Matchmaker," 
New York Times, April 17, 1969. 

tin another letter written by Oldenburg at this time, but not 
mailed, he said, "The name of my piece for Disney, Maurice, will 
be Leaves of Grass. Disneyland must have its Whitman section 
full of homosexual streetcar conductors." 

On February 21 Claes wrote John Hench: 

I will be detained on projects in NYC until about the 
first of May— I hope to spend the whole month of 
May on the coast. At that time I hope to have ob- 
tained residence facilities in the Balboa area, in order 
to commute to the Disneyland workshops. My prefer- 
ence is to have a basic studio at Disneyland and from 
there visit, whenever necessary, the Glendale work- 
shop. At Disneyland, I'll need an office space to draw 
in and to make some small models and to write on 
my typewriter— a place that is relatively private and 
quiet. It doesn't have to be large. 

After getting settled I would expect to continue 
exploring the facilities for a few more days and then 
to retire if that's the word to formulate a project on 
the basis of and arising out of what I've seen. I want 
to stress this approach— that I won't be arriving with a 
project ready to go under my arm. I will bring a note- 
book of possibilities and some preconceptions . . . but 
I can't say in advance what area of the many offered 
by WED workshops will be drawn upon. 

If you bear with me, by the end of May, something 
definite should be in the works. If it is, I'll be return- 
ing in the summer and late fall to complete it, and in 
the meantime maybe can direct it from NYC. Maybe 
it will go by itself the times I'm not there. 

On May 1, Oldenburg settled into a motel near the 
Disney plant in Glendale. He worked daily throughout 
the month. This was a productive time, and visitors to 
his workroom at WED found a fertile body of proposals 
and models being developed by Oldenburg. [1] One 
writer was impressed by these plans sufficiently to plan a 
book on "Oldenburg in Disneyland." As Claes prepared 
to leave at the end of May he drew up two general pro- 
jects for consideration by WED, which included many 
separate sections and models he had been preparing. 
He referred to one project as a Theatre of Objects or 
Oldenburg's Ride. The other was the Giant Icebag. He 

The practical way to approach working with any 
corporation or any material or technique supplier is 
to see where their services fit in with your needs. And 
first of all I had to ask myself what is it in my work 
that requires technological assistance on the scale that 
this program will give me. Most of the time I don't 
use technology very much. There was a class of ob- 
jects that had been contemplated and suggested in 
'65, and these were all of a kinetic sort— they moved 
or they broke or they reconstituted themselves, or 
they peeled themselves— they went through simple 
motions. And so knowing that I was going to get into 
a technological program, I went through all my notes 
and I selected those things which seemed to fit the 
program, and those are the notes that I brought out 
with me, such as the one with the jello mold [2] , 







which dates from 1965. All of those ideas with break- 
ing things and changing things are all of my note- 
books from 1965. When I arrived at Disney, I looked 
around for the service that would fit me, and they 
were then engaged in preparing the haunted house 
which opened later. But in the haunted house they 
had all these effects where things were metamor- 
phosing and they were using mirrors and stuff, so I 
went to the library and I got books on simple magic 
and also books on simple mechanics. I tried to fit my 
thoughts about what I needed in technology into 
what services they provided at that moment. 
Oldenburg's Ride was to be a large series of magical, 
mechanical sculptures, enclosed in an amphitheatre of 
the artist's design. [3, on the right] By May 23, when 
MT made his last visit to Oldenburg's workroom at 
Disney, Claes was considering designs of the following 
component sculptures for the theatre: 

a giant toothpaste tube [3, center) , which rises and 
falls, and is raised by the paste 

a colossal rising and falling screw which releases oil at 
its top 

a large object, as a car or piano, made in soft material, 
mounted on a machine that would twist, compress 
and change its shape (the machine was suggested by 
Disney's materials-testing device) 

a large undulating green jello mold [2] , with fruits 
suspended inside 

a bowl of cornflakes and banana slices falling from an 
inverted disk [4] 

a cup which would break and then reconstitute itself 

a plate, on which eggs are cracked, thrown, scrambled 
and then reconstituted 

a pie case, in which pies would gradually disappear as 
if they were being eaten, and then be reassembled 

a 'chocolate earthquake' made of giant chocolate 
bars, which would shift precariously, crack open, and 
settle back (suggested by a magazine advertisement 
and the then current earthquake scare in California) 
[1,5, 6— a small sculpture made of broken Hershey 


V o 




bars and sealed with resin, 7— an "earthquake seg- 
ment" of cardboard and fabric] 

Several metamorphic pieces, in which metamorphosis 
would actually occur, including a banana transformed 
into a fan [Claes labeled it a "fanana": in this connec- 
tion Oldenburg recalls Jim Dine's painting. The Plant 
Becomes a Fan, of 1 961 -63] . 

states and to various superstitions ("If you encounter a 
situation in real life which has occurred to you before, 
you do it"). They also call to mind the curious sense of 
denial, or temporal negation, suggested by film footage 
when it is run backward. Oldenburg's illusionist propo- 
sals comment serio-comically on American inclinations 
toward escapism and unfounded optimism— the "happy- 
ending" syndrome. 

Common to all these proposals were phenomena of 
disintegration, transmogrification, and reconstitution. 
Oldenburg speaks eloquently of these projected works as 
having to do with "the tragedy of brokenness" and the 
denial of that tragedy— "As in a dream," he said, "where 
your teeth fall out, but on awakening you find out they 
didn't." These works relate strongly to both dream 

These sculpture designs were to be developed, from their 
state as sketches and collages, into working models by 
Disney craftsmen and model builders. Oldenburg was 
encouraged by the company to make as many proposals 
as he liked, and he was assured that all his plans for 
illusionist works In the Theatre of Objects were well 
within the capabilities of Disney's technology. 


Oldenburg's other proposed work, the Giant Icebag, had 
been developed to the point where an engineered model 
could be constructed. (8, 9, 10] He was eager to concen- 
trate on a single work that could be available for Expo 
70. Claes drew up the following descriptions for Disney 
model makers before he left, expecting to return in 


The 'bag' is made up of pleat sections, attached at the 
bottoms to a circular frame in some way that permits 
easy removal. It will probably be necessary to rein- 
force the sections or attach some sort of frame to the 

collar. Each pleat may be cast separately and joined 
to the other by very large and concealed zippers for 
easy transport. In the process of assembly, the pleats 
would be laid out around the frame and machinery 
supporting the 'cap' like a giant flower, to be brought 
up and together one by one. 

The material may be represented by sewn vinyl in the 
working model. A pink vinyl which I have purchased 
is stored at Gemini and can be obtained through 
Tuchman or the IVIuseum. 



fT^'^'X'T *'TT' 

JUWi^'^a ^/i) 



In the full-size piece, this material should be fairly 
thick, so that the pleats maintain their shape and the 
movement of the material communicates resistance to 
the turning motion, but it should be capable of devel- 
oping folds. The folds may be predetermined. 

The material should take color, be opaque, be glossy. 
Most desirable would be if the material contained the 
color. The color is roughly the salmon-pink indicated 
on the models. 

The material should be as durable as possible, since 
this is an outdoor piece, but the part construction 
allows for replacements. 

ICEBAG-topof 'cap' 

The top of the 'cap' is a reflecting disk eight to nine 
feet in diameter. A night version is conceivable— the 
surface which reflects the sun and sky by day could 
be made to show illumination from the interior at 
night— could it? The sculpture could thus have a day 
and night phase. A weak illumination, moon-like. 


ICEBAG-Mechanical [11] 

This cross-section of the Icebag attempts to indicate 

the type of movement desired. 

The 'cap' 1 ) turns 2) telescopes or spirals up and 
down 3) tilts. The movement may be compared to 
that of a searchlight at a Hollywood opening. 

As the 'cap' moves, it should stretch or create folds In 
the 'bag' which is to be made of flexible material. It 
will be necessary to separate the 'bag' collar from the 
'cap' to permit rotation continuously in one direc- 
tion, but if this is unfeasible, the movement could be 
a 'winding' and 'unwinding.' 

The movement should be very slow. A model should 
provide the means for testing different rates of 

It would be desirable for the progress of the project 
to have a working model of this machine prepared in 
my absence (I will return in early August). The model 
should be about eighteen inches high at furthest 
extension— or whatever scale serves the purpose. 

When Oldenburg left Disney, he left behind him scores 
of drawings and diagrams, and several models along with 
instructions, in his workroom. He departed feeling 
pleased with the prospects for his future collaboration, 
as did we, and as we understood did Disney. Two weeks 
later John Hench called MT and asked him and iVIuseum 
Director Kenneth Donahue to visit Disney and deliver an 
"official" opinion of the work before the company 
proceeded to construct models for Claes. After this visit 
took place, MT wrote Hench on June 23, 

Following our visit with you last Friday, I want to 
tell you how extremely delighted we are with the 
projects Claes Oldenburg has conceived to be carried 
out with WED. I feel that both the Icebag and Olden- 
burg's Ride (the Theatre of Objects) will most de- 
cidedly be among the lastingly significant works to 
come out of Art and Technology; certainly Olden- 
burg himself assumes high priority in our estimation 
of the program as a whole, and there is no doubt that 
the ideas inspired by his contact with Disney are 
potentially some of the most important work of his 

We shall definitely count on sending the Giant Icebag 
to Expo 70 at Osaka, and I feel more and more 
strongly that whatever components of the Theatre of 
Objects can be completed in time, such as the Choco- 
late Earthquake or the Falling Egg, should also be 
included in the Osaka exhibition. 

May I take this opportunity to congratulate and 
thank you for your exceptional responsiveness to the 

artist matched with your corporation. We anticipate 
that this endeavor will be uniquely momentous and 
gratifying for all concerned. 

On July 2, the following letter from E. Cardon Walker 

was delivered by messenger to the Museum: 
Dear Mr. Donahue: 

We have received your letter and Mr. Tuchman's 
letter, both dated June 23, 1969, and directed to 
John Hench, Vice-President, wherein you advise us 
that you are selecting The Icebag and Oldenburg's 
Ride as artistic projects for the Art and Technology 

While we understand your keen interest in the pro- 
jects submitted by Mr. Oldenburg, we find there are 
other substantial factors to be considered by us. 
Therefore, pursuant to Paragraph 6 of the November 
25, 1968, agreement between the Museum and the 
Disney organization, we do hereby advise you of our 
disapproval of these artistic projects. 

Being aware of your expressed delight with the pro- 
jects proposed by Mr. Oldenburg, we are willing, 
upon our being relieved of any further responsibility 
or obligation, to make available all right, title, and 
interest in the preliminary works developed by Mr. 
Oldenburg in order that they may be completed by 

We wish to extend our best wishes for your success in 
this venture and to thank you for the opportunity of 
working with you and with such a renowned artist as 
Mr. Oldenburg. 

MT immediately attempted to meet with Messrs. Walker 
and Hench, who were not eager to do so, but who finally 
agreed to see him. MT reviewed this meeting in a letter 
to Walker on July 7: 

I am replying to your letter of July 1 to Mr. Dona- 
hue. The Director has been out of the country and 
will not return until later this month. I want to thank 
you and Mr. Hench for meeting with me on July 3 to 
discuss the relationship between WED and the Mu- 
seum in regard to Mr. Oldenburg's project proposals. 

Let me review our discussion of July 3. In your July 
1 letter, you refer to your 'disapproval of Oldenburg's 
artistic projects' and state that 'there are other sub- 
stantial factors to be considered' which lead you to 
desire to abandon the collaboration with Mr. Olden- 
burg and the Museum. You told me that these factors 
primarily involved time, energy and money; that the 
cost to WED to build Oldenburg's Icebag would be 
about $125,000.00, that this was too high a sum to 
expend, and that WED's personnel could not under- 
take such an involvement this year. Since Mr. Oldenburg 




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was also proposing a Theatre of Objects (also 
called Oldenburg's Ride), which is composed of eight 
or nine separate parts, all of which are uniquely de- 
pendent upon, and were prompted by, WED's imagin- 
ative engineering, I asked you to consider discussing 
with the artist how this project might be accom- 
plished. You agreed to have John Hench discuss this 
possibility with Mr. Oldenburg next week in New 
York, when Mr. Hench would be there. I just contac- 
ted Mr. Oldenburg, informed him of these sudden 
developments, and asked him to meet with Mr. Hench 
along with one of my staff members (since I am leav- 
ing for Japan July 7). The artist indicated his willing- 
ness to consider the making of several separate works 
from the Theatre of Objects proposal, but he was just 
then leaving for London for ten days and therefore 
could not meet with Mr. Hench next week. He indi- 


cated also that while he is open to and indeed interes- 
ted in working on several separate components of the 
Theatre, or even a modest size model of the Theatre, 
that it would be unwise to hold discussions without 
some guideline set down by WED as to feasible costs. 
If the Icebag would cost too much, the question is, 
then, how large a sum (including staff time) is WED 
willing to expend. Until this matter of budget is de- 
termined by you, it would not be possible to proceed 
with Mr. Oldenburg. The artist was scheduled to 
make his third journey to WED on August 1 for two 
weeks, and if you can provide this financial guideline, 
he could come out and continue research on the 
project at that time. 

Since you had not been intimately involved with this 
project over the last few months, I attempted at our 
July 3 meeting to fill you in more extensively on the 
WED-Oldenburg relationship, and on other matters 
pertaining to the entire Art and Technology program. 
I indicated that the progress between Oldenburg and 
WED had been extraordinary; and that 'Oldenburg in 
Disneyland' was already a world-famous enterprise, 
and had prompted excitement on the part of every 
leading periodical and newspaper informed of the 
event. Countless stories have been and are now in the 

works at publications like Fortune, Business Week, 
Time, and New Yorl< Times, the Los Angeles Times 
and European television. Recently, the Museum has 
been invited by the United States Information 
Agency to prepare the New Arts exhibition for the 
United States Pavilion at Expo 70, Osaka, Japan. This 
will be officially announced by President Nixon next 
month, but a formal contract between the Museum 
and the USIA has been signed. The Museum has in- 
formed the USIA, in a report of June 1 , that among 
our highest hopes for projects to be included in the 
Worlds Fair were works of art expected from the 
Oldenburg/WED collaboration. This would mean that 
WED and four or five other American corporations 
would be the sole representatives of the United States 
to a world audience of an estimated forty million 
persons. In this context, as I submitted to you two 
days ago, it seemed to me imperative that every at- 
tempt be made to arrive at a satisfying and productive 
relationship among you, the Museum and this most 
important and talented artist. With the world's eyes 
upon us, and with every reason to believe that the 
benefits to WED— if for no other reason than the 
truly vast promotional exposure— are so compelling 
and important, the Museum again asks you to con- 
tinue working with us to a productive conclusion. 

E. Cardon Walker replied on July 16, 

Our position in regard to other projects from Claes 
Oldenburg, as you requested in your July 7, 1969, 
letter, is that we cannot properly set a limit on staff 
time for these projects. In fact, the original concept 
of the agreement was that we would pay the Museum 
$7,000 and commit to supply materials, working 
space, and technical assistance for three months or 
until the completion of the project, whichever period 
was shorter. 

Mr. Oldenburg first visited us on November 18, 1968, 
and by letter of January 23, 1969, request was made 
for working space in March of 1 969. As you know, 
we have honored our obligation of $7,000, and the 
three-month period is now long past. Since Mr. 
Oldenburg was scheduled to return to WED on 
August 1, we would, of course, consider a proposal 
developed by him during such a two-week period, 
but, as indicated above, his proposal would have to 
reflect the major labor on the project as being per- 
formed by himself, leaving our technical staff relative- 
ly free. Any costs involved should not be dispropor- 
tionate to the original $7,000 contribution to the 

We are sorry a mutually agreeable project was not 
developed, but we must now turn our corporate 
efforts toward fulfillment of our primary obligations. 



None of the points mentioned in this letter conform to 
the contract signed by Disney and the Museum; see the 
Patron Sponsor Contract, p. 31. 

Informed of these developments, Claes Oldenburg was 
dismayed, but set about constructively to realize his 
plans, or one of them, in other ways. He suggested fabri- 
cation of the Icebag as an enormous balloon. After study 
on our part, with technical advice from balloon and 
rubber companies (for a time it looked as if Goodyear 
Rubber would take over the project), this was deter- 
mined to be unfeasible. In the process of researching 
balloon companies for the Icebag, we had come upon a 
small firm that seemed promising for Claes's other plans 
for illusionist sculptures. To the end of investigating this 
possibility, Oldenburg returned to Los Angeles on 
August 1 and toured, with MT and Gail Scott, a firm 


then called Vee-Line, later Allied Research and Develop- 
ment Corporation, in Fountain Valley. Vee-Line made 
large inflatable structures for scientific and military 
purposes but mainly for advertising, with items then 
called "Replic-AIr Displays." Claes was amused by a 
forty-foot potato chip bag balloon that had been made 
for Laura Scudder. Oldenburg worked at the company 
for four days with David Tanner, the chief designer- 

engineer-administrator. He gave Tanner a small model of 
the Chocolate Earthquake [6] , to be made into a three- 
foot working model. The model was delivered three 
weeks later [12] and did not perform to the artist's sat- 
isfaction. Oldenburg then turned to working on an 
inflatable banana [13] , related to the Fanana plan devel- 
oped at Disney. This sculpture was to be about twelve 
feet high, mechanized so that four banana peels (held 


together by a magnetic winch at the base) would unpeel 
while the banana would slowly disappear (being deflated 
sectionally) as if it were being eaten. [14] Various 
models were made by Claes [15] and then by Tanner, 
the shape, color and texture were approved, and we 
commissioned the company to produce a half-size model 
in order to test the working parts and the fabric, and to 
determine the kinetic rhythms of the work. This time, 
delivery of the model was delayed over a period of 
months, and when it finally appeared, it too was unsatis- 
factory to the artist. The project was abandoned. 

At this point we turned Oldenburg's designs and models 
for the Giant Icebag over to Ken Tyler at Gemini G.E.L., 
asking Tyler to investigate production possibilities. In an 
interview with MT in October, 1970, Tyler recounted his 
adventures in fabricating this monumental sculpture: 
The things we were concerned with in the beginning 
were an elephant-like quality in the fabric, the breath- 
ing quality and the swiveling movement. We also were 
originally talking about a thirty-foot diameter bag. 
And that meant that there was no place I could find 
— I made a lot of phone calls across the country in 
those days for you— there was no place I knew that 
could spread out a circle of fabric thirty feet in diam- 
eter and sew it. There's no seamstress outfit that 
large. We had all these things, and the cap was to be 
constructed in fiberglass, or wood, or steel. Those 
were no real problems, we knew we could solve them. 
But we couldn't schedule in such a short period of 
time because we couldn't locate houses that were 
capable of manufacturing these large scale items. 
When it came down to it, we settled for animation 
houses. So, we went to the same people as Disney 
would go to, which happened to be Krofft Enter- 
prises, in the final analysis. We started out with Gen- 
eral Displays. They built the first two prototypes— a 
six footer and an eight footer. The eight footer is 
what we used In the movie. Sort Of A Commercial 
For An Icebag. At that time, meeting with Claes and 
going back and forth with my private engineers, 
people that I knew who have helped us on other proj- 
ects, and with General Displays, we came up with the 
various movements that we felt could be done hy- 
draullcally or by air. We settled for hydraulics 
because it was a self-contained unit with lasting abil- 
ity where air had some problems: movement would 
be too staccato-like and also air cylinders became too 
complex technically given the time we had to con- 
struct the bag .... 

then he always talked about the serpentine action of 
the bag related to a roller-coaster because remember 
he had been working on the Disney Oldenburg's Ride, 
so all of that was kind of In his head, and it was very 
difficult to get it out of his head and put it down on a 
piece of paper and say would you settle for this, 
would this be a sufficient movement for this piece. 
And that is all we were involved with in the first four 
weeks. We were trying to find from Claes one move- 
ment at a time. What was our latitude in that move- 
ment? Would he settle for six inches or a foot? Did 
we always have to maintain a thirty foot diameter? 
Could we shrink it if we had to? How much could we 
shrink It? We talked about twenty -eight feet. We 
talked about twenty-two feet. We kept bringing him 
down In increments then finally got around to the 
eighteen foot one. Now how did we get around to 
that? By just spreading It out on the floor and sud- 
denly he saw that an eighteen foot diameter was 
pretty large and this defined the scale for him .... 


Then we found out by discussing this over and over 
again with Claes that the tilt of the cap was an impor- 
tant movement to him, which none of us had ever 
considered. We always thought that that was a fixed 
position, and as it rotated the cap created the impres- 
sion of a wave, of an up and down movement. And 





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We knew that in order to get the bag absolutely right 
we would have to go through several prototype bags: 
how many we didn't know. As it turned out we went 
through four bags. Two got built, two got destroyed 
—one ate itself during the filming session. Remember 
that one when you were there? The fabric got caught 
in the gears and it ate itself. [16] Then we got into a 
series of difficulties with the fabricator General Dis- 
plays, and they turned out to be over-enthusiastic in 
the sense that they didn't have the means to build 
something of this scale with precision. There were no 
electrical provisions in the first prototype. We were 
purely concerned with mechanics. We were not in- 
volved, at that time, with programming the bag. Pro- 
gramming came much later in the history of the bag's 
construction, when we got eight blowers going. That's 
when we found out that eight separate blowers inflat- 
ing at different times would move the bag like a 
snake, with serpentine movements, or wave move- 
ments. Now we got involved with the cam system and 
here we needed an automation house such as Krofft, 
even though our people could say yes, you do it with 
a cam that trips the blower one at a time, so that you 
have one cam that drives the blowers, and you have 

one cam that drives the cylinder which goes up and 
down, and you have one cam which drives the tilt of 
the cap thirty degrees, and of course you have one 
cam that shuts the machine off if you want to shut it 
off. But also at this time we discussed the machine 
having to run continuously, which set up another 
kind of problem for us. Studies were made for a 
heavy duty hydraulic system that could run contin- 
uously. This put another burden on us. Then we got 
caught up with the problem of building a super-struc- 
ture with the bag light enough to go to Osaka in 
pieces because you couldn't have an eighteen foot- 
diameter— it wouldn't fit into the airplane or through 
the existing door openings in the American 
Pavilion .... 

The engineers were being fed information, they 
would make a drawing and we would change the 
drawing, we'd get a cap design and we would change 
that cap design, we'd get a hook-up going and we 
would decide we couldn't do that because it would be 
too unrealistic to take that bag apart in so many 
pieces. So it was decided, really out of desperation, 
that we had to build what they call a knock-down 




unit— a unit that anyone could put together anywhery 
in the world with a manual. We proceeded to make, 
like a refrigerator or a stove is made, a part and a 
bunch of other parts to go together with the guide- 
lines of a manual. Everything locks together with 
bolts and nuts, and there is no one rigid kind of con- 
struction. And I think this is when the real form of 
the bag was established, eighteen feet in diameter, 
rising to a height of about twelve to sixteen feet, with 
an established path of travel. By this time adequate 
testing on vinyls and other fabrics had been made, 
and Claes, collaborating with Sidney Felsen, made his 
decision on the pink shade and the type of polyvinyl 
that we were to use. During this time, Sid spent many 
days attempting to secure sufficient material to con- 
struct the bag without having to order a special mill 
run which was too costly. We then got to the weight 
of the fabric, then dressed the weight up with foam 
inside so the bag would again return to the elephant- 
like movement .... 

Then we couldn't find a stock cylinder to use because 
Vickers, which manufactures the type of hydraulic 
cylinders we were looking for, had to ship all they 

made to Viet Nam, for use in helicopters. We wasted 
a lot of time on this problem. Stanley Grinstein got 
on the phone calling all around the country trying to 
buy cylinders that we could adapt to drive the bag up 
and down and couldn't find one. Finally Krofft 
found Conquip, in Upland, California, and Conquip 
said, I understand your plight, and they had a fairly 
good idea of what we wanted, and by that time we 
had some pretty good models constructed at Krofft. 
So they came in and said. We think we can make you 
cylinders within six to nine weeks, which wasn't good 
enough. We had to have cylinders before that. By this 
time we were still working with your deadline of Sep- 
tember which we couldn't make, and then you gave 
us I think another thirty days which made it October 
or November; I am not sure of those dates. Finally we 
got to December and shipped in January. So as it 
turns out, if there wasn't this company in the valley 
that was manufacturing pistons of the size we were 
looking for, we wouldn't have completed and shipped 
the bag .... 

With most projects, the aerospace or military require- 
ments screw up somebody's delivery. The one manu- 


Simple Drive System Generates Complex Motion 

Hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical elements combine to raise, precess 
and tilt "icebag". 


Background: At die IHTil < K.iK;i 
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facturer we were dealing with to sew the bag was 
busy building tents and we couldn't get his time. 
Then we found Featherlike Products Company. This 
company was really the secret to the Icebag at the 
last minute. They said, 'Yes, we can sew it,' and with 
that we were able to pursue the course with the en- 
gineers, hydraulic people, design people, and Krofft 
.... So then the bag went ahead. We almost lost the 
project when it got to the point where they wanted 
three months to run and test the bag and we couldn't 
give it to them because the bag had to be shipped by 
boat on a certain date. 

Featherlike was my buffer. I went back to Krofft and 
said look I have got somebody that can sew our bag 
and you won't have to take your costume people off 
the filming of PufnStuf to sew this fabric and they 
have a big room over there where they can sew a bal- 
loon thirty feet in diameter. But in fabric construc- 
tion a pattern can be off by as much as fifty percent 
of the material, depending on how you pleat it, how 
you sew it, how you cut it and the whole bit. So Sid 
got this fabric— which took another solid week of 
phone calls all the way around the country calling 
every manufacturer of polyvinyl material. The seam- 
stresses were almost going to kill themselves trying to 
sew this. They were very heroic in this effort. These 
women just couldn't handle that kind of weight so 
additional help was required. Just to drape several 
hundred pounds of material and sew it was quite an 
awesome job .... 

When we got into the movement of the bag, once we 
resolved the sixteen foot height, we got the general 
perspective of the bag, up and down motion and so 
on. Then we were able to come up with some general 
concepts of moving the fabric up and down. One idea 
was a roller-coaster concept which would be a trough 
that ran around the outside of the bag shaped like a 
roller-coaster. It would have an undulated quality to 
it. There would be a big ball on an arm, and it would 

roll around this roller-coaster and therefore move the 
fabric. This idea I came up with seemed very reason- 
able at the time, but it turned out to be so bizarre 
that even Jules Verne would have rejected it ... . 

In collaboration you have to be careful not to give 
the artist one hundred choices because then it is going 
to take him six months to decide which choice he is 
going to like best. So we were trying to keep Claes in 
the position of informing us rather than our inform- 
ing him. [17] In other words, we would present 
something to Claes and then watch him closely and if 
he reacted very, very favorably, we would pursue it 
for another couple of days and then try it out. We 
just didn't know. No one had built anything of this 
size before, nor had anything been built with the dur- 
ability aspects that we were trying for, because most 
outdoor displays don't last. Most Fairs are built only 
for a Fair's time. Things are not built to last five, ten, 
fifteen, twenty-five years so that was the obstacle 
course we were running. Also we were simultaneously 
trying to come up with a design and double-checking 
everyone's ideas. Will that motor last, how long; has it 
got hermetic seal bearings; can we install a larger 
motor so it will last longer; will we have enough 
power in the U.S. Pavilion in Osaka. We couldn't ob- 
tain enough power there, I learned, so we changed the 
voltage for the bag, reducing every motor down in 
amperage. It scared the daylights out of me because 
each time you would give me a phone call it would 
just throw everything in a state of chaos with the 
changes. None of us ever knew what was feasible in 
this collaboration .... 

When my partners Sidney Felsen and Stanley Grin- 
stein finally negotiated the contract with Krofft there 
were two things we asked for. One, we asked for total 
participation by all of Krofft's members. In other 
words, we wanted to have the ability to go from the 
sewing department to the animated department to 
the woodworking department to the electric depart- 
ment to executive offices if we had to. But we also 
asked if we could bring anybody we wanted into their 
shop at any time we wanted to inspect what they 
were doing, and if necessary even take part of their 
shop and have it analyzed because we were under a 
tremendous obligation with no time and virtually no 
money. They were able to see this because Holly- 
wood operates under very strange circumstances. 
They are not like most manufacturing outfits. So I 
used the people who built my press to study the hy- 
draulic system and tell me it was all right. I used 
Featherlike to tell me if the bag was sewn properly. 
We used our wood model makers to tell us if what 
they were putting on was wrong and therefore 
changed it. Krofft controlled most of the testing, and 
we had them build a machine to test the stretchabil- 




ity of a polyvinyl. Even though manufacturers gave us 
these test results we didn't believe thenn. Every step 
required some form of checking .... 

We had to go to theatrical people, we couldn't go to 
aerospace people or to other engineering people who 
are used to six and seven months lead time, or engi- 
neers who are used to taking a problem home and 
making teeny models and looking at it for a week be- 
fore they even dare make a step to produce some- 
thing larger. We had to go to people like Sid and 
Marty Krofft, who had guts and who were able to say 
fantastic, we believe in you, go ahead and do the 
project. You don't make great movies without doing 
this or great puppets or great sculpture. They thought 
of the Icebag as another character in one of their 
movies. It was very funny to hear them talk about all 
the characters that they have built. They talk about 
these time schedules where a guy says on Friday 
afternoon, and the board meeting is a week away, 'I 
don't like the look of that dog. I surely don't want 
that on television next week with that stupid dog in 
it.' [18] That gives them seven days to change the 
dog, so no one goes home. They just keep working 
until the dog is changed. Well, we really came in with 
the same kind of concept. We don't like what we have 
as a schedule for you, we said. We don't like what we 
are presenting in drawings because they are not very 

accurate. But you are professional people in a theatre 
and you are used to working all hours. So you have to 
write a contract with us which says I stay up twenty- 
four hours a day, you stay up twenty-four hours a 
day. Whether the artist is there or not, you work any 
schedule I want you to work until the bag is com- 
pleted. So we exclusively would have X amount of 



people from start to finish. That's it. It has to be on 
that schedule or we will never make it and therefore 
it is silly to sign a contract with you because you will 
only be late. If we are late, the Museum will be cheat- 
ed out of their piece, and they have an agreement 
with the government, etc., etc. Krofft signed the con- 
tract. It was easy to drive that bargain with them be- 
cause they were theatrical people. You can't do this 
with other kinds of businesses. They work under 
regular union shop hours. The union says you don't 
work unless you get double time, triple time. And 
you can't even work around the clock, it is against 
the law. But with these kind of people, who are all 
skilled artists, they work as long as they have to work 
to get something done. So they were really very much 
like artists. An artist doesn't stop painting when he 
wants to continue, he just keeps going until he falls 
down. Maurice, we had a very sick looking group at 
the end of the project. In fact, four of them didn't go 
to bed for three days. That's what it took to get the 
Icebag to the opening, and we didn't know if we had 
to stay up for three more days to change the cams 
and this was very shaky stuff. Now the only confi- 
dence that I gave you was the confidence I had in 
that agreement. This was the reason why I was able to 
be grandiose about it all and say don't worry Maurice, 
we'll get it to you, and that date is all right. And we 
would say to Claes don't worry Claes, by the time 
you come back out to L.A. it will be running or the 
blower will be working, or the fabric will be sewn. We 
just knocked ourselves out until it happened. Every 
day I would drive out to Krofft and we would get a 
schedule. We would spec it; we would go over certain 
things. I would drive back home and get to work in 
the shop. This thing kept up for about three months. 
It was living hell but the kind of hell you would go 
through when you do set designing or when you're 
working with a little theatre or a professional theatre. 
That's the sort of spirit that went through the crea- 
tion of the Icebag. To me it is the piece, Maurice, it 
really is the piece that did it ... . 

I think that all of us got involved in this project, you, 
Gemini, Claes, basically because we were alt very con- 
vinced that something like this should be done and 
the time was right. It was right for the artist, it was 
right for you, and it was right for us. We weren't pre- 
pared maybe in the best of ways, but we certainly 
didn't baby ourselves in the situation and we certain- 
ly didn't have a lot of buffers to protect us. I think 
because you had a limited budget and you had limit- 
ed time and you passed that on to us and the artist 
together we were all able to work together in this tri- 
angle association. We were proceeding on the course 
that Billy Kluver and E.A.T. thought about for years 
but never were really able to pull off. So the missing 
link in Art and Technology has to be timing, and it is 

something very few people are willing to talk about 
because they just don't think about it. I think if you 
would bring to us today the Icebag knowing what we 
know today, we would not commit to three months, 
we just wouldn't. We are too knowledgeable now. We 
would say eight months and we probably wouldn't do 
a better bag. I believe that the shortness of the 
schedule, the pressures that were brought upon every- 
one, the messed up situation in Osaka, were all ex- 
tremely beneficial .... 



There are few artists other than Claes who could have 
done this, with such precision and logic. I am sure it 
took its toll. I saw it on Claes, who was very tired 
after this. This took a tremendous amount out of 
Claes the artist, but he had the foresight in the very 
beginning to know that he was going to have to oper- 
ate within a very large arena of people and he set up 
certain kinds of responsibilities that he was willing to 
give to people who were operating in various capaci- 
ties. This is very unusual stuff. Generally the artist is 
not capable of doing that .... 

Art and technology rarely works, I think, and it has 
to do with the element of time, the surprise situation 
when timing becomes absolutely the most important 
thing. I think today if you would ask yourself this 
question, could I go out now and duplicate this or 
that project and improve it?— that is the key question 
—I think you would in most cases have to come up 
with the answer no. I don't think that Claes will ever 
do a collaboration like this again. He has learned too 



much from it, and everyone around him has learned 
too much from it. That in no way takes away from 
the project, but I think in this whole enterprise— the 
surprise of the short budget, of the fanatic spirit that 
one gets into when all these obstacle courses are 
thrown at you, and the kind of tenacity that you 
exercise in situations like this as a creative person— 
that we are really talking about theatre. I think may- 
be this is the theatre— putting together all these 
families of people and their interaction. This really is 

the living theatre. It's not on Broadway any more, 
but this certainly is it. For me the technicians are the 
stage designers, the set builders, the choreographers, 
and our guys like Claes are the actors. We may be the 
producers or directors, or writers, or what have you, 
that are involved in this complex of work. But we are 
really performing in the greatest tradition of theatre, 
no time, no money, all impossible deeds, but some- 
how it gets across and some accomplishment comes 
from it. 


The Icebag was completed in early January and was 
shown in a preview at Krofft [19] , before it was shipped 
to the U.S. Pavilion at Expo. Oldenburg, Tyler and a 
crew of Japanese workmen installed it in one week's 
time. It was placed at the entrance to the New Arts 












Oldenburg has speculated on the Giant Icebag and A & T 
at length, in taped Interviews with Eric Saarinen, with 
Jane Livingston and with MT. The following excerpts 
come from these various conversations, made in March, 
July and September, 1970: 

Getting involved with Art and Technology, I had to 
ask myself first of all what particular problem was it 
that I couldn't solve myself in my own studio and I 
needed help with; and I thought the most difficult 
thing was really to find some soft material which 
could be used in a quantity and also be durable 
enough to serve outdoors as a public sculpture. And 
this I hadn't solved, and I hoped perhaps that Art and 
Technology could provide me with the resources for, 
oh, some kind of material— rubber or something 
stronger and thicker than the kind of vinyl that I had 
been using. The other thing that I needed was, of 
course, machinery which could create a slight move- 
ment of the object itself. Up to this point I had relied 
on the suggestion of movement or on the spectator, 
say, who would own a piece and would move the 
piece around himself. But it was now interesting to 
me to see if I could discover a way to make the piece 
itself move in a very slight way and change its aspect. 
So these two things I really couldn't solve in my 
studio because I knew very little about mechanics and 
I had no workshop. And I had been using vinyl, but I 
hoped that through Art and Technology I could dis- 
cover something stronger, thicker. As it turned out in 
the final result, what was used for the Icebag was 
vinyl again and not much different from the sort of 
vinyl that I had been using all along, so that there 
wasn't any advance on that front, but there was an 
advance on the front of mechanics— that is, a struc- 
ture was built with a gear system and hydraulic 
system, which all cost quite a bit of money and took 
a lot of expert help, and this motor enabled the sculp- 
ture to move. So I had what I wanted, which was a 
sculpture that moved or an object that moved by 
itself. The Icebag as it operates in Osaka, is doing 
pretty much what I wanted it to do, but one finds 
that— or I found that there were always compromises. 
The whole problem with technology is that you can't 
achieve the directness that your fingers can make 
when you alter something the way you want it in the 
studio. I mean if you have clay or if you have cloth or 
if you have some simple material that's non-technical 
and doesn't involve a lot of other people's help, you 
can very easily alter it and make it look exactly the 
way you want it to. But this is not possible in work- 
ing with technicians— it becomes a very indirect 
process, so that you have to give an order or com- 
mand perhaps long distance and wait for several 
weeks before it's achieved, and then it's not achieved 
quite the way you want it— but it's pretty close to it. 
But it becomes so difficult just to make a slight little 
movement to make is exactly the way you want it. 

and so it becomes finally a kind of— well, finally the 
technicians say we've reached the limit and you de- 
cide that perhaps they have reached the limit, and 
one has to settle for just a little bit less of what one 
wants. Sometimes one's lucky. But it's these little, 
tiny, final adjustments that I miss perhaps in the 
Icebag— there might have been a few things that I 
would have thought of right at the end which would 
have brought the piece into a much more personal 
solution or context, which I could not do simply 
because technology had determined a certain direc- 
tion and it was too expensive and the time didn't 
allow for these final adjustments and changes. But 
that's all right because I consider the whole thing 
rather experimental, anyway. It certainly is the most 
complex piece I've ever done, and the first of what I 
hope to be more complex pieces .... 

Technology is an available material, which is very dif- 
ferent from certain conventional ideas of artistic 
activity in that it involves a lot of other people, and it 
involves using skills that the artist or the originator of 
the event or action doesn't necessarily possess. I don't 
know anything about mechanics, and yet I'm creating 
something, or I'm imagining something which in- 
volves mechanics and I'm asking someone else to do it 
for me. The question is, can anyone else do it for me, 
or could I allow other people to do things that I don't 
know anything about, and what kind of controls and 
what kind of respect can I create in them for my in- 
tention if I don't really know what they're doing. So 
there are very special problems involved in technol- 
ogy. There's also a kind of a rush towards completion 
on the one hand— you start something going and you 
invest a certain amount of money in a kind of 
machine, and you get a result, which is very limited— 
because in technology everything is highly limited. 
You get a limited result, and you don't like the result 
and it becomes difficult then to throw away the 
whole machine and start over again. So that technol- 
ogy is very deterministic— the activity in the studio is 
so much more fun because you can change things 
constantly. In technology you just— you have to be 



very sure what you're doing before you give the 
orders to go ahead, so it's an activity which in every 
way denies the freedom and the pleasure of being an 
artist. And yet it's a challenging thing— I think of it as 
kind of a defensive activity on the part of the artist; if 
he can't handle this material which is so very much 
present in all his surroundings, then, you know, he'll 
sort of lose face— John Marin used to feel very put 
down by taxi cabs— he saw a taxi cab especially in the 
old days when taxi cabs were very clean and very 
beautifully colored, and he said to himself what is my 
painting worth next to a taxi cab?— a taxi cab is so 
much more powerful and beautiful and so much more 
expressive of the present time. That used to depress 
him. And I feel sometimes the same way about 
machinery— when I see it. In my happening in '63 in 
Los Angeles, I used automobiles, and one of the best 
pieces in the happening was a concrete mixer— a 
brand new concrete mixer that I had gotten from the 
construction company just by asking them if they'd 
send it over. It had never been used before, and I used 
it in the performance— I just moved it very slightly. It 
was this heavy, powerful object, and it was sort of 
completely at my disposal, and what I chose to do 
with it was just to move it inches this way and that 
way, and this way and that way, just to see how well 
such a huge mechanical object could perform for me 
without doing what it was made to do, without func- 
tioning. It's almost like lion taming, you know, deal- 
ing with technology this way. I suppose it would be 
very difficult to feel like a modern artist if you 
weren't in some way coping with the presence of 
things that you do not understand. There's so much 
surrounding you, so much specialization that you 
don't comprehend. And the artist is supposed to be 
the person who can unify or make a whole out of 
diverse things, to give direction and order and he has 
to contend with technology and specialization. And if 
he doesn't do that, he limits himself. So I think it's 
kind of a necessity forced on the artist by the 
times .... 

I think perhaps my approach to technology is to re- 
move the difficulty of technology, as to take some- 
thing which is formidable in its complexity, and make 
it do some very foolish thing— and I sort of like the 
idea that all this time and effort was spent on the 
Icebag. I'm creating something which really doesn't 
do very much. It just does something very simple; and 
it doesn't do anything more really than a leaf does in 
the wind. I don't want to get into complex motions. I 
would never make the subject of the work the fantas- 
tic complexity that technology could achieve— like a 
Swiss watch, for example. I mean that's very interest- 
ing to watch, but that's not my aim. I think I would 
go in just the opposite direction. I would take all this 
complexity that technology can provide and direct it 


towards a simple solution that equates it more with 
nature, or gets it, you know, out of the mechanical 
realm and back into nature. So I'm very concerned 
that the Icebag, after all its machinery action, looks 
like it was alive. It's the philosophy of the automaton 
and it was what Walt Disney dreamed about, which 
was the great irony— that he had spent millions to 
create technology that would give him the effect of 
life. His dream was to strap these recording apparatus- 
es on an acting company and do all the plays of 
Shakespeare so that he could then reconstruct the 
plays with automatons— in other words to get back to 
nature, but to make nature yourself— in other words 
to give, I guess to give birth to nature yourself 
through the machine. But I wouldn't try to take on 
anything that complex— I mean the Icebag has a very 
simple life— it's a very simple organism, it's something 
like a starfish, a very low level of organism. And I 
would like to keep it that way. I wouldn't want it to 
walk around and behave like a robot. I would just like 
it to kind of crawl around— I'm very fond of snails 
and I have a zoo of snails in the back— and it's that 
kind of activity that I like .... 

There are some things that I played around with be- 
fore which probably relate to the Icebag— once I had 
a big fried egg about fourteen feet across, which was 
used in a performance at Stockholm in '66. There 
were people under the egg which animated the egg— 
the fried egg— it looked very much like an icebag. Bob 
Breer did some things with a self-moving object and a 
few years ago he put a cloth and some silver foil over 
some of his moving objects, and it produced a mater- 
ial that looked as if you had dropped a cloth on the 
floor and the material itself had come to life and 
began to move— but you couldn't see the motors 
underneath. So at that time I proposed combining the 
two agents— the motors that Bob developed with the 
fried egg that I had developed— so what we would 
have would be kind of a crawling, moving fried egg, a 
flexing fried egg. So things like that had been in my 
head for some years before I had the opportunity to 
play with that in Art and Technology. The Icebag is 
chosen as an object because it has a lot of rather 
flaccid material tied together under a hard shape, so 
that you have a contrast between the flaccidity of the 
material which is always changing and the hardness of 
the top or the cap which holds it, which binds it. 
That way you have limits to how much the material 
can behave, which it didn't have in these earlier ex- 
periments—the fried egg of course was all soft, but if 
you take a fried egg and put, say, maybe the yellow 
part, a mirror or a hard surface, you'd have— you'd be 
on your way to achieving an icebag, an icebag effect. 
So it's perhaps even suggested by handling a bag or 
handling any kind of material which you would 
bunch up and say hold in your fist in order to manage 

it somewhat and then watch the movements that you 
would create in it by bumping or pushing it against 
other surfaces. And what the cap does, it sort of or- 
ganizes the material in a way that gives it some kind 
of form. I mean I desired the movement of material, 
and the point of the object is just to organize this sort 
of thing in some way so that it can be presented. 

The first configuration in Oldenburg's art to anticipate 
the Giant Icebag is a remarkable watercolor of 1963, 
Frankfurters and Mustard Cup. [20] A costume design 
of artist conceived in 1965 also suggests the monumental 

sculpture. The Icebag became perhaps the most complex 
synthesis of associative forms Oldenburg has made to 
date. In addition to the "fourteen foot fried egg" Olden- 
burg referred to above, he has mentioned the following 
images as relating to the final shape of the Icebag: 

the human head (hard like the fiberglass cap) and 

body (soft as the foam and vinyl) 

the Museum's enormous vacuum cleaner (used to 

clean the concrete plaza) 

Mount Fuji 

an inkwell bottle 

the planned centerpiece of Walt Disney World in Flor- 
ida (a ride that "looks like a white icebag") 

a sandbagged ashtray 

the artist's cap [21] 








ly .' 


ietains cold temperature extra long. 




8525. The Sponge. TTpnor Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. 




domes, particularly the cupola of the Capitol building 

in Washington, D.C. 

moon craters 

Hollywood premiere searchlights 


breasts [22] 

the "universal concept of the sun" 

the atomic bomb 

"The Sponge, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone 

National Park" [23] 

As seen from above, the Icebag was further suggested 
to Claes by 

the poster for Expo 70 

a doughnut 

a clock 

the moon's relationship to earth as photographed 

by astronauts 

a Chinese cookie 



; . 

In October, 1970, as this report goes to press, Oldenburg 
spoke with MT about his changed feelings in regard to 
the problems posed by Art and Technology. Art, he said, 
was basically a "matter of childhood," while "technol- 
ogy concerns adulthood." His original reluctance to 
interact with corporations had to do, he now believes, 
with the fears that attend responsibility. Oldenburg now 
affirms the necessity to take such responsibility. He feels 
that only in this way can a primary dilemma of our time 
be faced: the imperative to "achieve harmony between 
the two natures— that of the machine and true organic 
nature." He drew up a chart for us to indicate the trans- 
formations an artist must undergo in order to deal suc- 
cessfully in the corporation-technology arena: 

Artist in Studio 

1. intolerant 

2. impatient 

3. static 

4. rigid 

5. inward-looking 

6. uncooperative 

7. stingy 

8. violent 

9. impulsive 

10. vindictive-paranoid 

11. proud 

12. destructive 
(especially self) 

13. compulsive 

14. unpredictable 

15. drunk or high 
(looking for sublimity) 
(custodian of the sublime) 

16. caprice 

17. feverish 

18. magic applied 
without reservations 

19. alienation 

20. image of self 

21. ease 

22. God (identification 
with nature) 

23. control 

24. obsessive (primitive 

Artist in Collaborative Situation 













sober (indifferent 

to the sublime, 

like airplane pilots) 
magic circumspectly 

image of 

more than self 
more difficult 

to be God 

(apartness from nature) 
leave be 

(do not interfere) 

Maurice Tuchman 

Jules Olitski 

Born Gomel, U.S.S.R., 1922 
Resident New York City 


Jane Livingston met with Jules Olitski In New York in 
April, 1969, to talk about A & T. A new group of elabo- 
rate painted sculptural works by Olitski were at that 
time being shown at the Metropolitan Museum; their 
existence seemed to imply possibilities for the artist's in- 
terest in working with industry that his paintings or past 
sculpture probably would not have. JL, in her talk with 
the artist, stressed the availability of Kaiser Steel and 
American Cement, basing this on her feeling about the 
Met exhibition. Olitski was definitely intrigued with par- 
ticular ideas in relation to his sculpture. The present 
aluminum works had been made in a factory in Connect- 
icut, and he was arranging to have some works executed 
in England, but he was definitely open to investigating 
other materials and industries for a further sculptural 
series. Specifically, he mentioned his interest in finding a 
way of coloring metals so that they would be impervious 
to weathering (obviously this was difficult to achieve 
with ordinary paints); he was also thinking about making 
environmentally scaled sculptures that would have mov- 
able parts, so that they could be expanded or contracted 
laterally, or have vertically adjustable ceilings. He was 
open to considering various materials besides metal, such 
as cement or fiberglass. 

In May, Olitski came to Los Angeles. He first toured 
Kaiser Steel's Fontana plant with JL. The Kaiser techni- 
cians he spoke with seemed quite interested in his propo- 
sals, especially as they were experimenting with certain 

types of chemical treatments which work upon metal 
surfaces to alter coloration, and seemed to feel this 
might be applied to Olitski's work. There were revealed, 
however, distinct limitations as to the range and inten- 
sity of the colors that could be achieved by these 
processes. Both the artist and JL were rather skeptical, 
as well, about Kaiser's ability to resolve the problem of 
creating flexible, or rearrangeable, sculptures, since the 
steel used would be extremely heavy, and would proba- 
bly require sophisticated mechanical or hydraulic 
systems beyond the resources of Kaiser's Fontana plant 
to engineer. 

The next day, Olitski visited American Cement's River- 
side Technical Center with Hal Glicksman. The artist 
met with American Cement's Dr. Geoffrey Frohnsdorff, 
Manager of the Technical Center, and Kenneth Daugher- 
ty, and toured the facility. After these two corporation 
visits, Olitski returned to New York. From his view of 
American Cement and his discussions with Frohnsdorff, 
he felt that this company offered him more interesting 
possibilities than Kaiser, and once back in his studio, he 
proceeded to make a series of four models for sculptures 
which might be fabricated, at least partially, in cement. 
[1, 2, 3, 4] On May 20, American Cement's structural 
engineer Dr. Samuel Aroni spent several hours with the 
artist at the request of Frohnsdorff to discuss a project. 
Aroni, who had previously been closely involved with us 
and Jean Dubuffet when we were attempting to arrange 



a match between American Cement and the French 
artist, met Olitski at the IVletropolitan IVIuseum to see the 
artist's sculpture exhibition there, and was impressed 
with the worl<. He then returned to New York in June, 
and visited Olitski at his studio, where they looked at 
the new models and considered the problem of how they 
might be structurally executed. This question, however, 
became secondary in importance to the question of 
coloring the works. In his previous paintings and sculp- 
tures, Olitski had mixed color by spray painting surfaces 
with various hues, mixing color in a given area by apply- 
ing one color at a time, in layers of varying density. 
Aroni had been working for two years with colored syn- 
thetic aggregates made of cement sand, which could be 
premixed in combinations of different hues, and then 
applied, perhaps onto a resin matrix, with a spray gun. 
This process, allowing as it did for mixed colors to be 
applied simultaneously, rather than one at a time in 
separate layers, seemed to offer a new approach for 
Olitski. Aroni and Olitski talked about making the sculp- 
tural components not of cement but of molded fiber- 
glass, applying a resin matrix, and then coloring the 
surfaces by Aroni's method. They agreed that they 
should first experiment with flat surfaces— create paint- 
ings, in other words— before fabricating molded plastic 
units for large sculptures. Aroni had brought with him 
samples of the synthetic aggregates in various colors; 
Olitski felt that the red, blue and green hues shown to 
him would be satisfactory exactly as they existed, but 

that they should develop brown, yellow and black aggre- 
gates specially, and also use natural aggregates, in white 
and other colors. 

Aroni returned to California feeling extremely enthusias- 
tic about the artist's proposals, but somewhat concerned 
about American Cement's willingness to support the 
project fully. He later said that the problem lay not in 
the company's disapproving the artist or his work— on 
the contrary, the proposal was felt to be eminently ap- 
propriate to American Cement's technology and estheti- 
cally appealing— but in the corporation's current paraly- 
sis for reasons of an internal political shake-up. Olitski 
had suggested that Aroni telephone his friend Robert 
Rowan in Pasadena— Rowan is a serious art collector, 
and owns many of Olitski's works— to enlist his support 
of the project in presenting it to the company manage- 
ment. Aroni learned that Mr. Rowan's brother was a 
member of American Cement's board, which seemed a 
fortuitous connection. After discussing this with MT, 
Rowan cooperated in recommending through his brother 
that the Olitski project be undertaken by the company, 
and we emphasized our keen enthusiasm about the 
potential collaboration. Unfortunately, as a result of the 
political reorganization within the company, its commit- 
ment to A & T was ignored by the new administration. 
We then made an intensive effort to solicit the coopera- 
tion of Owens-Corning specifically for the Olitski 
project, but were unsuccessful. 

Eduardo Paolozzi 

Born Edinburgh, Scotland, 1924 
Resident London 


Eduardo Paolozzi was visited in London by MT in Octo- 
ber, 1968. When A & T was described to Paolozzi on 
that occasion, he responded by expressing interest in 
working with computers. His work at that time was 
involved in computer-generated imagery, and thus it was 
natural that he should wish to develop these ideas. In 
Paolozzi's letter to us of October 30, he spoke about the 
areas he visualized pursuing: 

It is my intention of bringing a portfolio of schemes 
in connection with the Los Angeles show. These 
schemes are an extension of work concerning images 
and words (ref : the Berkeley catalogue; Christopher 
Finch's book Art and Objects). 

You may realize that I did a certain amount of com- 
puter research while at Berkeley, but the Art Depart- 
ment there was unable to extend any of these ideas— 
which certainly could be realized within the frame- 
work that we discussed in London during your visit. 

At the moment, I have an assistant working on colour 
mosaics and endless permutations on the grid pattern. 
This is according to my interpretation of current 
computer literature and can be used in connection 
with sound experiments. Also the reverse, I under- 
stand, is possible; which is, sounds can be used to 
create patterns. 

The feasibility of the theory of these programmes 
require an electronic design engineer for further com- 
ment, and this particular auxiliary is being investi- 
gated at this moment. 

Next week, a visit is planned to the Computer 
Division of the Ferranti empire, the particular study 
here is numerical control machines and their particu- 
lar computer-aided design programme .... 

Following this letter, we sent Paolozzi literature on In- 
formation International. Paolozzi arranged to fly to Los 
Angeles for a week in January, 1969, to visit companies. 
By the time he arrived, IBIVI was tentatively available for 
an artist match (though they were still considering 
Vasarely's proposal), so we scheduled visits to their Los 
Angeles headquarters, to Information International and 
also to Wyle Laboratories. The tour to Information In- 
ternational was unproductive. For various technical 
reasons, Paolozzi felt that their capabilities in computer 
graphics would not be of use to him. The situation at 
IBM was somewhat more complicated. Paolozzi first 
toured their downtown Los Angeles offices and saw 
various advanced computers demonstrated; the next day, 
he met again with Dr. David Heggie, our IBM contact 
man, and we discussed the possibility of touring IBM's 
huge San Jose plant. This meeting was difficult for 
everyone involved. Somehow Paolozzi did not feel that 
Heggie or IBM either understood his intentions or were 

really prepared to offer him the kind of freedom or the 
degree of access to their personnel and hardware that he 
required— though the corporation was equipped techni- 
cally to deal with whatever demands the artist might 
make in the area of computer graphics. On the evening 
after this encounter, Paolozzi telephoned Jane Living- 
ston from his hotel and explained to her that he saw no 
point in touring the San Jose facility or bothering 
further with IBM. Paolozzi then visited Wyle Laborator- 
ies. He was interviewed by the company's president, 
Frank Wyle [1] ; Gail Scott wrote the following memo 
recounting this event and later discussion: 

GS went with E. Paolozzi to Wyle Labs for interview 
with Frank Wyle. Wyle's first take was that Paolozzi 
should be exposed to many facilities for first week 
and try to absorb the diversity of technologies avail- 
able. He suggested making a sculpture using 'birefring- 
ence' flow-pattern technology which has a very 
impressive visual effect [2] . Size is no limitation; it's 
merely a question of learning the principles of the 
technology and then working out the mechanics of 
the construction— which can be done anywhere. Bire- 
fringence consists basically of sheets of semi-transpar- 
ent polarized screens through which a closed-loop 
liquid circulation system is channeled. (The liquid is 
water with an additive which causes the birefringence 
effect.) An internal, monochromatic light source is 
used which is modulated and changed according to 
certain flow principles of the liquid as it is pumped 
through the channels. Eric Miller, a physicist at the 
Huntsville facility, is the authority on the subject. 

Paolozzi was interested in this possibility, but still 
would like to work with computer graphics. However, 



in a meeting with MT, Paolozzi, JL and BA on Janu- 
ary 17, it was decided that because of the problems 
with Vasarely and IBM, it would be best for Paolozzi 
to concentrate on working something out at Wyle. 
Paolozzi is not interested particularly in another 
'Howard Wise-type' visually interesting sculpture, but 
wants to penetrate to something more meaningful. He 
is willing to pursue the possibilities available at Wyle, 
provided he can get an informed corporate person to 
give him an extensive tour of their facilities when he 
returns in March to begin work. I suggested that 
Kenneth Eldred, whom Paolozzi and I met yesterday, 
and who is Director of Research, managing all 
research activities at the Labs, would be an ideal con- 
tact man. Wyle said that Eldred is 'the most creative 
person around here.' 

Paolozzi seemed undecided when he left Los Angeles 
about the medium— birefringence, or binary infraction— 
with which he was encouraged to experiment by Frank 
Wyle. He was still reluctant to abandon his idea for 
working with computers, but apparently he became in- 
creasingly intrigued, as he later thought about it, with 
the notion of using a technique entirely new to him and 
unrelated to his past work. In any event, he wrote to us 
in February, saying that he would be sending an assist- 
ant, James Kirkwood, to Los Angeles before he himself 
could come from London, and he indicated his willing- 
ness to work at Wyle Laboratories. Hal Glicksman wrote 
this memo after touring Wyle with Paolozzi: 

Met with Frank Wyle and Harry Greybill to view 
working space and see demonstration of effect that 
Paolozzi would utilize. Space was located on upper 
floor at northeast corner of the lab complex. Rather 
an elaborate route from the entrance. Space is a 
separate room about 15 x 20 feet, drafting table 
along one wall, separate desk and work table. 
Paolozzi plans to move in March 18, 10 A.M. 

Viewed demonstration: A special liquid dye changes 
color under polarized light according to the speed at 
which it is flowing. Thus the rate of flow of liquids in 
a system of plastic pipe is graphically illustrated by 
rainbow hues in the liquid. Corners, bends, constric- 
tions, and irregularities in the pipe all cause brilliantly 
colored turbulence to appear in the liquid. The fastest 
flowing parts are bright yellow, the slowest parts 
green. The entire system can be slowed down with a 
master valve that causes all the liquid to darken and 
shift color toward the green. The system when com- 
pletely shut down is an almost opaque, dark green. 
Elaborate pipe systems can be simulated by cutting a 
pattern out of a flat sheet of plexiglass and sandwich- 
ing it between two solid sheets. The liquid flows in 
the cut out spaces. 

Paolozzi and Kirkwood worked daily at Wyle for about 
three weeks, consulting with several technicians who 

Otto Piene 

Born Laasphe, Germany, 1928 
Resident New York City 


advised them about the capabilities of chromatic control 
which could be obtained with the polarized fluids. A 
table was set up with a sort of flat tank set on it, into 
which dyes were pumped under polarized plastic sheets. 
Paolozzi was able to determine by observing the flow 
patterns under various conditions in his apparatus what 
he might be able to achieve on a larger scale. He visual- 
ized making a wall of color patterns, and thought of in- 
corporating some sort of mechanism whereby spectators 
could themselves manipulate the color patterns either by 
"playing" a console, or simply by walking in front of the 
structure. The more he worked with the device, how- 
ever, the less confident he became that the medium was 
worth developing into an art work. He also felt that the 
environment at Wyle was constricting to him, and he 
sensed that he was being "railroaded," to use his word, 
into a narrow and unreasonably specific area, when he 
would have liked to freely explore the complex of build- 
ings around him and conceivably make use of other 
resources available at Wyle. 

See Stockhausen section, page 322 

On April 4, MT sent Frank Wyle the following letter, 
terminating the Paolozzi/Wyle collaboration: 

I have been informed by Eduardo Paolozzi that he 
will not be able to continue his 'residence' at Wyle 
Laboratories. The artist believes that only work of 
insufficient value could result from the collaboration. 
Paolozzi feels that the only area at Wyle made avail- 
able to him concerned binary infraction, and that this 
area, as interesting as it is technically, is not fecund 
ground for his personal aesthetic. He also indicated to 
me that his attempts to make something in this area 
were hampered by various restrictions placed on the 
scope and scale of his involvement; means of imple- 
mentation were, in Paolozzi's opinion, too restrictive 
to allow for success. 

I very much regret that this collaborative effort has 
failed. It is the first time a contracted artist and a 
Patron Sponsor Corporation have not been able to 
work out a satisfactory relationship. I tried to contact 
you when this situation developed last week in an 
attempt to ward off the problem. Perhaps we should 
discuss this matter, at your convenience, in order to 
prepare for future involvements with artists. Since we 
regard Wyle Laboratories as one of the most extraor- 
dinary of the thirty-one corporations joining with us 
in this program, we are especially eager to have a valu- 
able situation develop. 

HG took Paolozzi to both Cal Comp and to TRW Sys- 
tems before the artist returned to London. Paolozzi and 
TRW agreed to work on a computer graphic project; the 
artist would send the company drawings and instructions 
by mail from London for them to program and com- 
pute. We have not been able to ascertain from Paolozzi 
whether work is indeed progressing at this time. 



Michael Cain wrote to us for Pulsa, a team of "research- 
ers in programmed environments," in April, 1969: 
Pulsa proposes to realize for the L.A. Museum an 
environment sensitive to aspects of its own condition 
through an input system integrated into our existing 
outputs and controls capable of receiving and inter- 
preting many kinds of information from its surround- 
ings. In the past we have developed a variety of 
instrumentation for generating and outputting infor- 
mation as perceptible wave energies and are most 
recently involved in the design and programming of 
large scale outdoor matrices of strobe lights and loud 
speakers. It has long been our goal to feedback infor- 
mation from the environment of the matrix to the 
matrix as its program. 

We feel fortunate in having an opportunity to do re- 
search on environmental sensors in L.A. where the 
special manmade ecology is provoking such attentive 
environmental studies, and are convinced that local 
industries will be eminently capable of helping us 
realize our project. We wish to consider acoustical, 
optical and infrared, radio, and radar scanning devices 
as means of designing sensors capable of determining 
the behavior and distribution of persons, animals and 
plants, local air and temperature conditions, ambient 
light and sound, and the outputs of the system itself. 
These sensors will require interface and software to 
adjoin them to the small tandem time-shared com- 
puter with which we intend to be controlling all of 
our future installations. We should like to work on 
this proposal with Information International, R.C.A., 
Litton Industries, T.R.W., and especially Gilphilin, 
for help in acquiring a radar system. 

Our proposal for L.A. would entail using these infor- 
mation input devices in a large space, hopefully a 
square mile of open land, in association with a pro- 
grammable matrix consisting of 128 strobe lights and 
an equal number of loudspeakers in an array con- 
formed to the site. This system should be extant and 
available for presentation during the L.A. show after 
its initial fabrication and installation in the World's 
Fair at Osaka. A Digital Equipment Corporation 
PDP-8 computer and Grason-Stadler multiplexer with 
five input-output stations would accept information 
from the sensors and from a teletypewriter and gener- 
ate patterns and sequences. This information would 
be transmitted to a second computer, a General Auto- 
mation SPC-12 and there expanded into specific 
instructions to a signal synthesizer and to the output 
devices which would be digitally controlled. By the 
spring of 1970 our previous presentations in Central 
Park, the Guggenheim Museum, and Osaka will have 
given us facility to take full advantage of the very 
great flexibility of this system. 

If other industries are willing to donate the time and 
money for collaboration on a second proposal, we 
should use the opportunity to experiment with 
sources of light and improve further our design for 
output devices. 

The ideal device would include a source of light digi- 
tally controlled and widely variable in intensity, 
duration, and spectrum. Gas discharge tubes, fluores- 
cents, incandescents, electroluminescent panels, phos- 
phors and fluorescent pigments, and chemilumines 
cent materials have all been useful to us but none 
have been fully satisfactory. We should welcome 
assistance from Union Carbide and International 
Chemical and Nuclear among others. 

Jeff Raskin 

Born Brooklyn, New York, 1943 
Resident Solana Beach, California 


Jeff Raskin is an artist and Assistant Professor of Art at 
UCSD where he also heads a new computer center for 
the Visual Arts Department. He was recommended to us 
by his teaching colleagues, David Antin and Harold 
Cohen, because of a concept for a building module he 
wanted to design and fabricate. We gave him literature 
on Container Corporation and Eldon Industries, a Los 
Angeles toy manufacturing company. On March 12 
Raskin and Hal Glicksman toured the two companies, 
after which the artist wrote a formal proposal: 

The basic output is to be a construction module, or at 
most two modules whose dimensions are larger than 4 
inches and less than 20 inches in all directions. The 
module will fold flat for storage and transportation, 
and will be easily set up, and taken down. Each unit, 
of cardboard or clear plastic, will interlock with 
adjacent units in a large variety of ways. 

The principal work of art proposed here is a sculpture 
or environment approximately 10 by 20 by 30 feet 
made exclusively of these modules. The object might 
be a house. While the module could be of cardboard, 
at best it would be of clear plastic, polyethelene or 
styrene. In the latter case, it is possible that the 
module will not fold, but be watertight so that each 
unit could be filled with colored or uncolored liquids, 
liquid crystals, powders or objects. 

The exact shape and design of the module will (and 
can only) be determined by working with the com- 
pany finally chosen. Problems of manufacture will 
influence the nature of the module. In fact part of 
the fascination of this project is working within and 
around the technical nuances of the industry. 

Later Raskin elaborated on the concept, explaining its 
derivation and rationale, and its potential as a building 

I like to play with toys a lot and I've always been 
frustrated with building sets. They always have some 
direction in which they're heading. I remember when 
I was a kid in New York and we decided to build our 
own house, and I got this plastic block set. It was 
very suitable for building a model— like a scale model 
of the house. But it only allowed the bricks to be laid 
on top of one another in normal brick-like staggered 
fashion. If you suddenly wanted to go out from one 
wall at right angles to it, you couldn't do it at all. 
More recent brick sets are made so that if you find 
the right p/ece, you might be able to make projec- 
tions from a square wall, or make something free 
standing or arching over. Each set of bricks or 
Lincoln logs always had some particular genre of 
construction in mind. I had settled on actual simple 
cubes of wood or metal or plastic. I made myself such 
a building set out of clear plastic cubes. They simply 
stack, but at least there was no restriction; they 

didn't have any sense of direction built into them 
aside from the rectangularness. I like the rectangular- 
ness (basic square rooms seem eminently practical). 
Building things at right angles doesn't seem to be 
much of a hang-up for me. I wanted the most general 
block that I could have; any two blocks would have 
to be able to attach together firmly so that they 
could be self-supporting over a small span; larger 
spans requiring additional structure. They would have 
to not be limited to flat walls, but any block would 
have to, on any face, be attachable to any other 
block. No other block set comes anywhere close to 
that. This would allow you to build an absolutely 
solid, completely interlocked cube. To make this 
perfectly general, I spent some time finding out if 
there's any way to make a hermaphrodite connector 
that could be both male and female so that every face 
of every block would snap together. If I had one of 
those sets, I'd enjoy building with it more than any 
other set I've ever seen. Furthermore, a two to five 
centimeter size block is fine for building models, but 
I'd also like to have a larger set of blocks twelve 
inches across or one quarter meter, and you could use 
these things for architecture, building wall partitions, 
for bu'M'mq buildings. If they are made out of plastic 
like Delrin, they would be strong enough to build 
stairs and a few structural members. If I violated my 
principles only slightly and glued some of them to- 
gether you could make quite large structures. I rather 
like to be able to take whatever one makes apart and 
rearrange it as the need changes. I envisage (and 
would probably build for myself) a house, a garage. 
They would be relatively light also. Because they are 
hollow, if you needed weight, they could be filled 
with sand, fluids, plastic. Cubes can come apart into 
two symmetrical pieces, each being three sides of a 
corner. And so you can stack very compactly; you 
can take a building and put it into a hundredth of its 
space, or even less than that, and transport all the 
parts economically. It's a practical thing as well as a 
nice thing. If you then took certain blocks and modi- 
fied them (although that's not very pure of me) by 
drilling holes in the sides, you could have all the 
plumbing running through the wall; you could see it 
all. (Although certain kinds of plumbing I guess you 
would want to have running through the walls.) You 
could have a fish tank built in the wall; with some 
blocks clear and some full of sand, you could have 
windows. You could move the windows around by 
shaking the sand out of one and now the window is 
there. I would have all the blocks clear, but if you do 
want an opaque wall, you would spray paint the 
inside or the outside. I like large things: I don't know 
why because I like miniature things too. You had 
some of my favorite miniature things here in the 
Cloisters exhibition— a little wooden model with a 
whole battle scene inside. Working on that scale has 



always fascinated me, and I build an awful lot of 
ultra-miniature things, but I've never exhibited them. 
First of all because it would take hours of educating 
people to see what I'm seeing; nobody's adjusted to 
looking at things that way. There's another thing, 
though, about being able to walk around in stuff. 
That's nothing new; everyone has done that who's 
working with environments. The last mazes show I 
had at UCSD left so many avenues to be explored— 
literally and figuratively. I want to explore some of 
those with the clear blocks. If I were to build a thing 
that was contorted, perhaps not really a labyrinth so 
that you could be six inches from somebody on the 
other side of a set of blocks and still be a half hour's 
walk from them. I would like to do something on 
that scale. And the idea fascinates me of having iden- 
tical rooms in different places, so that you can't tell if 
you're in Room A or Room B. You think you come 
back to the same place but it's really different. The 
room merely looks the same. I'd like to explore 
things like that. 

In May, after Raskin had made a prototype unit [1] , we 
arranged further meetings at Eldon with an engineer. 
Tony Smith was already working with Container Corpor- 
ation of America, and since Raskin's first option was to 
fabricate the module in clear plastic, we proceeded with 
Eldon. On July 23 we met with Robert Silverstein, presi- 
dent of the company, to describe the piece in greater 
detail and to discuss the feasibility of executing the 
modules. Silverstein agreed to project a cost analysis and 

intimated that on the basis of that estimate, Eldon 
would proceed to fabricate the units. Shortly after this 
meeting, however, Silverstein's office called to say that 
Eldon declined to take on the project because it was too 
expensive for them. 

We then approached Dart Industries, which had previ- 
ously considered a proposal by John Chamberlain. 
Raskin's proposal received careful and enthusiastic study 
by Dart designers. However it was again rejected by 
management as being too expensive. For several weeks 
after that, we pursued the fabrication problem else- 
where, at various local plastic manufacturing firms, but 
without success. In September, 1970, we made a last 


attempt to carry out the project. Much earlier in the 
program, we had invited Mattel Toys, Inc. to join A & T 
but they refused, not wishing an artist in residence at the 
company for twelve weeks because of its tight security 
regulations. Nevertheless we approached Elliott Handler, 
Mattel's president, once again to explain that Raskin's 
project was completely planned and would not necessi- 
tate a lengthy collaborative period. Raskin described to 

Jack Barcus of Mattel's design department the unique- 
ness of his module. Although the work was not market- 
able from the company's point of view (as a toy, it was 
too expensive), they expressed definite interest but did 
not take action on it. Late in October, 1970, Raskin 
re-designed the module for fabrication in cardboard or 
other similar material, with the end-view of effecting an 
economical production. [2] 

Robert Rauschenberg 

Born Port Arthur, Texas, 1925 
Resident New York City 


Bob Rauschenberg's collaboration with Teledyne began 
in September, 1968, after a tour of the company in Los 
Angeles, has continued over a two-year period, and is at 
present still in the final stages of completion. It has 
perhaps been longer in process than any other project in 
the A&T program, and has been characterized by brief 
moments of intense interaction between Bob and Tele- 
dyne personnel (principally Frank LaHaye, Vice-Presi- 
dent [1 at right] , and Lewis Ellmore, Director of 
Special Programs) and long intermittent periods of 
inactivity or company fabrication in the artist's absence. 
There was never an extended residence period by the 
artist. The reason for this slow evolution was not, 
however, due to lack of enthusiasm by anyone involved. 
From the start Teledyne was eager to accommodate 
Rauschenberg and his project proposals; for his part. 
Bob was always willing to make himself available when 
some aspect of the project required his attention. 

In a series of meetings during Rauschenberg's initial visit 
in September, 1968, the artist was introduced to several 
key executives at Teledyne's head office in Century 
City— George Roberts, President, and Vice-Presidents 
Frank LaHaye and Berkeley Baker, all of whom were 
acquainted with Bob's work. At this time the company 
agreed to accept the artist in residence, and additional 
meetings were held with Lewis Ellmore, who was asked 
to assist in the collaboration. Ellmore later recounted 

this first interview with Bob in a letter to us dated 

November 12, 1970; 

We had an absolutely fascinating discussion over 
lunch, and both Bob and I became entranced with 
the possibilities available. We really had not the 
slightest idea as to what form the project should take, 
but Bob's thesis was that, after all, art is creative 
manipulation of materials and processes, and there 
appeared to be a great many new developments in 
technology to be exploited. All this sounded quite 
good; the difficulty seemed to lie in the fact that the 
typical artist had neither access to, nor full under- 
standing of advanced technology and the artistic 
ability of the average technician or scientist is vanish- 
ingly small. Thus, the combination of Bob and me 
with the resources of Teledyne. 

At that first luncheon it became obvious that Bob 
was certainly not a typical artist, and I grew increas- 
ingly enthusiastic; more, I suspect, about the prospect 
of working with Bob than about the project in 
general, since it seemed to me that any contribution I 
could make would be insignificant compared to the 
artistic creativity injected by Bob. It also appeared 
that we could work together easily since we shared 
a . . . sincere belief that although life was pretty grim, 
it was possible to improve it. So, amidst a pledge of 
assistance and dedication of resources from Teledyne, 


we parted, the first step to be the exchange of letters 
between Bob and me, each expressing an initial 

In December, LaHaye and Ellmore met again with Bob 
in his New York studio, visited the iVluseum of IVlodern 
Art to see Rauschenberg's piece Soundings currently on 
exhibition there, and resumed their discussion on the 
project. In the same letter cited above Ellmore recapitu- 
lated this and subsequent meetings: 

The meetings we had were refreshingly informal and a 
genuine pleasure. Bob's goal was to create a dynamic 
work, which not only would stimulate more than just 
the visual senses, but would in fact interact with the 
observer. He had pioneered in this field and was at 
that time exhibiting his Soundings at the New York 
Museum of Modern Art. He felt that that represented 
a direction to be further pursued, and we, over the 
next several months, exchanged many thoughts and 
ideas. Fundamentally, Bob wanted to escape from the 
limitations of two dimensions and to couple the 
work, in a way yet to be defined, to the observer. My 
role in all this was really as technical censor, if you 
will, serving only to comment on the technical 
feasibility of what Bob wanted to do ... . 

We considered many types of three-dimensional 
displays ranging from mixing air currents made visible 
by thermal differentials, to closed loop machining 
systems where the output of the machine was subse- 
quently modified and fed back into the input. We 
considered fluids of various types flowing, mixing, 
and in general doing all sorts of things. We considered 
different geometries, materials, methods of manipula- 
tion and alteration, and, overall, just about everything 
one can conceive of. We thought about the types and 
forms of energy, which could be sensed and used to 
activate and regulate the dynamics of the work. 
Again, everything from deliberate and direct observer 
control to purely random processes. We included 
sound, light, motion, odor, etc., etc. At one time we 
looked into actually being able to sense the mental 
state of the observer, but while theoretically possible, 
it seemed to be a bit advanced in terms of actually 
implementing it. 

We went on to explore ways of stimulating the 
observer, not only visually, but with both audible and 
non-audible sounds, pressure differentials and so on. 
Finally, we looked into means of selectively creating 
emotional responses in an observer and, in fact, of 
using these emotions to further modify the art. 

We had, by this time, started to vaguely define the 
limits within which we would operate, and started to 
formulate ideas in terms of the materials and technol- 
ogies needed. In recalling this phase, it was certainly 

one of the most stimulating of my experience. We 
literally were unfettered conceptually, limited only 
by Bob's imagination, which appears to be boundless. 

Sometime during the course of this series of inter- 
changes, which extended through the Spring of 1969-at 
exactly what point it is not altogether certain-it became 
clear to Rauschenberg what the piece should actually be. 
According to the artist's own account, he was lying on 
the beach when it occurred to him spontaneously to use 
mud and to reproduce the bubbling activity of the 
"paint pots" at Yellowstone National Park; sound 
stimuli would be channelled to directly generate the 
mud movement. He conveyed this notion to Ellmore and 
other engineers at Teledyne who began to investigate the 
feasibility of activating mud by sound waves. It was 
quickly determined that the level of sound required to 
cause by itself any movement or bubbling effect in an 
expanse of viscous material would deafen the human ear. 
Again, Ellmore summarized for us this stage of research: 
The visual mechanism chosen by Bob was to be a 
large tank of viscous liquid through which a less 
viscous liquid or a gas would be released; the control 
of such release to be governed by the sensing and 
processing of selected elements of the environment. 
Simultaneously this was to be accompanied by a 
similarly processed acoustic display. 

We found rather rapidly that the constraints of reality 
were upon us. For example, following a meeting with 
one of the Teledyne Companies engaged in the 
manufacture of viscous liquid. Bob, after due experi- 
mentation, discovered the combination of chemicals, 
which would yield the desired effect. Alas, the cost 
[would have been] monumental and it was some time 
before it was realized that simple drilling mud was 
actually superior. Similarly we decided on injecting 
air into the mud and planned on using a valve which 
would release air in direct proportion to the applied 
electrical signal. It required some experimentation 
before we found that controlling the duration of one 
of three constant pressure sources gave nearly equiva- 
lent results at a cost reduction of about 99%. There 
were many many such examples, stemming, I suspect, 
largely from the space age environment within which 
the various contributing companies were accustomed 
to operating. In short, there was no incentive to do 
other than pursue the most technically convenient 
path .... 

In the fall of 1969 we considered the possibility of 
including Rauschenberg's piece, tentatively titled Mud- 
Muse, in the Expo show. After informing Teledyne of 
this, they agreed to build a small model to test the 
system. Work on a square eighteen inch prototype tank 
began immediately at Teledyne's Torrance division, 
Sprague Engineering, supervised by George Carr. The 




model was finished in January, 1970 and functioned 
satisfactorily. However, because of delays in obtaining 
the necessary fabrication nnaterials for the full-scale 
version, the Expo deadline could not be met. 

The pressure to finish Mud-Muse for the Expo show and 
the construction of the prototype served to bring into 
focus several problems of mechanical design which were 
then resolved. The piece would be a nine by twelve foot 
tank. Bob had originally conceived of it as measuring 
sixteen by twenty-one feet, but the scale was reduced in 
accordance with the maximum size capacity of an 
airplane, in anticipation of shipping the piece at the last 
possible moment to Japan. The tank would appear to be 
free-standing, being elevated three inches off the ground, 
and would have a two foot aluminum skirt to hide the 
electrical and pneumatic mechanisms. Above the metal 
base would be thirty Inch high plexiglass sides; the tank 
would have no cover, so that the mud would be exposed 
to top view. (For structural reasons glass was later 
substituted for plexiglass.) The tank would contain a 
high viscosity, high density (100 pounds per cubic foot) 
derivative of driller's mud, light brown in color and 
extremely soft to the touch. This material was acquired 
from Teledyne Movible Offshore in LaFayette, Louisi- 
ana. At a later stage of its design Frank LaHaye wrote a 
description of the piece which states in part. 

In the bottom and hidden sides of the tank there are 
located approximately thirty-six compressed air 
inlets. Each inlet is connected to three manifolds by 
low pressure tubing. The manifolds are maintained at 
three different pressures (2-6-12 PSI). Each line of 
tubing contains an electronically operated 'on-off 

In operation, the effect is a continuous and random 
boiling eruption of different intensity at different 
locations. Selection of location and intensity will be 
done electronically using three or four microphones 
dispersed at random, either near the piece or at a 
random location. If located near the piece, the 
microphones would have to be hung from the ceiling 
or from a side wall. 

It is also planned, though the details have not been 
resolved, to have a number of special sound tracks 
playing from under the piece. Selection of one or 
more of the sound tracks would tie in with the 
electronic selector system controlling the pneumatic 
valves. Typical sounds might include the surf, an owl, 
the wind, musical notes, etc. [2] 

By June, 1970, the design of the electronic and pneu- 
matic systems had been resolved, and fabrication began 
in earnest at Teledyne's Aero-Cal division near San Diego 
where Jim Wilkinson, Chief Engineer, supervised the 
operation, and Carl Adams coordinated the actual 



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By October construction of the tank was sufficiently 
completed to allow preliminary testing of the mud 
movement through mechanical means; the sound system 
was still unfinished. Rauschenberg, IVIT and JL were 
present at Aero-Cal for this long-awaited event. Twenty 
50-gallon drums of mud were poured by hand into the 
tank, and it heaved and bubbled impressively. Bob was 
delighted. The final stages of the project will take place 
in December, 1970 when the valves will be fully oper- 
able and the electronic system installed. By that time, 
Rauschenberg will have recorded the soundtrack he 
wants— a combination of jumbled, incoherent or semi- 
coherent man-made noises, and sounds from nature.* 
These will be incorporated into the system to interact 
with the random action of the mud controlled by sounds 
from microphones located in diverse parts of the exhibi- 
tion area or Museum proper. 

In an interview with MT and GS in October, 1970, 
Rauschenberg commented on Mud-Muse, and reflected 
upon his experience in the A & T program, on the 
general phenomenon of art and technology, and the 
differences between A & T and E.A.T., which he helped 

My piece is not the work of a magician. It only exists 
in sensation and it is exactly what I thought was 
missing from the phenomenon of art and technology, 
because usually whatever the artist does in relation- 
ship to technology tends most often to look like 
exploitation of technology, or what he does is so 
primitive and simple in depth [compared] to the 
profound qualities of technology. Like most techno- 
logical art, this [program] is a beginning, and you 
can't expect one of the most sophisticated forms to 
be able to actually emerge overnight. But one of the 
big problems is the whole social problem, sociological 
problem— the wooing of industry to even care. Then 
again, most often the artist himself is so seduced by 
the simple marvels of science that are really just 
utilitarian for the scientists and for the industrial 
world, that the art concept doesn't match, it doesn't 
even compare to it because the artist usually incor- 
porates the phenomenon. He is seeing a fact as a 
romantic phenomenon, as filled with beauty, and if 
he touches it and says that's it, then that's his work. 
Whereas what you really have is a bunch of very old 
hydraulic ideas, things that we didn't probably pay 
much attention to when we were going to school, as a 
thing of beauty. So either it should be just that and 
left, or you have to take it for granted and move from 
there and not have the art part of it being a kind of 
cosmetic for technology because it doesn't need 
rouging up. Technology has not been unsuccessful 
.... The temptation for industry is to take the artist 

*Petrle Mason acted as Sound Collaborator with Rauschenberg. 



in superficially as the artist is appearing to them. If 
they can get just a little company color out of the 
collaboration, that is all they wanx really in most 
cases. They would do it rather than recognize this 
[broader] collaboration that Frank La Haye has 
talked about, where it is essential that humanities are 
considered in industry. 

The thrill of making another dollar has carried us so 
far out of our lives and any real sense of what tech- 
nology is about and what it does mean to us; what its 
influences are. We are so busy progressing that we 
have absolutely lost any realistic sense or even need 
for it. You can't trust that to a few Ford Foundation 
grants, for some people who go off and make a bunch 
of surveys and come back with some figures. It's got 
to be something really in practice. You were talking 
about the fact that industry needs a conscience, and 
it seems to me that the artist is the only person to 
hire because nearly every other phase of the profes- 
sional world is already caught up in it, and the artist 
is the last, freelance professional person. The reason 
he is not involved, hasn't been involved, is because of 
the sense of dealing with the totality instead of a 
specialization. He is dealing with an intangible. With 
even the most successful artists, it would cost you 
more to keep him from doing what he wants to do 
next, if he wants to do it, than it would for you to 
support him. Now that's sure unique .... We are 
suffering a really serious hangover with technology. 
Taken abstractly, you can be anything but extremely 
proud of its accomplishments. I think we are still 
medieval about our uses of it. Applying technology is 
on the sunny side of witch-craft. It's all tricks, and so 
therefore we have an extremely serious waste. Tech- 
nology isn't going to suffer, because technology 
doesn't have to have a heart or anything. Technology 
will probably work just as well in polluted air as not. 
In fact, there could be new developments where 
polluted air would be more advantageous to certain 
technological things; but not to people .... I think 
you immediately get involved with Mud-Muse on a 
really physical, basic, sensual level as opposed to its 
illustrating an interesting idea, either successfully or 
unsuccessfully, because the level of the piece, on the 
grounds of an idea, is pretty low . . . There is no 
lesson there .... It was to exhibit the fact that 
technology is not for learning lessons but is to be 
experienced. I've done technical pieces before and 
there is a much more self-conscious use of technol- 
ogy .... \n Soundings I tried to start that out by just 
using the single image of the chair. And I took all the 
photographs myself and kept turning the chair, so 
there was no entertainment, supposedly. It's an 
entertaining piece, but there again I was working to 
not educate anyone. I wanted them to have the sense 
that they were half of the piece and so there was a 


one-to-one response. If you walked in the room 
silently, soundlessly, then nothing would happen, you 
wouldn't see anything except your own reflection. 
That's already a kind of idea. But Mud-Muse doesn't 
have an idea like that because Soundings already had 
a lesson and this is a very difficult area: it is hard not 
to try to build in a lesson for me because I really care 
so much about this whole area. We're really going to 
be lost if we don't come to terms. The statistics on 
how many years we have to live are frightening; they 
are being printed every day, and we are learning. That 
information is so much more available than it was, 
even a year ago, but our rate of doing anything about 
it is so much slower. This has absolutely to do with 
our relationship to technology— our idea about the 
world as being this great big apple or something 
which is put here for us and if we get in trouble God 
is going to take care of all that. God's not going to let 
anything happen to his world because after all, he 
made us. That's a lot of bull .... But there's not that 
moral content in Mud-Muse .... Pure waste, sensual- 
ism, utilizing a pretty sophisticated technology .... I 
did earth paintings, [1953 or 1954] before the peak 
of abstract expressionism. [3] Bill deKooning still 
wasn't selling anything; he was showing in one of the 
only five galleries in New York City that would show 
modern Americans, and I went into these earth 
things. There again, I didn't want to make a big thing 
about that, but those paintings were about looking 
and caring. If somebody had a painting they would 
have to take care of it. It is just as simple as that. I 
don't care what the motivation is, selfishly, unselfish- 
ly, if they're taking care of it because they're thinking 
more about the other person or they're taking care of 
it only because they're thinking about themselves, the 
result is the same, that they're taking care of it. And 
those were pieces that would literally die if you 
didn't water them. They were growing art pieces on 
the wall, not on the ground, and I said this is art, 
too .... 

I don't see that A & T and E.A.T. are in competition, 
so comparison doesn't say anything interesting except 
on any level other than trying another way to arouse 
people's sensibilities about the problem that is all too 
obvious, only to people who know about it, who 
unfortunately have to be in the minority .... I think 
that what you are doing here is interesting in the 
respect that E.A.T. has to play from guts. The mere 
fact that E.A.T. has survived this long with so many 
people still involved in it, means that it is a success. It 
was an idea before its time, even though it was a little 
late. It still didn't come from any vogue. You started 
from the idea of art, and the fact that you were 
proposing it, guaranteed a level of encounter that 
E.A.T. isn't interested in because we had to do just 
the opposite and say that we are not involved in 


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esthetics. We are not censors, we are not talent 
scouts. Anyone who needs help, technological help, 
ought to have it available for thenn, and we are 
catalysts who not only provide that help but excite 
other people, and an organization could get to them 
where an individual couldn't. We have really been 
criticized. Our biggest enemy are people who say, 
'Now what is wrong with a Rembrandt?' You started 
from the other end, and because of your endorsement 
and the fact that you provided the possibility of a 
guarantee of a showing, it meant that if they commit- 
ted themselves, then they would have to do it well, 
which we couldn't do. All of our things begin at one 
end and either die before they get to the other end or 
the work is finished. You started at the art end and 
drew all of these things to that, using the fact and 
your influence that the end result would be art. In 
E.A.T. we say, we can get something started but we 
can't promise you anything. You can only do what 
you did, by setting those limitations, saying that there 
is going to be an exhibition; the work will be shown 
and by such and such a time. But we couldn't do that 
sort of thing and just go on year after year changing 
.... I don't think your problems, though, have been 
any different from ours in spite of the different 
approach because we ran into the same thing— skep- 
ticism, patronizing. Then it is about the middle-man- 
agement guy who is afraid even though the boss has 
told him that we are doing this. He can't believe the 
boss will admit it when he sees it . . . The research 
people are at the bottom of all industry. The research 
people immediately get interested. Those guys were 
able to watch air passing through mud and were 
involved. There was no esthetic judgment there about 
whether somebody ought to be doing this or not be 
doing this— with those people that you really rely on 
to do the work, and so does the company. The top 
guy is always just a little bit interested. If he is 
interested at all, he is excited by the prospect that 
there is going to be this collaboration which is 
unique, but the problem is the middle-man. When he 
gets home his wife is going to say, 'what did you do 
today dear,' and he will lose face unless he says, 
'there's this funny-looking guy who came in today, 
God knows where from, and he talked strange, had 
some funny ideas, and asked me to do some strange 
things!' That does nothing for his status. 

Mud-Muse starts from sound: An impluse is turned 
into electrical signal and then spreads out into three 
other breakdowns, depending on its dynamics. Then 
each one of those splits off in three ways. I don't 
want it to have a one-to-one relationship to the 
spectator. It/s primitive but I hope in being primitive 
that it can be simple and the intent be legible. It is an 
existing fact that the world is interdependent. The 
idea of art very often tends to illustrate some solitary 


independent concern recognized as isolation. It 
celebrates most often a kind of withdrawal or self- 
concern; and it's unrealistic. Even works that are 
about the other thing usually have a short life because 
they too get included in this other very precious 

Gall R. Scott 

Jesse Reichek 

Bom Brooklyn, New York, 1916 
Resident Berkeley, California 


By the summer of 1969, IBM had been contracted with 
A & T as a Patron Sponsor for more than a year, but we 
had not succeeded in placing an artist with the company. 
(We had proposed matches with Vasarely, Vjenceslav 
Richter, Eduardo Paolozzi and Jackson MacLow, and 
Robert Irwin had toured IBM's San Jose facility; discus- 
sion of these attempts can be found in the sections on 
these artists.) In July, Jane Livingston contacted artist 
Jesse Reichek in Berkeley to sound him out on his 
potential interest in working with IBM. Reichek is a 
painter and Professor of Design at Cal Berkeley; both the 
nature of his work and his published ideas on problems 
of urban design and education, and his esthetic philos- 
ophy in general suggested to us an approach that might 
well imply his desire and ability to work with computer 
technology. As early as 1951 , Reichek wrote a short 
statement which appeared in Arts and Architecture, 
March, 1951, outlining an attitude which has continued 
to inform his work and thinking to the present time: 
It is not what I see that is important to me. Vision is 
but one means of absorbing or projecting the con- 
struction of forces which is experience. The problem 
is in the way these forces are constructed; giving rise 
to the endless variety of experiences and acts of 
which we are capable. 

Such experiences and acts as: space, color, light, 
motion, time, forms, moods, emotions, personal 
history, social comment, imaginary worlds, etc., etc., 
are indeed undeniable facts. But facts, regardless of 
the amount of detail they include, are limited truths. 
The process, ever-changing and limitless, by which 
these facts are constructed is the constant truth. A 
structured process is composed of especially formed, 
organized, and placed elements. These elements are 
placed according to the dictates of the conceived 
structural form; the conceived functions; potential 
functions; and possible functions of the structured 
form as a totality. The elements in addition to their 
position in the life, history, and assembly of the 
structural whole have a life, history, and assembly of 
their own. They are simultaneously a whole and 
elements of a whole. The structured process is not 
only conceived— the elements so assembled— as to 
allow for the continued existence of the whole, but 
the total structure acts IN the functions of the 
elements. The elements which make up the structured 
process besides having their own activities outside the 
whole, act independently and/or in relationship with 
each other UPON the whole. The total structure is 
established in a constant state of being re-established. 

Reichek spent some time considering our proposal, and 
agreed to meet with us and members of IBM's Scientific 
Center at Century City, Los Angeles. Through our 
contact man. Dr. David Heggie, the artist was introduced 
immediately to the man he was to work closely with in 

the ensuing months. Dr. Jack Citron, a physicist and 
mathemetician. [1] James Kearns, Manager of the Los 
Angeles Scientific Center, also met Reichek at the outset 
of his collaboration and has continued to be involved in 
the development of the project. 

Citron, because of his background and special interest in 
the arts, particularly music, was receptive in principle to 
the notion of working with an artist, and he was enthusi- 
astic about Reichek's ideas as they related to his work in 
the area of computers. On the basis of his and his col- 
leagues' positive response to Reichek, IBM approved the 
project. A system was arranged by which, starting in 
September, 1969, Reichek would fly to Los Angeles at 
least once a month to meet with Citron and Kearns. The 
first few sessions were basically used in dialogue, to 
clarify the artist's intentions and determine what was 
feasible to do and how, given the possibilities and 
limitations of the computer. According to Reichek's 
initial description of his theoretical area of interest, the 
concept oi process was critical. He was interested in the 
capability of the computer to transform visual images 
into series of configurations, based on a limited number 
of pictorial elements, or parameters. He wanted to 
determine whether the computer, once programmed 
with certain information which could somehow be 
translated into graphic form, could respond to that 
initially given information by some internal process, to 
create series of variations. The principle would be one of 
continuous, somehow self-perpetuating, input, transfor- 
mation, output; that output would become input, 
transformation, output, etc. Citron seemed to indicate, 
during these early discussions, that many of the notions 
Reichek described were not possible. Reichek left with 
Citron a series of drawings to familiarize him with the 
kinds of figures and color systems he might want to 
work with. 

Although most of the long sessions between Reichek and 
Citron were taped, and transcriptions made, it is difficult 
to cull from them excerpts which would communicate 
the technical gist of the problems they were confronting. 




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However, Reichek set down in a letter written in Sep- 
tember, 1970, a sort of recapitulation and progress 
report of the project as he saw it; and in October, Citron 
wrote a technical description of the project at our 

At the time of Reichek's letter, there had arisen some 
problems regarding IBM's willingness to continue sup- 
porting the collaboration after December of 1970; these 
considerations prompted him to formulate the state- 
ment. He wrote. 

It seems to me that we now have sufficient working 
experience with this project to allow us to review 
where we are and indicate the directions it can take 
and the products it may produce. Since I view this 
project as a collaborative effort between the Museum, 
IBM and myself, I would like this memorandum to 
serve as a basis for discussion, modification and 
decision by all of us. 


When you called me in July, 1969 concerning my 
Interest in working in a project with IBM as part of 
your Art and Technology program, I asked for two 
weeks to think about it. I spent those two weeks 
reviewing some of the non-technical literature on the 
use of computers, the development of my own work 
over the past 25 years and the direction it might take 
in the future. I also gave a great deal of thought to 

the use of computers and related advanced technolo- 
gies as it impinges on the situation and the problems 
of our present-day society and the manner in which 
they may determine our future personal and societal 
life-styles. I should add, that I have been concerned, 
as others have, with these issues for many years; both 
in my work as an artist and in my academic activities 
as a professor. 

Briefly, these are the objectives I set for my participa- 
tion in and the design of the project. 

1 . That while being aware and respecting the role 
of any tool in the process of generating any 
form, be it a work of art, a paper clip or a 
political system, this project should not be a 
display of technological gymnastics. 

2. That the products which will be produced are 
to be determined by the logic made explicit 
from the study of my present and past work. 

3. That the implicit meaning and the conceptual 
basis of my work must be embodied in the 
works coming out of the project. 

4. That the manner in which the works produced 
are presented should be consonant with charac- 
teristics of the underlying conception inherent 
In my work and the nature of the tools used— 
the computer, etc. 

5. That this project should not produce a unique 
work or several unique works: such a result 
would be a contradiction of the fundamental 
characteristics of the computer and do violence 
to the basic philosophical position which has 
guided the development of my work. 

These statements need elaboration which we should 
do when we discuss this memo. More precise meaning 
can be derived from the description of the project 
and my proposals for what the project should pro- 

In August, 1969 at our first meeting with Jack 
Citron, Jim Kearns and others from IBM, I sketched 
out some tentative notions for a project. There was 
an expression of interest and a desire to engage in it. 
Simply stated, the project called for the computer to 
be programmed using the rules of logic which have 
generated my paintings. The logic Is such as to not 
only produce a painting, but is capable of utilizing 
the 'experiencing' of that painting in order to pro- 
duce the next— ad infinitum. At a subsequent meeting 
with Jack, we thoroughly discussed and analyzed 
some 40 sketches of my work. (I've since added many 


more as part of the project.) Jack kept these sketches 
for further study and at a later meeting we again 
discussed them. Jack developed a proposal which was 
approved and the work on programing began in 
January, 1970. 

Since then, I have been meeting with Jack at IBIVi 
almost monthly. He has explained the non-technical 
aspects of the program he is designing and has kept 
me abreast of the problems involving equipment. 

Present Status 

The programming part of the project is well along. 
During our last meeting on September 3, Jack ex- 
plained the coding system which would enable me to 
interact directly with the equipment to be used in 
making the three color separations. For the present 
time, the plan to have me interact with a display 
panel which would give me immediate visualizations, 
in outline form, of my instructions is being put aside. 
As I understand the situation, the necessary piece of 
equipment is not available now and Jack does not 
expect to have it for another six months. The idea at 
present is for me to work at a terminal which would 
feed directly into the color-separation machine. 
Although I shall attempt to do this, I feel that I will 
be greatly inhibited by the inability to see what I'm 

The color separation machine produces one color 
separation (approximately 4" x 5") in a half hour, 
i.e., an entire picture in an hour and a half. In ad- 
dition, the use-time on the machine available to this 
project is restricted. This places important limitations 
on the speed with which I can see the results of my 
direct in-put (assuming that I find it possible to work 
effectively without a visualization device) and the 
number of works that can be produced. 

It may be that these difficulties are insurmountable. 
However, with the exception of the production time 
required for the color-separation machine, it may be 
that increased access-time can be obtained and a 
visualization panel can be made available. We ought 
to discuss this and explore how this might be accom- 

The many trips to Los Angeles, I imagine, were 
necessary in the early stages of the project. I would 
hope that it is possible to drastically reduce the 
number of these trips as the project progresses. I 
would think that at least one of the factors men- 
tioned above, visualization, has a bearing on the 
alternative arrangement possible. We ought to discuss 

Future Development 

I see a two-fold development of the project, a main- 
line and a branch-line. The branch-line terminates at 
the IVIuseum in May 1971 as part of the Art and 
Technology exhibition. The main-line terminates at 
the Museum in May or November 1972 as part of a 
retrospective exhibition of my work. 

The Branch-Line 

Taking into account equipment limitations and more 
crucially, the time required to produce separations 
and process them into color, I would guess that the 
most we could produce by May 1971 is 30 to 50 
images. Jack may have a better estimate. My very 
tentative idea is that these images be made into 
transparencies and be back-projected on a fairly large 
sized screen. The projection to be continuous in a 
permutated sequence (12 3 4 etc., 4 3 12 etc., 4 3 2 
1 etc. . . .) for the duration of the exhibit. We can fix 
the time of exposure for each image. Although I have 
not done the calculations I feel sure that, allowing for 
a reasonable time for the viewing of each image, the 
sequence would not be repeated at any time during 
the exhibition. At least one other alternative way of 
displaying the images on the screen could be to show 
all the images on the screen at the same time in a grid 
pattern. In which case the permutation would be the 
spatial order of their appearance. Written material as 
part of the exhibit and/or in the catalog would 
describe the project. 

The Main- Line 

In many ways this part of the project is more consis- 
tent with the characteristics of the computer and the 
conceptual underpinning of my work; it has four 

1. Retrospective Exhibition: which will show that 
this project is a logical continuation of the 
direction in which my work has developed over 
the years. It should show the historical evolu- 
tion of the form and the structure of the image 
as well as the compatibility between the con- 
ceptual framework underlying my work and 
the basic characteristics and Implications 
inherent in computer technology. 

2. Multi-Editions: A display of a large number 
(100-200) of the images the computer has 
generated. These images to have been repro- 
duced in runs of 5,000 each. This would be a 
manifestation of an affinity between a concep- 
tion in art and an implication of a technology. 
The appropriate use of the computer as a tool 
is to produce a large number of varied works in 
large quantities of first-rate quality at low cost 
for mass communication. The computer's 












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capacity for diverse and duplicatable responses 
does not call for a unique work of art. 

3. Book (s): Available at the Museum and else- 
w/here during the exhibit and later on. A book 
is another form of mass communication and 
the rationale is essentially that which was 
described above. 

4. Film: To be shown at the Museum during the 
exhibit and elsewhere later on. Here too, the 
rationale described earlier applies since a film is 
composed of many and varied images and is 
another form of mass communication. 

Finally, I want to say what I see as the most interes- 
ting and exciting aspect of this project as it relates to 
my own work and, perhaps, art in general. I've 
written about this more fully elsewhere. I see each of 
my paintings as a fragment and what one calls a 'body 
of work' as only a larger fragment. I believe this can 
be shown to be true of existent individuals and 
societies. What fascinates me about this project is that 
its development and the products it will produce is 
related to the evolutionary process in nature. Evolu- 
tionary 'design' in nature differs from the way man 
designs in that it is not 'design' according to external 
specifications. Biological 'design' is controlled by an 
internal basic mechanism contained within all spe- 
cies—the 'designed' object. Differences in species are 
accounted for by configurational changes of the basic 
mechanism; differences within species by rearrange- 
ment of the configuration. What I am trying to 
suggest is an analogy between the program for this 
project and a genetic code, the computer's capacity 
to store and arrange bits of information and DNA's 
similar capacity, the works we can produce and 
species variations, our process and the biological 

Jack Citron's description of his project with Reichek is 

as follows: 

Over the past few years, a number of artists have been 
able to make use of computers in one way or another. 
In each case, they were given a predesigned system 
and told how to use it or what its inherent capabili- 
ties and limitations were. The artist was then free to 
experiment within the defined framework presented 
by the computer hardware and software. 

In the present case, the approach is quite different. 
We have nominally entered what Joseph Schillinger 
called 'the fifth morphological zone in the evolution 
of art.' Reichek's work is in some ways ideal for this 
because his principal thematic component— what he 
refers to as 'process'— is methodology. And methodol- 

ogy is the essence of science and technology. Our 
goals can then be described as follows. 

The first step is to analyze the Reichek style— not in 
anticipation of mimicry— but to isolate a complete set 
of creative components which could serve in all three 

1. recording or notation (analogous to a musical 

2. modification (variations on a theme is equiva- 
lent to changes in these basic components) 

3. synthesis (conversion from these components 
to mathematical and logical relations to geo- 
metric relations to the final material form) 

Next, a user-oriented system is to be designed in 
which the artist would manipulate the creative 
components like words in a language to get his ideas 
into a computer. The computer would then use this 
information to control an output device to produce 
the defined piece of art. It will also be possible to 
describe 'temporal' modifications of the input which 
in turn would cause the computer to produce an 
endless succession of pictures based on the 'original'. 
The precise methods of interaction with the user, the 
forms of intermediate and final computer output, and 
the process of converting the latter into a final 
product are also to be defined in detail and depend 
completely on the particular hardware that is avail- 
able for our use. 


An examination of forty or so paintings revealed a 
number of logically related features. Since each work 
was carried out on graph paper, exact size relation- 
ships were readily apparent and Reichek's intuitive 
methods of handling strict mathematical symmetries 
could be easily seen. Color, while restricted to red, 
blue, and black, was clearly used to accent the sym- 
metry in each work by employing permutations as 
accompaniment to the symmetry operations on the 
spatial material. This spatial material in turn consisted 
of three distinct classes: 

1. framed figures with two possible orientations 
inside areas with boundary sizes making some 
simple ratios with the background size 

2. vertical and/or horizontal lines usually in paired 
colors and one unit wide 

3. solid areas really marking the absence of the 
above two classes 



Three types of works also appeared in which the 
featured elements were: 

1. Just figure blocks with an interplay of the 
symmetries relating block position, figure 
orientation, and color permutation 

2. Just lined areas again with symmetry relations 
between areas to complete a theme 

3. Both figures and lines where the latter play a 
definite role in 'connecting' the various figure 

System design 

An initial estimate as to the number of possible 
Reichek paintings is both enlightening and astound- 
ing. If only a 40 by 40 grid is considered and we 
simply ask how many ways three colors can be 
arranged, one to a square, the answer is a number 
containing 764 digits! Notice the number one million 
contains 7 digits, a trillion is 13 digits long, and even 
an octillion is 'only' a 28 digit number. 

At least two important conclusions can be drawn 
from this. The first and obvious one is that there is no 
danger of 'running out' of something to do in this 
style. The second and more subtle one provides 
information as to the kind of user control that is 
necessary. A common tendency among many of 
today's artists would be to allow random choice from 
this enormous backlog of possibilities. However, 
thermodynamic arguments concerning large ensem- 
bles show clearly that the results would be most 
disappointing and, even more important, would show 
no relation to Reichek's main theme: 'process'! Thus 
control must be exercised over the basic components 
isolated in the section on analysis by establishing 
mathematical/logical operations and operators which 
can then be used to specify unique works or practi- 
cally infinite classes of works by allowing the artist's 
mind to dwell upon the 'method' to be used or devel- 
oped without the distractions inherent in any extra- 
logical approach. 

3. define blocks uniquely or with reference to 
previously defined blocks 

4. set up figure information for a block 

5. set up line information for a block 

6. describe symmetry operations when developing 
new blocks from old ones 

Interaction with the developing composition must 
also be carried out through the terminal. We hope to 
be able to use a graphic terminal to make this easier, 
but may have to rely on a typed printout of the 
developing picture. 

The output from this phase will be a computer 
produced tape which contains a new representation 
of the picture. This tape could then be used as input 
to another computer which in turn would control 
either a milling machine or a photo-composer to 
produce engraved printing plates or color separated 
film transparencies. This secondary output will then 
be used to produce the final results in the form of 
conventional visual products. 

At the time of this writing, the outcome of the Reichek/ 
IBM project is dependent upon the corporation's willing- 
ness to extend their commitment into 1971. 

Jane Livingston 

Because the computer we are currently using is 
located on the East Coast (Cambridge, Massachusetts) 
and our access to it is via voice-grade telephone lines 
through a typewriter-terminal, input to the system 
must be in some form of typed code. The implemen- 
tation currently under development compresses the 
necessary information into six types of statements. 

These serve the following functions: 

1. establish background grid size and color 

2. specify up to four types of spatial periodicity 

Vjenceslav Richter 

Born Drenova, Yugoslavia, 1917 
Resident Zagreb 


Yugoslavian architect and sculptor Vjenceslav Richter 
has been developing for the past few years what he calls 
"system sculpture." In his first one-man exhibition at 
New York's Staempfli Gallery in November, 1968, he 
showed twenty -six works, each of which was construc- 
ted of thousands of uniformly shaped rectangular 
aluminum components. These measured one-fourth inch 
square on the face and two inches in depth. Each sculp- 
ture was composed according to a mathematically 
defined system, employing this basic unit or "mono- 
element," as he calls it, to build diverse three dimension- 
al, often curvilinear forms. Ideally, Richter wishes to 
mobilize the sculptures by means of a computerized 
mechanism called by the artist a "relief-ometer" which 
would allow each mono-element to be moved back and 
forth according to a predetermined program, rendering a 
perpetually changing "membrane" of forms not unlike a 
rippling surface of water. The ultimate extension of this 
notion for Richter would be to enlarge the size of the 
basic unit into architectural dimension, eventually 
culminating in "system architecture," his dream for 
future urban planning. 

By 1967 Richter had already devised a mechanical 
method for moving secf/ons of a sculpture, but had been 
unable (for lack of financial support and technical 
expertise) to develop an Instrument to program each 
component individually and thereby to achieve complete 
kinetic versatility. 

We invited Richter to come to Los Angeles to discuss the 
problems first hand with several contracted companies- 
IBM, Wyle Laboratories, Litton Industries and Informa- 
tion International, each of which was apparently capable 
of executing the sculpture. 

By the time Richter arrived on April 2, 1969 the possi- 
bilities had been narrowed down for various reasons to 

Litton Industries, where Richter was promptly taken. He 
met with Fred Fajardo, from Public Relations and Cy 
Schoen, a division coordinator who advised that LItton's 
Mellonics division, specializing in computer products, 
could handle the programming while a physicist at their 
Guidance and Control Division could assist with the 
mechanics. That afternoon and the following day Rich- 
ter and a team of Litton's scientists and technicians 
entered into lengthy problem solving sessions. Dr. 
Richard Feynman was present at one of these meetings 
and, after discussing alternative solutions for the engine- 
ering of the system. It was Feynman who convinced 
Richter that a compromise was necessary. 

Litton's experts agreed that programming the piece was 
a relatively straightforward procedure, but the central 
difficulty was devising an Internal micro-mechanical 
system to actually move each unit while maintaining the 
four-sided external integrity of the form. Richter was 
insistent in his refusal to close off from view one side in 
order to house the motor. He did, however, agree to a 
compromise In the scale of the Intended sculpture In 
order to facilitate certain otherwise insurmountable 
obstacles. After explaining all details and setting forth 
his demands for the performance and form of the piece, 
he returned to Yugoslavia while the Litton staff proceed- 
ed to project a cost estimate. 

The ensuing financial projection was staggeringly high 
due to the fact that the "state-of-the-art" of this type of 
micro-electronics is not sufficiently advanced to be 
economically feasible for such esthetic Implementation. 
Moreover, the resulting sculpture would have been a 
considerable compromise from Richter's original pro- 
posal. For these reasons, which we conveyed to Richter, 
we were unable to carry out the project. 

James Rosenquist 

Born Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1933 
Resident New York City 

James Seawright 

Born Jackson, Mississippi, 1936 
Resident New York City 


We talked to James Rosenquist regarding A & T in April, 
1969, and he expressed enthusiastic interest about it. In 
particular he wanted to tour Ampex, IVl.G.IVl. (a com- 
pany not contracted) or an aerospace industry where 
research was being conducted in environmental control 
for space travel. The aerospace industries participating in 
the program were already working with other artists, but 
when Rosenquist came to Los Angeles two weeks later 
he toured Container Corporation, Ampex and RCA. 
However, none of these companies inspired the artist, 
and he returned to New York without presenting a 

MT saw James Seawright in New York and arranged for 
the artist to visit General Electric's Nela Park facility In 
IVIay, 1969. Seawright required a specific type of techni- 
cal assistance— a particular kind of lamp and the hard- 
ware for a control system, in order to execute a new 
series of light sculptures. He toured G.E. with Hal 
Glicksman and was certain they could accommodate his 
needs. Meanwhile, we had been in contact with Dan 
Flavin who toured G.E. and went to work there in the 

Richard Serra 

Born San Francisco, 1939 
Resident New York City 


By June, 1969 we had taken six artists to Kaiser Steel 
Corporation (Len Lye, Frangois Dallegret, Philip King, 
Jules Olitski, Robert Smithson, and Mark di Suvero) 
without effecting a match. James Monte, who had by 
this time moved to New York, urged us to invite Richard 

Serra to visit Kaiser's Fontana division. On June 10, HG 
and Serra toured the facility, and the artist was enthusi- 
astic about what he saw. Shortly thereafter, he submit- 
ted the following proposal: [1] 


The work vrill be related to both the physical properties 
of the site (Kaiser Steel) and the characteristics of 
the materials and processes concomittant to it. The 
work falls into three basic categories: 

A. casting in location 

B. overlaying processes 

C. constructions. 

A, Casting: 

The molten metal for casting is to be brought 
directly from the furnaces by turret car to 
the yard. Sand casting molds are to be used 
to control the pouring flow in location. 

1, Slabs are to be embedded and supported 
in place in the molds, 

2. Shapes are to be derived from direct 

B, Overlaying Processes: 

C, Constructions; 

Specific diverse processes 
are to be superimposed in 
final states. The juxtaposition 
is to point to the specific 
characteristics contained in 
each step and method of 
processing. Work will assume 
a holistic striated form. 
Stacking will be the control. 
Example: poured form overlaid 

by in crops, hot 

rolled slab, 

galvanized sheet, 

cold rolled, 

discarded gangue, etc. 

Work is to be erected in place. 
Slabs, hot rolled (ploom), to be used. 
Principle of work is to rely on 
physical tension, balance, and 

Example: Gtonehenge type 



We invited Serra to take up residence at Kaiser, and on 
July 21 he commenced work. After negotiations with 
Kaiser management and supervisory staff, it was agreed 
that the artist would work, at certain specified times, in 
the "skullcracker" yard. (Here various scrap materials 
are broken down so as to be reprocessed.) To do this 
Kaiser provided the artist with an H-shaped overhead 
magnetic crane, an experienced crane operator and 
several construction assistants. Bill Brinkman, foundry 
foreman, was assigned to oversee the collaboration; he 
became an Invaluable assistant to the artist. For the next 
four weeks Serra worked closely with this crew of 
assistants, often during the night shift, when the crane 
was available. He usually positioned himself on the ^ 

ground near the location on which the piece was to be 
built, signaling directions to the crane operator standing 
at the controls in an overhead tower. 

In his work of the past two years, Serra's primary 
structural method has been that of propping, leaning and 
stacking various types of massive materials— lead sheets, 
rolled lead columns, steel, and giant logs. His basic 
approach to these methods Is empirical, combined with 
an Intuitive understanding of the physical properties of 
gravity, tension and balance. In all these works, among 
which One Ton Prop (House of Cards) and Sign Board 
Prop, both of 1969, are notable examples, the notion of 
process Is inherent to the sculpture and as Important as 
the final construction resulting from the accumulation 
of individual components. The artist best explains his 
approach at Kaiser in the following statement written 
after his period of collaboration at the plant: 
Skullcracker Stacking Series (name of yard) 
Work at Kaiser Steel (Fontana, California) was 
erected with an overhead magnetic crane. The struc- 
tures were not conceived In advance. A hand language 
was learned. (Collaboration existed between the 
operator and myself.) Material primarily utilized: 
crop, the waste product of the hot roll mill. These 
large chunks of steel cut from the ends of slabs 
provided a variety of nonflxed relational possibilities. 

The scale 1 5 to 30 feet in height and weighing 
100-250 tons was related directly to the potential of 
the place. The problem: to avoid architectonic 
structure, i.e. to allow the work to be both dense, 
loose and balanced without relying on previous forms 
or given methods. 

The series involved the possibilities of constructing 
with weight, i.e. gravitational balanced weight over- 
head as support. This series was further abstracted 
with the resultant lead structures made in New York 
In the fall. 

Direct engagement with the materials (crop, plate, 
slab, billets, stools, etc.) that is, the elements in- 


volved, enabled concrete identification with each step 
in the process. Paradoxically the solutions to the 
problems of construction (stacking) appear rational, 
although the process of finding these solutions was 
not. The apparent potential for disorder for move- 
ment endowed the structures with a quality outside 
of their physical or relational definition. Complete 
disorientation occurred daily. Work that both tended 
upward and collapsed downward toward the ground 
simultaneously was o.k. In all twenty structures were 
erected in eight weeks— the pieces were put together 
and taken apart. 

Technology is a form of tool making (body exten- 
sions). Technology is not art— not invention. It is a 
simultaneous hope and hoax. It does not concern 
itself with the undefined, the inexplicable: it deals 
with the affirmation of its own making. Technology 
is what we do to the Black Panthers and the Vietnam- 
ese under the guise of advancement in a materialistic 

It was in the context of this past body of work and with 
the above stated attitude that Serra directed his efforts 
at Kaiser. He proceeded by trial and error, and, after 
establishing a rapport with his crew and experimenting 
with the equipment, he executed about twelve construc- 
tions in a period of two weeks of intense activity. The 
procedure would be to erect a piece, and, if he con- 
sidered it successful, to have it recorded photographical- 
ly when possible. The structure was then dismantled. 
These were process experiments which would later be 
evaluated by Serra. 

The first piece Serra executed involved piling sixteen 
"stools"* in a cantilevered stack. Each stool weighs 
approximately six tons, and the piece as a whole 
weighed close to one hundred tons. This massive amount 
of material, compacted into dense rectangular forms and 
erected on a tilt, produces a powerful sense of precarious 
balance. [2] 

*A stool is a rectangular block of cast iron used in the steel- 
making process to close off the bottom of the mold Into which 
molton iron is poured. 



From this method of stacking the elements according to 
a regular pattern, Serra progressed into more experimen- 
tal stacking processes, following a loosely organized 
distributional procedure and using varied steel materials. 
He arranged "crops," or "fish tails"t in a loose pile, low 
to the ground; over this he laid large steel slabs or sheet 
plate at an angle from the ground forming an incline. 
[3, 4] As he worked along this line, he exerted increas- 
ing control over the stacking method, allowing more and 
more complexity in the structural format. He would pile 
together a loose arrangement of the fish tails against 
which a twenty foot steel slab was propped, one end on 
the ground; on the lower end the mass would be 
counter-balanced. This method of organization was 
continued until an acceptable structure was produced. 
Some of these pieces reached to a height of twenty-five 

tin the steel making process, the blocks of steel are cropped and 
squared at either end before being sent to the rolling mills; the 
cutoff ends, irregular in shape are called crops or fishtails. 


feet. Six works of this type were executed [5, 6] , some 
of which included counterbalanced plates of steel thrust 
out laterally. [7] The works in this group are anti-archi- 
tectonic; the massive steel components are disposed so 
that their relational quality defies structural logic. 
Instead, the works evince the process by which they 
were built. 




■ ■*<-* r*'- 




After one month Serra left for New York with the 
intention of returning in a few months to continue 
working. He was not able to travel west again until 
January, 1970, and then spent only a few days in Fon- 
tana. He searched around the Kaiser plant for a new type 
of steel material and eventually located a vast yard of 
"slag," which is an impure oxide residue from smelting 
and takes the form of giant boulders. These he had taken 
to the skullcracker yard and with them executed three 
works, again using methods of propping and leaning. [8] 
However, the work bogged down, apparently due to the 
lack of proper assistance. 

It was agreed that Serra would return to Los Angeles 
early in the Spring of 1971, when he would execute a 
sculpture, or a series of works for the Museum exhibi- 
tion, with the help of Kaiser's equipment, men and re- 
sources. In September, 1970, Serra indicated that in 
addition to erecting one of the works from the "skull- 
cracker" series, he would also like to do a piece relating 
to his more recent thinking; the idea derived directly 
from what he had learned about steel at Kaiser. It is to 
be installed on a selected incline of the Museum park 
grounds. The place selected for the work will be meas- 
ured; this variable will determine the shape and length of 
the work. Once the land is measured, a plate is set into 
the ground so that it is diagonally bisected, revealing the 
elevational fall (i.e. the height and length) between two 
pre-determined points. (At zero elevation the work ne- 
gates itself; at a 45° slope the shape is a square.) Once 
the piece is installed, it is cut along its bisecting contour, 
flush to the ground, and allowed to fall. The resulting 
shape reveals on one edge the contour line of the 
ground. [9] 

Gail R. Scott 




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Tony Smith 

Born Orange, New Jersey, 1912 
Resident South Orange, New Jersey 


Jane Livingston met with Tony Smith in New York in 
April, 1969 and suggested to him the notion of doing a 
worJc for A & T. Smith tall<ed about executing a "soft" 
suspended sculpture (he used the term pneumatic in 
describing his intention), using perhaps some sort of 
inflatable vinyl or plastic in biomorphic configurations. 
Smith later discussed this idea: 

I had wanted to do a project that was technical in 
nature in that I wanted to make a certain type of 
structure in which all of the compressive elements 
would be made of air or gas in compression, and 
therefore all the materials would be in tension— that 
is, whatever contained the air would be in tension, 
and then there would also be some lineal elements, 
also in tension. 

Since none of the corporations contracted to A & T 
were equipped with the kind of technology or materials 
appropriate for the kind of structure Smith described to 
her, JL encouraged him to consider working with Con- 
tainer Corporation of America. Tony seemed interested 
in this possibility and mentioned in particular his long- 
standing interest in doing an architectural-sculptural 
work using fourteen-sided modules. It occurred to him 
that this might well be executed in paperboard. 

Smith went to Aruba for several weeks, and then to the 
University of Hawaii in June. In the meantime, Hal 
Glicksman investigated the possibility of soliciting a 
corporation that could execute an inflatable or pneu- 
matic sculpture, but we finally abandoned the pursuit. 

At the same time, we talked to Anthony Marcin, Public 
Relations Manager of Container Corporation in Chicago, 
about collaborating with Smith. Marcin discussed this 
with his colleagues and indicated that they were enthusi- 
astic. (Several artists had previously expressed interest in 
CCA— specifically Oyvind Fahlstrom, Francois Dallegret 
and Les Levine— but their proposals never developed 
sufficiently.) Marcin was to be unusually cooperative 
throughout the collaboration and seems to have been 
directly responsible for many of the important decisions 
which enabled the project to come to fruition. 

Smith stopped in Los Angeles en route to Hawaii; he 
discussed the work in some detail with us, still with an 
idea of using the fourteen-sided module. Then in a letter 
from Hawaii of June 23, 1969, he said: 

My reason for temporarily abandoning [the 14-sided 
solid] as the module for a piece is that it would 
become too much of an engineering feat. I would 
prefer to achieve esthetic and psychological effects. 
The ingenuity of the Corporation's engineering and 
technical resources would be called upon to help me 
achieve such results. As I once said, in speaking of 
Amaryllis [1] , I wanted to make a cave. Since I have 
all the maquette components from which I intended 
to develop the piece for the [Hawaii] campus, and for 
which I now have no immediate use, I'll start to work 
with them today on your project .... 

The maquette modules referred to were of two geo- 
metric configurations— the tetrahedron and the octa- 
hedron; this combination was to become the basis for 
the artist's final conception of the piece. In speaking 
further about the history of his interest in making a 
cave-like work. Smith said, 

I've always had a certain interest in caves, and one of 
the reasons that it was particularly important in this 
case was that I had started a series of pieces which 
ended with the making of a piece called Gracehoper 
which is in Bennington, Vermont. [2] This piece has 



certain inner forms that struck me as not necessarily 
cave-like in themselves, but they suggested the idea of 
making a further piece in the series which would 
literally have more of the sense of a cave. Around 
that time I saw a photograph of an eroded part of the 
desert in Arizona or somewhere in the West and it 
gave me something of the sense of the way in which I 
wanted to develop the piece. [3] Now, it would have 
required so many components that I wanted to use 
the same parts that I had used in the previous piece, 
but the model was kept by the people who built 
Cracehoper and I realized that I didn't have the 
energy to start making the great number of compon- 
ents that would be necessary to start a new model, so 

I always felt somewhat frustrated in that .... Crace- 
hoper was probably done in 1962, and I would have 
made the following piece, which I had thought of as 
more cave-like, at that time had I had the compon- 
ents, but it's very boring to make those little parts 
and so I never did make that piece. So it's just some- 
thing that had been in my mind for a long time and 
immediately before going to Los Angeles to discuss 
this project with Jane Livingston, i had been in Aruba 
and had visited some bat caves there. I think that 
when we spoke of the possibility of doing something 
for the Container Corporation, I recalled the previous 
intention of making a cave and then coupled that 
with the very recent experience I had in caves in 







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Aruba [4] , so it seemed natural that these two 
thoughts should revive an interest in caves . . . .* You 
know, if I'd had to make all those small components 
myself, I wouldn't have done it— there are thousands 
of pieces in that form and unless the pieces were 
stamped out, as they were by the Container Corpora- 
tion, I would certainly never have done it on my own. 

Over the July 4 weekend, Pete Clarke, a structural 
engineer for CCA in Los Angeles, and JL went to Hawaii 
to see Tony Smith. Smith had several partial models, 
formed with tetrahedra and octahedra, which served to 
demonstrate the fundamental principle of the structure. 
Clarke indicated that these units could be easily die-cut 
in flat corrugated board and then assembled individually 
and built with no lock joints or tabs (Tony was adamant 
about avoiding the use of lock joints) by gluing the units 
together. Tony stressed that the feeling he wanted in the 
cave was of softness— he often made the analogy to the 
texture and color of a wasp's nest (and indeed presented 
Jane Livingston with a gift of one months later). [5] He 

*At one time. Smith considered titling the piece Guadirikiri, the 
name of a specific bat cave in Aruba. The work was never, 
however, definitely titled. 



felt strongly that the natural brown color of the board 
should remain untreated, and that the surfaces should 
retain the quality of slight rippling imparted by the 
subsurface corrugation. Smith later described, from a 
technical point of view, his original intentions for the 
Container Corporation project: 

In my work I use small cardboard maquettes, actual 
little tetrahedra and octahedra, and I paste them 
together with tape in order to arrive at the forms of 
the work .... When I had worked on a small scale in 
the past, [the original model] would be made into a 
model with smooth sides from which the steel fabri- 
cator works; that way individual components are 
actually absorbed in the final work. But it seemed 
that in making something with actual cardboard 
boxes, I was doing exactly what I do on the small 
scale and I felt it might be interesting to get the effect 
of a soft sculpture— that is, soft in the sense of using a 
material that isn't durable or which is relatively 

into the work but said in later conversation that he was 
not concerned with sound or tones perse, but with the 
sensations of hearing produced by vibrations in the air. 
He was interested in the phenomenon encountered in 
bat caves, when a person's entrance can prompt myster- 
ious sonic waves and fleeting air displacements as the 
bats are disturbed. Smith investigated the state of 
scientific knowledge regarding this phenomenon, and 
located an expert in La Jolla, California. 

It was agreed in Honolulu that Pete Clarke would have 
some small, die-cut units made (four inches on a side) of 
thin, white paperboard, for Tony to use in constructing 
a mock-up in Los Angeles. We were at this point think- 
ing definitely of the work for display at Expo, and on 

Space frames of the sort that I use have been used in 
architectural structures. It's just that they've been 
fabricated by using struts which are joined at the 
corners— at the meeting of the edges of the elements. 
My intention was to use the complete component and 
simply glue it— glue the surfaces in the way that I had 
been in the habit of doing with my [maquette] units. 
This actually is a different type of structure than a 
structure which is based on lineal elements or struts 
which are fastened at the joints. In other words, there 
isn't any structure except the components from 
which the form has been made. 

July 17, sent Tony plans of the New Arts Section of the 
U.S. Pavilion. 

During the Hawaiian visit, Tony talked of introducing 
light, in shafts, into the cave, and gradually came to 
emphasize the importance of special illumination in the 
work. He characterized the effect he visualized by 
drawing an analogy to nineteenth century stage lighting: 
Sometimes one sees an effect— in caves, actually, if 
there's a crevice between rocks and light comes in— of 
the light entering in the form of a sheet rather than as 
a beam. It's broad .... Sometimes [this effect] is 
used in the stage. There was a great stage designer at 
the end of the nineteenth century by the name of 
Adolphe Appia who did some sets for Wagner. He 
used some sets which were made up almost entirely 
of light— that is, there were no other elements used 
very much, and his lighting had somewhat the effect 
of sheets of light. [6, Set for l\/lime's Cave, in Sieg- 
fried, 1896] I've seen it on the German stage also— 
they'll block out a certain part of the stage by a kind 
of curtain of light .... [This technique] usually has 
been used in order to create space— create planes of 
space, receding planes of space. 

Smith at one point had thought of introducing sound 

Smith in the meantime sent us some rather obscure 
polaroid shots of details of modules fitted together, to 
show us in a general way what he was after. These 
snapshots proved to be very revealing of Smith's primary 
intention for the sense of the work. 

In a letter dated August 1 1, from Tokyo, Smith said. 
This is about the polaroid photographs. What is 
shown is not intended as the piece. It is what a piece 
of it might be like. It is made up of about 120 modu- 
lar units in the ratio of about three tetrahedra to two 
octahedra. I think the final sculpture should have 
more than four times that number of units— at least 
500 in all. [The Expo sculpture finally comprised 
2500 units.] 

. . . The girl who made the components also took the 
pictures, and, although she has no idea of what the 
piece is about, she insisted upon including several 
photographs which she thought were good. She 
thought she had failed completely in the close-ups 
taken the next day, but they are very close to what I 
really want .... 


A funny thing happened. While my assistant was 
making the [small modules] , I decided that it might 
be better to use an altogether different modular 
unit— that of New Piece (shown at Philadelphia in 
1966 and 1967). I thought that this might be an 
opportunity to try out, on a large scale, a system 
which has intrigued me for many years .... Then I 
showed the drawing for the [U.S.] pavilion and the 
photograph of the model to an architect in Honolulu 
who had worked for Wright just after I did. He 
remarked on how fortunate it was that the pavilion 
had been designed on my own triangular module. 
This made me realize that the other scheme [the 
14-sided design] would have been impossible! 

In August, 1969, the artist toured the Container Corpor- 
ation corrugated plant in Los Angeles. CCA had made 
for him two full-size corrugated mock-ups of single 
units— one tetra- and one octahedron, two feet on a side, 
with no lock joints, which Smith felt were precisely 
right. Container Corporation agreed to produce about 
500 full-scale units at their Los Angeles corrugated 
plant, for Tony to use in making a model, as well as 
making several hundred four-inch, carton-material 
modules. The former commitment was never fulfilled, 

and thus Smith never actually worked with the full-sized 
units. Moreover, when the corrugated modules were 
made en masse, they had lock joints. This was in viola- 
tion of the understanding reached between Smith and 
Pete Clarke in Honolulu, and displeased the artist consid- 

Tony remained in Los Angeles for about three weeks to 
make a small-scale maquette for the work. This was 
erected on a ping-pong table he set up in his suite at the 
Chateau Marmont. Several local kids were pressed into 
service folding modules and taping them together. 
Somehow there were never enough modules. Two rush 
deliveries were made during the course of Tony's stay 
here, as he used up cardboard units— they were rapidly 
swallowed up into the model and a temporary dead-end 
would be reached— but the five by seven foot model was 
finally completed and brought to the Museum. 

Tony returned to New York in September to resume 
teaching at Hunter College; he had missed several classes 
on our account. 

In September, 1969, Smith, JL and MT met for most of 
one day with the Expo designers at their New York 
headquarters. We were able at length to decide on a 
space for the work, after several alternative plans were 
considered and abandoned, and it became clear that a 
new model would have to be made. It also transpired 
that the ceiling height was considerably lower than we 
and the artist had thought— thirteen rather than sixteen 

During our session at the Design Team Headquarters in 
New York, Tony was adamant in characterizing the 
work as sculpture, as opposed to architecture. It was 
clear at this point that he had resolved in his own mind 
the essential nature of the work though it still existed 
only conceptually. We were all extremely concerned 
about the problem of handling the enormous traffic flow 
through the U.S. Pavilion, but Tony seemed to feel he 
could design the work to accommodate the expected 
10,000 visitors per hour. However, he did have to make 
important sacrifices. He was to say later, 

My intention was to make a piece of sculpture which 
emphasized the negative space rather than the posi- 
tive form. The other pieces I've done have been 
placed usually out of doors or even if they're indoors, 
they tend to be compact: I think that even though 
the negative space has been used in some of them, the 
main effect is one of massiveness. I have always been 
Interested in the volumes made by the pieces, and I 
felt that in this case it would give me an opportunity 
to deal with these negative spaces as the main element 
of the sculpture itself. So I set out to do a piece 
where I was defining the negative spaces as much as 
possible. Of course, when I began, I didn't realize that 

«Wv-;ii:.i. ?l;sj 


such crowds would be involved, and so in the end I 
wound up getting a space that's much more architec- 
tural than what I had hoped for. I had hoped to mold 
much more sculptural space than has actually re- 
sulted; but when I began to learn about some of the 
problems of just moving the people through the 
pavilion, I had to open the space so as to make what 
is almost a passageway now— which wasn't my inten- 
tion in the first place. I had intended to do something 
much more labyrinthine, something which would 
have many choices of movement rather than a guided 
movement. So I think the piece probably loses a good 
deal because it had to be smoothed out to such an 
extent— I couldn't have any projections or indenta- 
tions on the lower part of the space, because people 
could fall or be pushed into places, and then the 
actual ceiling height of the pavilion was lower than 
we had originally hoped, and again we lost some of 
the possibility of molding the space above peoples' 
heads simply because the ceiling wasn't tall enough to 
allow for it. So in that sense, I think that the space is 
closer to the space of buildings, perhaps than was my 
intention originally. 

In November, 1969, Tony received the modules neces- 
sary to build his second, incredibly complex model for 
Expo. By the end of the month he began work on the 
model, accomplishing it in a matter of days. [7] At this 
point, through the offices of Marcin in Chicago, William 
Lloyd, Chicago-based manager of design for Container 
Corporation of America, was brought into the project. 
Lloyd visited Tony at his home for one day just before 
the model was crated for shipment to Expo, and on the 
basis of that meeting he was able to direct the immense- 
ly laborious construction of the work at Expo 70. Lloyd 
and Smith seem to have quickly established a sense of 
mutual trust, and Lloyd thus made a series of decisions 
later for which the final work owed its existence. 

The shipment of components to Expo consisted of the 
model, several palletized fiats of precut cardboard and 
three fifty gallon drums of glue. Part of the cardboard 
units were made in Los Angeles— amounting to 3000 
tetrahedra and 1500 octahedra; the rest— another 100 
cubic feet and some 3000 pounds of cardboard— were 
made at the last minute in Container Corporation of 
America's Cincinnati plant and shipped from there to 






Bill Lloyd and his wife arrived in Osaka February 1 6 to 
begin the five-week process of constructing the work. [8] 
(We had originally allowed two to three weeks for this 
task.) Several days and scores of laborers were required 
simply to fold and secure each module, before the units 
could be taped together and mounted. The work was half 
completed by the first week in March, but it had become 
increasingly apparent that the effect was not at all 
satisfactory. The interior surfaces were uneven at best, 
and the overall structure was precarious. It was decided 
to tear it down and begin again, using an improvised 
system whereby the previously insoluble engineering 
difficulties were overcome. Smith feels that many of the 
problems resulted from the way in which the modules 
were made to fit together. He said, 

. . . When the [Container Corporation] engineer came 
from Los Angeles to Honolulu last summer, we 
established in about five minutes that the pieces were 
going to be glued, not put together with lock joints, 
and when he showed me the mock-ups in Los Angeles 
later, they were as we had decided to do them— they 
were glued. And even the shop drawings which they 
gave me were made in order to be assembled by 
gluing; but when Bill Lloyd went there to put the 
piece together, they were made with lock joints 
rather than glued. That's why they had to tape 
them .... I feel that [the lock joints] mar the piece, 
because you see the spaces where the lock joints 
occur, and in the end they had to put tape over those 
joints too. So I think the whole piece loses a good 
deal by being put together that way .... I think the 
reason that the structure actually sagged or collapsed, 
whatever happened to it in the course of making it, 
was because . . . the components weren't made as 
they were intended to be made. 

The lighting of the piece was achieved under the super- 
vision of Lloyd and the USIA's lighting contractor, with 
a view to approximating Smith's stated effects as closely 
as possible. It was not totally successful. Smith stated, "I 
think I wasn't able to convey to the engineer [Bill 
Lloyd] the type of lighting I wanted. I wanted a rather 
sheetlike light, whereas from the photographs [of the 
Expo work] , it seemed as though they used . . . two 
spots, just two rather conical shaped lights." (Actually, 
there were four spots used.) When the lighting had been 
completed, it began to appear that the cardboard surface 
was simply too vulnerable, in the sense that one was 
psychologically drawn to touch the walls as one walked 
through; obviously, under the circumstances, the work 
could not long withstand such handling. It was one of 
the Design Team members' suggestion to paint the entire 
interior of the cave with red or blue phosphorescent 
pigments and introduce ultra-violet light in place of 
incandescent light, with the notion that the spectators 
would then focus on the effects of illumination as such, 
rather than on the raw cardboard surfaces. A call was 


made from Bill Lloyd in Osaka to Smith in New Jersey 
to consult with him on this possibility, and— rather to 
everyone's surprise— Smith was agreeable. We felt that 
this alternative might well be esthetically calamitous 
suggesting as it could have the multi-media, electric- 
circus ambience rampant at Expo 70. The work re- 
mained unpainted, though in the course of the Fair its 
interior was to become densely covered with multi- 
colored international graffiti. [9] The artist was so 
delighted with this fact that he requested that all of the 
graffiti-embellished modules that could be retrieved be 
returned to him after the closing of Expo. 

Whether the completed Expo work truly represented the 
intentions the artist originally had in mind is necessarily 
questionable, since Smith did not supervise its construc- 
tion or even see it in Japan. In rebuilding the structure. 
Smith's design was altered somewhat to strengthen 
certain spans which had previously sagged, and to create 
broader passageways. Nevertheless, despite these changes 
and despite the impossibility, for reasons of safety, of 
darkening the interior as much as the artist might have 
liked, the fundamental feeling of the piece remained 
remarkably close to that conveyed in the early Polaroid 
detail photos Smith had sent us, and to the look and feel 
of both maquettes. 

Bill Lloyd, when asked to comment later about the 
construction of the work at Expo, said to JL, 

The structure Smith had conceived was extremely 
challenging. His model was architecturally sound; it 
fit the space perfectly. And it would have been strong- 
er than the Pavilion building had we used cement 
rather than glue to build it. 

Tony was right about the disadvantages of the lock 
joints. I have no explanation for the fact that the 
components were made that way .... 

The changes we made were necessary because of the 
problems of traffic. I would say the original model 
was revised about thirty per cent. The entryway was 
all but eliminated, there were structural changes at 
the exit, and the passageways were widened. It was 
difficult .... To make one little change, you had to 
alter as many as thirty pieces. Each piece acts as a 
keystone. To widen one passageway took three or 
four hours of mathematical figuring— it had to 
support an overhead beam, etc. 

Despite the artist's reservations about the lighting of the 
work, based on photographs he saw of it, Lloyd felt It 
worked quite well. He said, 

I think the work did finally accomplish what Smith 
wanted it to. This was really due to the lighting. 
Originally, we had one bank of light— that wasn't 
good. We tore it out and re-lit it, with shafts. Tony's 




plan for lighting would have been too dim. People 
would have barged into walls. Sure, we made compro- 
mises, but It worked. 

The primary discrepancy which Smith felt existed 
between his initial conception of the work and its 
manifestation at Expo is expressed, aptly, in his words: 
I feel that it's a weakness in the piece that it appears 
so much like a building. I would rather have had . . . 
a greater diversity of spaces within, than the place 
actually has; and in that sense [more like] the way 
we think of a cave as hollowed out rather than 
something constructed as we would construct some- 
thing with stones or other masonry elements. I don't 
think of It as masonry, although I know that most 
people do associate it with masonry. 

In planning for the Los Angeles exhibition of the Expo 
works, we decided in April, 1970, to give over an entire 
plaza level gallery of the Special Exhibitions area for 
Smith's work. This comprises a larger area than allotted 
for any other work. Jane Livingston met with Smith, 
Lloyd and Marcin in New York In April, 1970, to discuss 

the sculpture for the Museum exhibition. It was under- 
stood by all of us that the work would be substantially 
different from the Expo structure. Tony was pleased at 
the prospect of having an extended space within which 
to work, chiefly because he wanted to design the struc- 
ture as a freestanding entity, with several points of 
access. To demonstrate the kind of configuration the 
overall sculpture would have, he formed his hand Into a 
crabbed, or grappling position, fingers down and bent, 
wrist high. He commented that given a larger, freer, 
space, he could accomplish a piece that would be much 
closer to his original cave idea than what was done at 
Expo. Smith and Bill Lloyd discussed the desirability of 
using a lighter and firmer material than corrugated 
cardboard, probably solid fibre board, and avoiding lock 
joints. Thus It was agreed that both Tony and CCA 
would virtually begin again In designing and fabricating 
the piece for Los Angeles. We requested that Lloyd 
supervise the work's construction. As we prepare the 
catalog for press. Smith Is working on his new model. 

Jane Livingston 



Robert Smithson 

Born Passaic, New Jersey, 1938 
Resident New York City 


In April 1969 we invited Robert Smithson to tour Kaiser 
Steel and American Cement. In May, he came to Los 
Angeles and went first with Gail Scott to Kaiser. Unlike 
other artists who were primarily interested in Kaiser's 
steel mill products and fabrication capability, Smithson 
directed his attention to the raw materials and processes 
used in the making of steel. The tour consisted of 
climbing through giant mounds of limestone, iron ore, 
coking and power coal and wandering through a vast 
yard of slag— the impure by-product of the steel making 

On May 22 Smithson and GS visited American Cement 
Company in Riverside where, again, the tour was un- 
usual. Previous artists had spent their time in discussions 
with research engineers of the Advanced Technical 
Center, but Smithson wanted to see the limestone 
mining facilities. Consequently, he joined a tour for 
company personnel into the limestone mine, was driven 
around the grounds and saw enormous stockpiles of the 
raw materials that go into making cement and concrete. 

Smithson's intention was to execute a work in one of 
the vast abandoned caverns inside the mine, distributing 
masses of various earth substances— blue calcite, pure 
white limestone, etc. The corresponding part of the 
piece for the exhibition would be fragments of the same 
material dispersed on a site on the Museum grounds. 
Another idea was to construct a concrete building at the 
Riverside location and then demolish it; the Museum 
piece would consist of the concrete fragments. Smithson 
presented his ideas to Dr. Kenneth Daugherty, who was 
to discuss them with his superiors. The next day Smith- 
son presented us with several project drawings, including 
the "Dearchitectured Projects" for American Cement, 
and a distributional project for Kaiser Steel. [1,2] 

Ken Daugherty called us to say that American Cement 
had just experienced an upheaval in corporate manage- 
ment and was no longer likely to take any artist in 
residence, and Kaiser indicated its lack of interest in 
Smithson's proposals. 

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KarlheJnz Stockhausen Otto Piene 

Born Modrath, Germany, 1928 Born Laasphe, Germany, 1928 

Resident Koln-Bayenthall, Germany Resident New York City 


Early in 1969, we consulted with Lawrence Morton, the 
Museum's Curator of Music, on the possibility of inviting 
a musician-composer to work in A & T. At least one 
corporation, Ampex, was available and capable of 
providing sound equipment of various kinds. Lawrence 
Morton recommended that we contact the German 
composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and offered to write 
to him for us. Morton outlined for Stockhausen the 
nature of the program, and inquired about his interest in 
and availability for participation. The composer was at 
that time living in Madison, Connecticut, and from there 
he replied on February 15, 

. . . one of my projects is to make open-air events 
together with Otto Piene, the German founder of the 
light-ballet in the ZERO group. We intended to work 
together for the World's Fair (Expo 70), and as there 
is— at least for the moment— too much inner-German 
politics involved, we are looking for the next chance. 
He is ... at M.I.T. as a member of the visual research 
group of artists and has done several open air shows 
on large fields with helium-balloon sculptures that 
are blown up, carried, directed in their movements 
with the participation of the public under his 
guidance, and especially at night the whole quality of 
his events becomes extremely beautiful. The balloons 
(of strange shapes, also changing in shape) are filled 
with colored gas, and huge light projectors are criss- 
crossing through the air and playing with the bal- 
loons. Some are 1200 feet long: they make wonderful 

We have met several times during the last months, and 
what we want to do is this: combine sound (on 
multi-channel tape) with the movements of his 
air-sculptures in a really meaningful polyphony. I 
would produce the sound material on tape in my 
studio, but in order to perform this material in 
reaction to the sculptures, I would need various 
electronic equipment, and Ampex could indeed 
provide it. Piene and I could perform together and as 
often as desired (2-3 times per week). We could do it 
in a place where the sound does not disturb others 
(small air field, large plaza or whatever is good for the 
public). I am not disturbed by airplanes. 

Please tell Mr. Tuchman, he would really have a 
wonderful thing, if he can get Piene .... 

In March, we arranged to have both Stockhausen and 
Otto Piene come to Los Angeles to discuss setting up a 
series of performances, of the kind described by Stock- 
hausen in his letter, to take place at the Museum during 
the time of the A & T exhibition. The two artists spent 
several hours looking at the Museum site and environs, 
and found a particular area of the park, to the North and 
East of the Museum buildings, suitable for their events. 
At this point, having ascertained that both Piene and 
Stockhausen were interested in doing the series of per- 

formances and were willing to come to Los Angeles for 
three or four weeks at the time of the exhibition to 
prepare them, our problem became that of finding, on 
the one hand, the company or companies to supply and 
assemble the elaborate sound equipment Stockhausen 
required, and on the other to find some way of procur- 
ing Piene's giant balloons. We went to considerable 
lengths to resolve these problems. In Piene's behalf— he 
wanted several huge, colored ballons to hover, secured 
from the ground, at heights of up to 50 feet— we ap- 
proached Goodyear and Allied Products; none of our 
investigations were fruitful. Stockhausen's requirements 
were written up by us so that we could attempt to find 
means of fulfilling them (Ampex had by this time indica- 
ted that they were not able to take on the project, since 
much of the equipment needed was not manufactured 
by them). The statement of the composer's needs is as 

Sixteen outdoor speakers with individual amplifiers 
are required. To give an estimate of the power of one 
speaker in relationship to the space it has to fill with 
• sound, in my experience a capacity of at least 400 
watts per speaker is necessary. 

Twelve of the speakers will be mounted on high 
towers arranged to circumscribe an oval-shaped area 
of about 600 feet long by 400 feet wide, and four of 
the speakers will be suspended in the central area by 
moored, helium-filled balloons. 

For the reproduction of sound, two four-channel tape 
machines are needed with one-half inch or one inch 
tape. The two machines will be used only for play- 
back, not for recording. Each of the four channels of 
each machine will be connected to an individual 
group of speakers. Both of these four-channel ma- 
chines should be continuously variable in speed within 
a minimum range of two octaves (e.g. 3%" to 15" per 
second). The speed control should be provided by 
two generators with continuously variable frequencies 
driving the motors, and special amplifiers. The two 
four-channel tape machines could be installed inside 
the Museum buildings, although the sound projection 
will take place in the outdoor environs of the 

In order to control volume, rhythm and pitch, a 
control console is required. For this console, eight 
sliding potentiometers are needed (like the 
MAIHAK-W66C type which is used in all German 
radio studios) for the eight independent sound chan- 
nels that are pre-recorded on the two four-channel 

At the inputs of the eight potentiometers, eight push- 
buttons with an on-off function are needed so that 
each channel can be interrupted by depressing the 



At the inputs of the eight potentiometers, eight push- 
buttons with an on-off function are needed so that each 
channel can be interrupted by depressing the corre- 
sponding button. Each pushbutton should be mounted 
on a coil spring, so that the sound is interrupted only 
while the button is held down (comparable to a Morse 
code device). When each pushbutton is manipulated, the 
on-off transition should not produce any click. The eight 
pushbuttons are played with two hands (eight fingers) 
by the performer, in order to produce rhythmic pat- 
terns, and the same eight figures are manipulating the 
eight potentiometers (distanced approximately like 
piano keys). The same console houses two generators 
(placed one to the right and one to the left of the eight 
potentiometers), controlling the speed of the two four- 
channel machines. Attached to each of the generators 
should be a knob with 180 degrees turning radius, with a 
semi-circular, marked chromatic scale of 25 steps for 
two octaves, each step being a minor second in pitch. 

point within one of the circles of speakers, 
two opposite speakers of that circle must 
add up to approx. 1 1 phon. 

Point 5. From sine waves to white noise, covering the 
whole harmonic spectrum in between. 

Point 6. The area of the park, i.e. 600 by 400 feet; 
this was agreed upon in Los Angeles and 
Piene would certainly not agree to the plaza 
area in front of the museum. If the above 
mentioned area (600' x 400') is the park, 
then no space outside of it will be required. 

Point 7. Stockhausen has never worked on a project 
of this nature and magnitude before, espec- 
ially what concerns the diffusion of sound 
over a large area outdoors; perhaps Altec- 
Lansing 9 foot speakers are suitable. 

The control console will be installed in a control tower 
in the center of the area surrounded by speakers. The 
console should have eight inputs for the eight channels 
and sixteen outputs, two parallel outputs per channel. 

A meeting was held at the Museum with several gentle- 
men from the J.B. Lansing Company, a company called 
Medico Electric (a subsidiary of Ampex) and the 
Langevin Corporation, in order to obtain technical ad- 
vice on the quality and type of speakers and other equip- 
ment, including the console, and to perhaps solicit the 
companies' participation in the undertaking. The result 
of that meeting, essentially, was to demonstrate that the 
expense and complexity of this apparently simple proj- 
ect were unexpectedly great. 

On the basis of this meeting, we wrote to Stockhausen 
for more precise information to use in projecting an 
estimate for the equipment. The reply, written by a 
friend of the composer's, Rolf Gehlhaar, indicates the 
magnitude of Stockhausen's intentions: 

Stockhausen asked me to answer your letter: 
Point 1 . The complete loudspeaker system should 
effect a loudness comparable to that of a 
large orchestra, ca. 100-1 10 phon (the noise 
level of the traffic on the surrounding streets 
lies, as you know, fairly high, about 60-70 

Point 2. 20-15,000 Hz. 

Points. 40-10,000 Hz. 

As the project evolved, we realized that there would 
necessarily be as many as six or seven different compa- 
nies involved in seeing it through, and no one corpora- 
tion was in a position to coordinate the process, or take 
special proprietary interest in it. Under these circumstan- 
ces, we were unable to proceed. 

Point 4. The SPL must be great enough so that a 
sound that is to be heard moving between 
only two loudspeakers can actually be 
perceived as doing so; this means that at any 


Born Athens, Greece, 1925 

Resident London 


In February, 1969, after MT had visited him in New 
York, Takis wrote to advise us of an invention called 
"Sea Oscillation" which he had developed over the past 
year with the assistance of Professor Ain Sonin of MIT. 
Takis inquired if we had in A & T a corporation capable 
of excuting his proposed work. He sent the following 
description of the device, its origin and practical uses: 
In its actual state [this invention] is an object of art, 
thought of by Takis 1957 in Venice. The object itself 
has been executed by Takis, Prof. Ain Sonin, and 
Prof. Sonin's assistant. From Takis' observations in 
Venice comes out that indeed the sea moves (oscil- 
lation) even in the calmest day. Takis observed that 
the cargo-boats, loaded with bricks and stones in the 
Venice channels were moving up and down without 
any visible waves on the water surface. Takis thought 
that this was an interesting perpetual energy which 
could be exploited to set in motion a disk and then, 
why not use that motion to generate electrical 
power? Takis proposed his idea to Prof. Sonin in 
March '68 in Cambridge. Prof. Sonin agreed and 
stated that the sea indeed oscillates perpetually. In 
fact there are records existing about the differences 
of oscillation from every sea on earth, which [vary] 
in the lengths of frequencies and in numbers per 
minute. Therefore we have a perpetual force which 
we could make evident by creating a device, sensitive 
enough to activate from these oscillations. The 
device, tested in a part of the Boston harbor (Oct. 6, 
1968) successfully, rotated a disk perpetually. The 
device in the actual state has 6-13 turns per second. 
By adapting a sensitive dynamo it could generate 
electricity between one and six watts. The novelty of 
this device is that, floating in the sea it activates two 
bodies in a different rhythm. One body consists of 
the main float, where its own mechanism is attached 
together with a weight to keep it upright. The genera- 
tor could be adapted to this mechanism. The other 
body consists of a smaller float, as light as possible, 
attached at the end of an arm. The length of this arm 
could be [varied] , according to the length of the 
sea-oscillation, and by consequence this float would 
move independently and in a different rhythm from 
the main body. The axle of a gear is attached which 
winds up the gear. When the main body moves, it 
moves the gear on its axle. When the second body 
moves, the gear moves in the same direction by its 
own device. The gear winds up a spring which, on a 
certain point, releases and transmits its own power to 
a free cylinder which is free from the gear and turns 
with a speed which depends on the power of the 
spring. The mechanization of the gear and the cylin- 
der is known in simple mechanics. The novelty of this 
invention is the fact that this cylinder is set in motion 
by two independently activating bodies through the 
oscillation or the waves of the sea. The practical 
application of this device could be for many uses: 

For charging batteries, for transmitting directly 
radio-signals, for light-houses, for illumination of 
buoys. The main body could be attached on a boat or 
floating free into the sea; it could be fixed at the 
shore (in that case we would have only one body to 
activate the gears) and having, as a body, a mobile 
counter-weight. The device, executed in a bigger scale 
could generate much more electricity to illuminate 
villages around shores. The possibility of creating 
electricity with this device has been confirmed by the 
top engineer-designer of Syivania Corporation, Mr. 
Donner, by Prof. Sonin and also in an interview 
between Prof. Schapiro and Takis by CBS-Television. 

Takis and Prof. Sonin made a patent application. 

We found no company for Takis, but we have been 
informed by the artist's representative, the Howard Wise 
Gallery, that in 1969 "the Treadwell Corporation in 
New York agreed to undertake the development and 
Turning to Account of the Device for commercial 
applications as well as for objets d'art." 



TAKJ'i ^_ VEN'icB si 

Sea Oscillation. Venice 1957- 

Cambridge 1968 


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Soa Oscillation — Interpretation 
by Prolessor Ain Sonin, 
Cambridge 1968 

Cc^. ^^ 

Gerhard Trommer 

Born Germany, 1941 
Resident Wolpburg, Germany 


During 1969, Gerhard Trommer sent us two project 
proposals. One concerned colored neon tubes that would 
be activated by the flow of people In the street. Of the 
second, the artist wrote, "This idea is a color-coded 
highway. It is art for driving. I think that it is possible to 
use a highway or a main road near Los Angeles for about 
a length of 2000 meters .... The speed of the car shows 
the people the behavior of this color coded road." 

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James Turrell 

Born Los Angeles, 1943 
Resident Venice, California 

Victor Vasarely 

Born Pecs, Hungary, 1908 
Resident Paris 


See Irwin section, page 127 

Before going to Europe in the Fall of 1968, MT wrote to 
Victor Vasarely in Paris to inform him of the A & T 
project, mentioning specifically IBM, and to arrange an 
appointment to see the artist in his studio. By the time 
MT met with the artist in October, Vasarely had written 
up a proposal for an art work involving computer tech- 
nology. The statement he formulated for us is as 

From my youth, impregnated with the teachings of 
Bauhaus, I have felt a strong attraction for the linear 
and corpuscular structures. My past studies, namely 
Tigres, Zebras, Martiens, and Echiquiers bear witness. 

In 1953 begins my Kinetic period in black and white 
where the structures are freely developed. At this 
time, my thoughts are taken up with the idea of a 
binary plastic language which could be introduced 
into an electronic circuit. 

Towards 1960, my method of plastic units exists in 
its final form, a method I have developed in numer- 
ous works and writings. The application of this binary 
black and white, positive-negative system to the wider 
field of colour and monochromic games revealed a 
mine of riches hitherto unsuspected. The Folklore 
Planetaire (1962), Permutational (1965) series and 
also the more recent 1966 structures based on the 
perspectivist and axonometric hexagon are represen- 
tative of this. 

I now have in my possession a matchless primer for 
combining plastic units and I become more and more 
involved in my studies in cybernetics. In fact, as of 
this period all my works are programmated; colours, 
tones and forms all being reduced to a simple code. 

My attention is drawn to the possibility of creating an 
electronic machine working in collaboration with 
persons specialized in this field. What a formidable 
and costly enterprise! My first contacts are encourag- 
ing but it is difficult to get assistance and the delays 
are long. 

But what exactly is this proposed device? It is a large 
lumino-cybernetic screen that can send out millions 
of different colour combinations. Practically speak- 
ing, in my mind I see a metallic box about 312.5cm x 
312.5cm with a depth of 10 to 20cm varying accord- 
ing to necessity. 

This box is subdivided into a net-work of 625 com- 
partments each measuring 12.5 x 12.5cm and each 
containing a circle 10cm in diametre. This structure 
of squares as well as the individual circles therein 
should be made of thin solid metallic strips about V^ a 
millimetre thick. This infra-structure contains the 
multi-coloured electric device which functions by 
electronics and a complementary rheostat. 


I Start with six basic colours, RED, BLUE, GREEN, 
MAUVE, YELLOW and GREY. Each colour is 
subdivided into 12 tones which makes 72 colour 
variations. Each individual compartment must be able 
to put out alternatively the 72 color variations. It is 
the perfect isolation of the compartments (and of 
course the circles in them) and the opaque screen that 
renders the tones clearly and makes them visible. 
Taking as a base any one of my programmations, we 
are now able to recreate the work and a countless 
number of other compositions the machine proposes. 
In this way, the limitations due to the artist's method 
of working in a studio would be overcome. 

There are enormous possibilities. Firstly, by filming 
the pictures projected on the screen, we can compile 
a repertory of composition references which is 
inexhaustible. The artist chooses among the best of 
the compositions the machine has proposed and then 
recreates the work in the form of a painting, a tapes- 
try, a serigraph, a fresco, a stage setting, a setting for 
a film or television. 

Without a doubt the most important of the possibil- 
ities the machine offers is that involving architectonic 
experimentations. The requirements are immense for 
the integration of plastic beauty in future construc- 
tions be it a question of urban or rural habitat or 
public monuments. Based on the Informatic and the 
Prospective, the prefabrication of polychrome ele- 
ments for architecture cannot be decided without 
bringing in cybernetics. This will interest many 
technical branches such as construction, chemical 
dyes, synthetics without mentioning traditional 
materials such as metals, glass, cement or ceramics. 

Lastly, thanks to our machine, we will be able to 
conduct human experiences of the highest impor- 
tance in the domain of Experimental Psychology. In 
offering this spectacle to the masses and in asking 
them to express their preferences, we will obtain 
statistic truth of esthetic values of an entire popula- 
tion. From this time on, art can freely enter the 
general circuit of production-consumption. 

MT returned to Los Angeles at the end of October, and 
immediately contacted Dave Heggie, our contact man at 
IBM, about Vasarely's proposal. IBM's initial response to 
the Vasarely idea was to convey definite interest; we 
hoped they would send an engineer to Paris to talk 
directly with the artist, but they elected first to study 
the written statement in terms of a cost estimate for its 
realization before involving themselves more deeply. The 
figure they arrived at was about $2,000,000; this was 
regarded as prohibitively high, and they declined to 
pursue it further. 

We then submitted the Vasarely proposal to RCA and 
Teledyne for study. RCA kept the matter pending for 
months without making a definite statement as to their 
possible willingness to execute such a work, and finally 
replied negatively, again on the basis of the expense 
represented. Teledyne analyzed the proposal carefully, 
and even suggested a way of executing the work which 
might be within reasonable technical means to pursue, 
but by the time this developed, that company was 
already in collaboration with Robert Rauschenberg. 

By the Fall of 1969, a year after our original connection 
had been made with Vasarely, we wrote to inform him 
finally that we were unable to elicit a commitment to 
fabricate his proposed work under A & T. 

Stephan Von Huene 

Born Los Angeles, 1932 
Resident Los Angeles 

Peter Voulkos 

Born Bozeman, Montana, 1924 
Resident Berkeley, California 


After hearing about A&T, Los Angeles sculptor 
Stephan Von Huene approached us with a particular 
request for technical assistance. For some time he had 
wanted to execute a completely transparent musical 
sculpture, using a fluidic generating system running 
through glass components. The idea was to have music 
mysteriously emanating without visible mechanical 
movements. To design and construct such a piece he 
needed a corporation dealing in fluidic mechanics and 
having glass blowing facilities. We contacted Dr. Robert 
Meghreblian at JPL who informed us that although they 
were conducting experiments using fluidics, they had no 
facility for extensive production of glass components. 

Peter Voulkos, at our invitation, toured the Vernon 
plant of Norris Industries. He was impressed by their 
steel forming capabilities, specifically the enormous 
hydraulic presses for steel extrusion and numerous 
machine shops for other metal forming processes. 
However, he declined to work at the Vernon plant 
because of its involvement with military contracts; 
casings for nuclear warheads are one of the principle 
products of this Norris facility. We called G. P. Eichels- 
bach, Vice-President of the firm and our main contact, 
suggesting that another division might be a more suitable 
location for collaboration, in particular the Thermador 
division in Walnut, which manufactures porcelain and 
ceramic coated steel products. After checking with the 
manager of that division Eichelsbach agreed to make 
available the Thermador plant. However, when we 
informed Voulkos of this development, he was disin- 
clined to participate, due primarily to his teaching 

Andy Warhol 

Born Philadelphia, 1930 
Resident New York City 


By the end of 1968 several of the corporations contracted 
to A & T produced or used laser equipment and thus had 
the capability of making holograms. We had received 
several proposals from younger artists wanting to work 
with holography, but these struck us as being potentially 
uninteresting, too-literal approaches to a technique 
which, by its very novelty and exoticism, presented 
pitfalls. MT had for some time thought of this medium 
in connection with Andy Warhol. In February 1969, 
Warhol visited Los Angeles for several days and met with 
us to investigate corporations. We mentioned to him the 
notion of working with lasers to make 3-D images, and 
Warhol was distinctly intrigued. At that time, there was 
an exhibition of self-portrait holograms by Bruce Nau- 
man at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery which Warhol saw 
with us; Warhol seemed quite taken with Nauman's 
images, and this served for us as a reference point in 
visualizing the kind of effect he might pursue. 

We arranged for Warhol to visit RCA's Burbank division. 
This proved rather unfruitful in terms of concrete media 
that might be explored. Just before Warhol returned to 
New York, he and his entourage toured Ampex's Red- 
wood City facility accompanied by Dr. Charles Spitzer. 
The examples of holography available there were not 
particularly striking, especially in terms of scale. The 
most interesting aspect of that visit was a demonstration 
video tape recently produced by Ampex which showed 
various special effects in video cutting, etc. 

On Warhol's return to New York, we sent him some 
literature on holography and annual reports from Am- 
pex and Hewlett-Packard which he read. Andy then had 
constructed, at his expense, a series of mock-ups with 
which some sort of 3-D image might be combined. We 
had only a remote conception of what these were about 
until some weeks later when in April, 1969, Jane Living- 
ston went to New York and saw the three mock-ups at 
Warhol's studio. In one of them, small polyethelene 
particles were agitated in a circular motion by air blow- 
ers to simulate whirling snow flakes; this was encased 
between two glass faces embedded in an approximately 
six by eight foot rectangular wood frame. There was also 
a rain machine of similar size, but not enclosed by glass; 
it consisted of a simple pump system through which 
water circulated, falling in strands from apertures in a 
top section of pipe into a trough concealed beneath an 
artificial grass bed. The rain was side lighted to create an 
effect of sparkling beads. There was also a wind ma- 
chine, simply a wooden box encasing an air blower. Each 
of these was intended to work in conjunction with a 3-D 
image; behind the rain, for example, would be a holo- 
gram or video screen; the snow machine would incorpor- 
ate a holographic image in the center, through and 
around which the plastic flakes would circulate; the 
wind machine would vibrate and a 3-D holographic 
sphere would vibrate as well. At this point Warhol had 

no set conviction about what the images might repre- 
sent, and when pressed spoke vaguely about simple 
geometric shapes such as a sphere or cube. 

By the time Warhol was really committed to the project, 
the only contracted corporation able or prepared to 
execute an elaborate holographic display— Hewlett-Pack- 
ard— was already engaged in collaboration with Rockne 
Krebs. Even Hewlett-Packard could perhaps not have 
produced holograms in large enough scale for Andy's 
requirements. Thus we turned to investigate a medium 
recently seen on postcards— plastic 3-D printing— with a 
view to substituting this kind of image for holography in 
Warhol's project. 

In June 1969, Hal Glicksman, at the request of MT, 
made a study of various 3-D printing techniques. Ac- 
cording to Hal's report, dated June 17, 1969, 

The first commercial process for 3-D printing was 
developed by a Los Angeles inventor named Sam 
Leach who worked with Eastman Kodak and Hall- 
mark cards. The first process was called PID— Printing 
in Dimension. Hallmark now holds the patents for the 
process and grants licenses under the name Visual 
Impact. In this process the image is printed on the 
back of lenticular plastic. The lenticular plastic is 
made by Rowland Products, Inc. Rowland also makes 
patterned plastic with the appearance of depth called 
Rowlux. They do not do any 3-D printing themselves. 
Large, back-lit 3-D pictures are made by several 
manufacturers under license from Visual Impact. 
They require a very thick lens and are very expensive. 
The image is usually a transparency on film, not 
printed. These are made by Three Dimensionals Inc., 
3764 Beverly Blvd., L.A. 90004, Harvey Prever. 
(Mostly religious subjects sold door to door for $1.00 
each.) This process is suited to unique items and large 
sizes. Prever claims to have worked three by six feet; 
also Victoria Productions, 'Veraview,' New York. 

The Cowles Communications process is called Visual 
Panagraphics. Their representative is Stan Harper, 
presently in Boulder, Colorado, but will be at 5670 
Wilshire Boulevard, California, after July 10. Harper 
also knows a great deal about the other processes and 
people in 3-D. The Cowles process utilizes a similar 
camera, lenses, etc. to original Visual Impact process, 
but Cowles' process prints the picture directly on the 
magazine stock and then coats the image with plastic 
and embosses the lenticular screen on instead of a 
thick pasted on addition. It is also much cheaper in 
the million plus range of magazine printing. Stan 
Harper claims the next issue of Venture will be much 
higher quality because of new lenses and new 300 line 
screen. Harper will send samples and investigate the 
cost and feasibility of larger images. Cowles might be 
willing to sponsor us ... . 



There are several Japanese 3-D processes— all are 
variations of the Visual Impact (Hallmark) process. 
The Japanese cannot photograph in the U.S. because 
of U.S. Patents, but they can ship finished pictures to 
the U.S 

In late June, 1969, we made contact with Allen F. 
Hurlburt, Director of Design for Cowles Communica- 
tions in New York [1] ; Hurlburt had worked with 
Warhol in the past and was in principle enthusiastic 
about joining with A & T to collaborate with Warhol. 
From the beginning of our contact with Hurlburt it was 
understood that the project would be considered for 
display at Expo. Warhol, for his part, was definitely 
interested in the 3-D printing process, though it is of 
course entirely different from holography and required a 
rethinking of his work. Cowles joined A & T as a Spon- 
sor Corporation in July. 

Allen Hurlburt wrote to Andy Warhol on July 3, 1969, 
I have talked to Maurice Tuchman and he tells me 
that you are interested in working with us on the Art 
and Technology project. 

You have had a brief look at our Xograph facilities 
and whenever you are ready to make use of this 
equipment, I would like to work closely with you so 
that we can produce the effects you want. Cowles is 
also prepared to assist you in the construction and 
fabrication you may need to complete the art. 

If it would he helpful for me to come to your studio 
and go over the material at any time, I would happy 
to do so. 

On July 15, Hurlburt wrote to MT, 

Here's the signed contract for our involvement with 
you and Andy Warhol on Art and Technology. 

I have seen Andy's construction (the rain machine) 
and both he and Harold Glicksman have had a look at 
our facilities here. We are interested and anxious to 
use these facilities in any way we can. 

I am only concerned about one thing— the nature of 
Andy's project does involve outside construction 
which cannot be controlled by us. I would hope that 
we would only be required to spend a reasonable 
amount (a few thousand dollars) in this area. I don't 
wish to place any limitation on the potential of this 
work of art but I do hope there is a way of keeping 
this under control. 

I am very excited about the possibilities of this 
collaboration and we will make every effort to bring 
it to a successful conclusion. 


By August, when the collaboration had been officially 
underway for about a month, Warhol and Hurlburt had 
still not decided upon what kind of image should be 
depicted. Andy asked us to suggest ideas for images to 
him. The notion of using a flower, or flowers, to be 
photographed and repeated serially, was presented to 
Andy and Hurlburt. Andy liked the idea and decided to 
follow it through. Cowles then photographed a number 
of colored, plastic flowers against beds of artificial grass 
and plastic foliage, in various formats measuring about 
four by six inches. In September, 1969, a meeting was 
held at the Cowles New York office with Hurlburt, 
Warhol, David Sutton (representing the USIA Expo 
Design Team) and us. The 3-D flower photos made by 
Cowles for Andy to compare were shown, and one of 
them— four daisies against green foliage— was selected 
more or less on the basis of communal preference, with 
Warhol's agreement. [2] 

The following memo was sent September 19 from Allen 
Hurlburt to Messrs. Andy Warhol, MT, Jack Masey, Ivan 
Chermayeff, Don Dorming, Ron Glazer, David Sutton: 
Subject; Art and Technology Meeting 

Held Sept. 18, 1969 at Cowles Communica- 
tions, Inc. 

This meeting was held to review the progress on the 
A & T project, and to determine future plans in 
assisting Andy Warhol in the development of an art 
work for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
program, and the exhibition to take place at Expo 70 
in Osaka, Japan. 

Several photos taken in the 3-D process were exhibi- 
ted and one showing a group of four daisies was 
selected. It was agreed that this image would be 
reproduced in quantity. 

It was generally agreed that the images should be 
mounted on a curved panel behind the curtain of rain 
provided by the rain machine. There was some 
discussion about three options for the construction of 
final work of art. These were: 

1 . Construction of a mock-up In New York to be 
later duplicated in Osaka. 

2. Determination of a plan by experimentation here 
but without a mock-up. 

3. The development of a total construction in New 
York that would be transportable to Osaka and 
wherever else the art work might be exhibited. 

There was general agreement that the third alternative 
was best if problems such as costs, construction and 
mobility could be solved. It was agreed that Mr. 
Masey and Mr. Sutton would pursue the feasibility of 
this approach and procure estimates of its cost. 

In the meantime, Cowles Communications, Inc. has 
agreed to cover the cost and assume the risk of 3-D 
reproductions. We must receive and approve an 
estimated cost of construction. 

The rain machine through which the panels of 3-D 
images would be viewed, it was then agreed, would be 
contracted to the New York firm Today's Displays to be 
designed and built; Today's Displays would also design 
the panels themselves and secure the Cowles images to 

This letter was sent from Joe Grunwald of Today's 

Displays to MT, Sept. 26, 1969: 

As explained to me by Mr. Warhol and Mr. Sutton, 
there are three possible interpretations of the basic 
idea, the most economical of which would be a 
straight wall approximately 12' high x approx. 18' 
long, covered with three-dimensional photos provided 
to us. 

For this wall we have budgeted the amount of $2,000 
to $3,000. 

The next possibility would be a curved wall, approx. 
12' high and approx. 25' long. Again this wall would 
be covered with three-dimensional photographs 
provided to us. The budget for this would be $3,000 
to $4,000. 

The de luxe possibility would be to cover both walls 
of the 21' triangle or a total of 42', again 1 2' high, 
with zigzags of approx. 11" depth. These zigzags to 
be covered with three-dimensional photos provided to 
us. The budget for this would be $7,000 to $8,000. 

In addition to the above, is the 'rain machine' which 
would cover the 21' front of the area. Again there are 
various possibilities of realizing the basic idea. A 
minimum budget for this would be approx. $5,000.— 

However, due to complexities of possible require- 
ments in water pressure, use of one, two or three 
possible rows of jets and quantity of water involved, 
this item could go as high as $8, 000- $10,000. 

At various stages in the development of Warhol's project 
with Cowles, Andy prompted Hurlburt, Grunwald and 
us to develop alternative possibilities for the work. In 
each case— in the development of the photographic 
images, the rain machine and the constructed environ- 
ment for these— Andy would view the alternatives and 
choose among them. Andy continually placed us in the 
position of weighing the merits and disadvantages of 
numerous possibilities. Sometimes he would discard 
altogether our proposal— as for example, in the case of 
the rain machine, which we visualized as an enclosed and 




sophisticated mechanism, and which he decided should 
be presented crudely. 

In November 1969, MT met in New York at the St. 
Moritz with Warhol and Joe Grunwald. It was decided 
not to adopt any of the three proposals outlined in 
Grunwald's September 26 letter regarding the shape and 
size of the rear panel, but instead to build five separate 
panels, each four by eight feet. The key question was 
how to dispose the panels when the work was installed. 
Warhol was encouraged to make a series of drawings 
showing several possible arrangements of the panels, but 
he resisted having to work that way. He finally said to 
MT that he would prefer having the five units placed in a 
random arrangement, or, failing that, in simply a flat 
plane, abutting each other. It was agreed that MT would 
use his own discretion at installation time in placing the 
panels. The other important factor discussed in that 
meeting involved the rain machine. Warhol favored the 
idea of producing two parallel layers of water, and 
having the water move in a swishing manner, side to side, 
as opposed to creating a single screen of water pouring 
from a row of evenly spaced nozzles. Grunwald planned 
accordingly to execute the more elaborate, two-layered 



It occurred to Warhol at this time that he liked the idea 
of simply displaying the rain producing mechanism 
forthrightly, rather than encasing the pipes and trough in 
a wooden structure, as he had in his earlier small model. 

One of the artist's reasons for this decision had to do 
with his attitude about the 3-D printed images as such. 
He had said to IVIT, "You know, this 3-D process isn't all 
that glamorous or new or exciting." He wanted, there- 
fore, to present the images in conjunction with a naked, 
unembellished and inelegant structure so that they 
would reveal themselves— maybe perversely— in their 
rather vulgar and certainly imperfect quality. His original 
idea for the holograms, to be seen hazily through water, 
or snowflakes, or vibrating and out of focus, held over in 
his approach to the 3-D printed images: he had wanted, 
in his word, a "ghostly" effect. However, the reality of 
the situation by the time the daisy pictures and rain 
machine were visualized together, fell short of this vision 
of ghostliness. Warhol thus adapted his approach to a 
changed esthetic. 

Based on these decisions Today's Displays began work 
on the project. We felt it would have been helpful for 
them to build a mock-up for Andy's approval before 
constructing the final mechanism, but there was no time 
to do this and meet the Expo deadline. 

Perhaps the most important decisions determining the 
work's final appearance in the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 
were made not by Warhol but by IVIT, the Expo Design 
Team members, and some of the other artists in the 
show. The entire installation operation was characterized 
by a sense of crisis, and there were moments when the 
piece seemed simply destined to ignominious failure. In 
the end, somehow, it worked: many people and particu- 
larly the artists who were there installing their own 
pieces, felt the Warhol to be one of the most compelling 
works in the exhibition because of its strangely tough 
and eccentric quality. Robert Whitman commented that 
"of course Andy's forcing everyone into the act;" the 
work itself, when completed, made that conspicuously 
evident, and yet it was unmistakably Warhol. When it 
was rumored at one point just before the opening of 
Expo that the work might be taken out of the show, as 
was suggested by several of the Expo Designers and by a 
visiting critic who was conversant with Warhol's oeuvre, 
the American artists who by this time knew the piece 
intimately objected strenuously. 

Virtually every stage in the assembling of the work was 
problematic. The question of how best to distribute the 
five image-faced panels presented major difficulties. A 
"random" placement was tried and failed totally. At one 
point, they were to be arranged horizontally, one atop 
the other, in a single, flat plane; only four could be 
accommodated in the space, but this was judged to be 
the unavoidable solution, since the purpose was to 


de-emphasize a certain unevenness in the rows of images 
caused by faulty gluing. However, something seemed 
profoundly amiss, and was. The effect of three- 
dimensionality would have been completely lost, since 
the parallel, raised striations in the plastic segments, 
which create the visual illusion of depth, cease to func- 
tion optically when turned 90 degrees. Other alternatives 
were tried, and finally the panels were placed vertically, 
side by side, in a flat plane. The entire unit of adjacent 
panels was raised off the ground, at MT's suggestion, to 
create the effect of a hovering field of flowers. 

The lighting of the work was extremely difficult. In 
order to disguise the disturbing unevenness caused by 
the slight pulling-away from the panel surface of the 
edge of each segment, light could not fall directly on the 
panels. To illuminate the falling water ideally, the lights 
should have been mounted in two rows facing each other 
on either side of the sheets of rain, but this had to be 
avoided to prohibit an overflow of light from interfering 
disastrously with Lichtenstein's screens in the adjacent 
area. Finally the rain was illuminated from the top. The 
water thus could not be made to sparkle as intensely as 
might have been intended by the artist, based, at least, 
on his original rain model. 

It was not realized until the time of installation at Expo 
that the illusion of depth in the photographic images was 
apparent only at a distance no greater than from eight to 
ten feet. This understandably detracted from the impact 
of the work. An even more significant problem, how- 
ever, was the scale of the images. This was never resolved 
satisfactorily, and it was determined that in reconstruc- 
ting the work for the Museum exhibition, each identical 
image would depict not four but one greatly enlarged 
flower. IVIoreover, in developing new images for the 
second work, Cowles recommended that the 3-D effect 
be technically improved to allow the illusion to be 
discerned from a much greater distance— from eight to 
about twenty feet away. 

Jane Livingston 





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Robert Watts 

Born Burlington, Iowa, 1923 

Resident Bangor, Pennsylvania 

Martial Westburg 

Born Des Moines, Iowa, 1939 
Resident New York City 


In December, 1968, Robert Watts wrote, 

I would like to propose an aural-visual environment 
utilizing various sensing devices that would receive 
signals from inside and outside the Museum space. 
These signals can be arranged in such a way that 
various environmental 'senses' can be achieved, 
dependent upon source signals and additional man- 

In a letter of March, 1967 Martial Westburg proposed 
the manufacture of three tori. One of these is repro- 
duced with his suggestions for implementation: 

These signals would be collected at a master mixing 
console where further modulation could occur 
contingent upon the mass, number, and proximity of 
persons moving within the environment. 

The final display of signal— the 'sights' and 'sounds' of 
the mixed environment would be various and chang- 
ing and could be presented to the audience on con- 
ventional sound and display equipment such as TV 
monitor, oscilloscope, front and rear screen, and 
print-out devices, etc. Indeed, it would be possible for 
each person to carry home a print-out, a visual 
reminder, as it were, of his experiences with the 


Martial Westburg 

MEMO #1 


f- + 






Material: Nylon reinforced Neoprene 
Source : du Pont 
Fabricatora : Goodyear 
Color; Natural 

Contact: Phil Gaylord , Manager of New Products 
Goodyear Aviation Products Division 
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Corporation 
Akron, Ohio 

Robert Whitman 

Born New York City, 1935 
Resident New York City 


In October, 1968, after Philco-Ford had signed a Spon- 
sor contract (they later becanne a Patron Sponsor with a 
$7000 grant from the Ford Foundation), we visited their 
Aeronutronlcs Division at Newport Beach, Hugh Jessup 
and Dick Dickson of the Public Affairs Office described 
the defense research in radar, sensors and image proces- 
sing carried on at the Newport facilities. We toured 
chemistry, electro-optics and biophysics laboratories and 
met two physicists, John Forkner and IVlichael Doyle, 
who were enthusiastic about the A & T program and 
eager to work with an artist on a collaborative venture. 

They were helpful in suggesting areas and materials for 
potential use in an esthetic context: Doyle showed us 
several laser displays and liquid crystals, a heat sensitive, 
viscous material which reacts to temperature change by 
shifting from reddish pearlescent hues to deep blues and 
greens; Forkner told us of several optical coating ma- 
chines available in his section. 

During the next few months we considered a number of 
possible artists for Philco-Ford— John McCracken (who 
toured the facility), Robert Morris and Bruce Nauman. 
In February, we invited Robert Whitman to visit the 
Aeronutronlcs Division at Newport Beach. 

This visit is summarized in the following memo written 
from Gail Scott to MTon February 11, 1969: 

GS went with Robert Whitman to Philco-Ford. Met 
with Dick Dickson, Mike Doyle and Eli Reisman 
(another engineer). 

Bob has had experience with E.A.T. and is looking 
for a collaborative situation in which he would have 
extensive technical assistance and the 'TA' with 
whom he works would do all the engineering, pro- 
gramming etc. He has no preconceived idea for a 
project but wants to work with someone who is 
mutually stimulating. In other words he's looking for 
the right people with whom he could work, rather 
than (as with Bob Morris) wanting certain facilities 
for a specific problem. Whitman was, of course, 
interested in their facilities and equipment, etc., but 
the contact people seem to be crucial for him. 

Mike Doyle was (as usual) responsive and seemed 
interested in Whitman's description of Pond (at the 
Jewish Museum), Bob might want to use liquid 
crystals in some sort of environment which would 
also include mylar, mirrors, sound etc. 

John Forkner, the other physicist with whom we had 
talked on our first visit, was not available that day to 
meet Whitman, but we had advised Bob of Forkner's ex- 
pressed interest in the program. Largely on the basis of 
his interview with Mike Doyle, Whitman decided that he 
would like to pursue the possibility of a collaborative 
effort at Philco-Ford. Although he had no specific 

project in mind, we felt confident, given his past work 
and experience with E.A.T., and considering the scien- 
tists we had already met at the Newport division, that it 
would be a productive match. The company accepted 
him in residence without insisting on a project proposal 
in advance. In March he signed the contract and on April 
21 arrived in Los Angeles; he promptly located a house 
for himself and his family in Balboa, and went to work. 

In an interview recorded some months after his residence 
at Aeronutronlcs, Whitman recalled his first weeks there: 
I went out to Philco-Ford and after talking to them 
briefly, they introduced me to all the guys with 
beards. John Forkner was one of them; he had the 
longest beard .... So we talked. I had been interes- 
ted in optical types of situations before, and so we 
had some basic community of interest to get started 
with. [1, Whitman; 2, Forkner] 

Before meeting Forkner, Whitman had not been especial- 
ly interested in executing another project in optics, 
following his recently completed Pond, which incorpora- 
ted pulsating mirrors. Whitman later remarked, "Both of 
us wanted to escalate out of something we had already 
done but we naturally drifted back into optics." As they 
talked, they became engrossed in certain optical prob- 
lems which are described by Forkner in an article on his 
project with Whitman, written for the Journal of Ap- 
plied Optics: * 

The following fragmentary ideas he [Whitman] was 
playing with at that time indicated some of the 
directions in which he was searching: a method of 
focusing ultrasonic waves on a special wall so that an 
audible sound would seem to emanate from a local- 
ized area: a room environment programmed to react 
to the presence of people and to respond in a feed- 
back manner; ways of using real optical images to 
lead the viewer to re-examine familiar objects such as 
his own face. The ideas had some interesting repercus- 
sions. Commenting on the feedback room environ- 
ment, one of our scientists remarked somewhat 
caustically that it would make the viewer nothing but 
a robot. Being immersed in the idea. Bob hadn't seen 
the function of the room from this very human point 
of view, and was delighted to have a criticism of this 
depth. As a result, he re-directed his thinking about 
the whole problem. The real image ideas fell into my 
area of knowledge, as optical engineer, and I recall 
being puzzled by Bob's fascination with this seeming- 
ly trivial phenomenon. 

*To be published in the Spring of 1971 



Whitman later explained this fascination with such 

effects : 

I've always been interested in ghosts and spirits and 
weird things. I've been trying to do that for a long 
time— ethereal images. The whole thing about ethereal 
images and real images is that they are natural, and 
it's only just recently that the kind of technologies 
have been available that could do that. Before, I was 

1 ^1 


1 x ^W 


— ^^ ^jH^Bj 

doing films which had something to do with that. 
Then I got into the laser thing from doing movies, 
and I found by using a laser I could do it much better 
and easier than I could with movies. Then I found 
what I could do with optics— just another step along 
the line. 

Forkner proceeded to experiment along the lines of 

Whitman's thinking. His article continues. 

One day, having found a large spherical mirror of fair 
quality, I set this up on my desk and reached my 
hand toward the center of curvature of the mirror. 
[3, 4] The very realistic, three-dimensional image of 
my hand that seemed to come out of the mirror was 
so startling that I immediately showed this incredible 
effect to my colleagues who were equally amazed. In 
retrospect, what is surprising is my surprise. Real 
images as a phenomena are so venerable that the most 
ancient physics texts (natural Philosophy) show 
experiments to demonstrate the effect— including the 


famous 'rose in a vase' exhibit seen in many science 
museums. The difference, I think, results from my 
hand being a moving rather than a stationary object 
and the fact that it was my hand (the effect of 
touching the image of your forefinger without receiv- 
ing a touch sensation comes as a complete surprise). 
This little experiment proved to be crucial from my 
point of view, because, for the first time, I began to 
understand what the artist was trying to do. This 
turned out to be the actual beginning of the collabor- 
ation, because Bob was also now able to formulate 
technical questions resulting from evolving artistic 
Ideas. One weekend, shortly after that, his thinking 
had crystallized sufficiently so that he could state a 
definite problem. In an effort to restructure space in 
a visually exciting way Bob wanted an optical system 
that would image objects as though they were turned 
inside out— pseudoscopic imagery. He was especially 
intrigued by the possibility of seeing your face 
inside-out. Never having worked on this problem 
before, I wasn't sure that it could be done, but I 
remembered the pseudoscopic property of certain 
holographic images and realized there was at least 
some basis for the idea. 

Despite his doubts, Forkner continued to investigate the 
phenomenon of pseudoscopic imagery. While driving 
home from work one day he was struck by a possible 
method of creating the effect he envisioned. Noticing 
the red reflectors on the back of a car, he reasoned that 
he might be able to produce a pseudoscopic image using 
a series of small corner-shaped reflectors (similar in 
principle to those on automobile taillights) with a beam 
splitting mirror to extract the desired image. In an 
attempt to make such a corner-reflector device, and 
incidentally to call attention to the scientific uses which 
might arise from the project, Forkner sent the following 
memo to his Philco-Ford supervisor: 

If the concept proves feasible it might be constructed 
on a larger scale as a room with one wall covered with 
molded, plastic, corner-reflector, mirror tiles and a 
large Mylar film, beam splitting mirror stretched 
diagonally across the room. Someone standing at one 
door of the room would see a real image of a person 
standing at a door in the adjacent wall, and the image 
would appear to be only a few feet from him and 
turned inside out! It should be a really startling 
illusion, and would be especially interesting tech- 
nically due to the relation to current work in holog- 

To construct a small scale version of the device in 
order to check feasibility, and to investigate this 
Illusion— which I suspect has never been observed 
before with real physical objects (holograms are only 
static, photographic images)— it is proposed to make a 
special, accurate mold from which a number of 

plastic corner reflector plates can be generated. I have 
done some initial design investigation including ray 
tracing and estimating resolution (diffraction effects, 
tolerances) and from this arrived at the tool design 
shown in the attached sketch. This tool can be made 
in the research model shop, preferably by one of the 
better model makers because of the accuracy re- 
quired. The plastics lab could then use the tool to 
emboss plexiglass or similar acrylic sheet into the 
desired reflector plates. 

The results of his first attempts to construct this device 
were unsatisfactory, and Forkner decided instead to try 
to locate a commercially made product. After consider- 
able scouting and detective work, he found a reflecting 
device (manufactured by the Stimsonite Division of the 
Elastic Stop Nut Company) which, unlike most similar 
devices, had small enough corner cubes for his purposes, 
with the required accuracy of reflection. As Forkner's 
account explains. 

Samples were quickly procured and after experimen- 
ting with methods of scanning to supress the cellular 
pattern of the array (using a rotating turntable), we 
actually were able to see live pseudoscopic images. 
Using even smaller corner cubes (about .060 inch), 
the resolution improved to the point where cups 
could be turned inside-out and a spherical ball ap- 
peared as a concave hollow space. We were shocked, 
however to find that very familiar objects such as a 
hand, would not invert— except occasionally in an 
ambiguous way. With the hand oriented so that your 
thumb was aligned in front of the gap between two 
fingers, the top part of the thumb often appeared to 
be behind the fingers and looked as though it were no 
longer connected to the lower part. This strange 
result had also been observed by Wheatstone [a 
Nineteenth Century scientist] we later found out, 
and is evidently intimately connected with the 
psychology of visual perception and pattern recogni- 
tion by which the mind reconstructs the object, 
despite what the eye actually sees. Thus the hope of 
seeing depth-inverted faces seemed remote. This 
rather fundamental difficulty as well as the potential 
cost of constructing a wall size pseudoscopic mirror, 
led us to temporarily set aside this idea in order to 
concentrate on the possibilities of real images, which 
we had played with earlier. 

In experimenting with the real image effect, Forkner set 
up a somewhat primitive arrangement consisting of a flat 
short focus mirror and a long focus spherical mirror to 
observe the real image of one's face in side view. The 
experiment proved startling; to see the reflection of 
one's own face, viewed from the side and appearing to 
float in space as a solid image, is a most disconcerting 
phenomenon. Extending the principle of this effect. 
Whitman reasoned that to present familiar inanimate 



objects in this extraordinary optical context would be 
equally disorienting and compelling. He and Forkner 
also discovered that heat radiated by an electric heater 
could be focused to coincide with the precise location of 
the optical image, so that the "ghost" image of the 
heater, hovering in space, would actually be hot to the 

During the first three weeks of June, while Forkner 
proceeded with his experiments. Whitman designed the 
room in which the optical effects would be experienced. 
The environment was to consist of a spiral-shaped, 
enclosed space twenty-five by thirty feet in dimension. 
[5] As Forkner says in his article. 

Within this space he would encounter ten real-image 
displays as follows: The electric-range heater we 
experimented with earlier, as well as the ice cube 

display; an image of a microphone, the counterpart of 
which would be electrically connected through 
sound-modifying circuitry to a transitor radio, which 
in turn would be optically imaged at another part of 
the room (thus exploiting the sound-focusing proper- 
ties of curved mirrors); a rag; a continuously flowing 
column of water, viewed from below; a face mask; 
and, finally, a pair of locations utilizing the mutual 
imaging of two viewers' faces through the medium of 
the pseudoscopic, corner-reflector array mechanism- 
ten display situations in all. To further complicate 
matters. Bob wanted most of the displays to have a 
zoom feature in which the real images would appear 
initially to be remote from the viewer and then rather 
quickly to rush forward and appear to pass through 
him. In this. Bob hoped to use the idea of the vari- 
focal mirror employed in an earlier work, Pond, in 


which he collaborated with Eric Rawson of Bell 
Telephone Laboratories. He wanted these real-image 
displays to appear in the space above a special wall 
consisting of an array of six inch corner cube reflec- 
tors extending from the floor of the room to about 
six feet above this level. The viewer would see himself 
in these corner reflectors illuminated under chance 
circumstances by one of a number of parallel columns 
of light emanating from large, Fresnel lenses in the 
ceiling of the room. He would see literally thousands 
of images of his face (the size of the reflectors and 
the viewing distance being such as to so limit his 
view), inverted and extending horizontally over the 
entire extent of his field of vision. [6] 

By the end of June the design for an optical environ- 
ment was completed and drawn up in blueprint. It was 
immensely ambitious, and would be costly to construct 
and install. However, we felt that the project was formi- 
dably impressive, and were most anxious to see it real- 

To the end of encouraging Philco-Ford to carry out its 
construction, on June 25 MT, GS and Dr. Richard 
Feynman went to Newport to meet with John Lawson, 
President of the Philco-Ford Aeronutronics Division. 
Forkner and Whitman attended the meeting to present 
and explain the designs they had drawn. MT stressed the 
technical and esthetic breakthroughs already achieved by 



the project; Dr. Feynman commented favorably on 
certain of its technical aspects, and expressed interest in 
the visual phenomenon. Despite our efforts, Lawson 
declined to commit additional Philco-Ford funds to 
build the room. His decision was final, and did not allow 
for negotiation. Needless to say, we were intensely 
disappointed. Four days later Whitman returned to New 
York, but before he left we agreed to seek technical and 
financial support elsewhere, primarily from funds 
provided by our Benefactor corporations. 

We were seriously considering the work for the Expo 
show. After several discussions with USI A designers the 
plans were extensively revised. The spiral shaped room 

which accommodated only one entrance-exit opening 
was not practical for the Fair situation with its massive 
crowds. Forkner and Whitman agreed on an alternative 
design for a more open, semi-circular layout with six 
(later reduced to five) large mirrors and faced with 1 ,000 
corner reflectors running along the lower wall surface. 

Over the summer Forkner continued to study the 
concept of the large spherical mirrors, attempting to find 
a method of achieving the desired optical effect without 
resorting to expensive polished glass processing. He 
worked with reflective Mylar, stretched over a circular 
frame and drawn into a concave shape with a partial 

- ; 


^ ' i 



■ 1 • -- 




— u. 


vacuum; this method at first produced excessive distor- 
tions in the reflected image, "due partially to non-uni- 
form tensioning of the Mylar during mounting and also 
due to more fundamental non-linear stress distributions 
inherent in the geometry." Abandoning the use of 
spherical mirrors, Forkner experimented instead with a 
pair of cylindrical mirrors to generate the same focusing 
effect as a sphere. Forkner explains, 

I reasoned that since two cylindrical lenses can be 
crossed to approximate a spherically symmetrical 
lens, an analogous arrangement of mirrors should be 
possible. The usual problem, of course, is that mirrors 
tend to get in the way of each other. I tried several 
configurations to get around this, and the best 
seemed to be two circular cylindrical mirrors. The 
focal length for this arrangement is the same in both 
planes, and aberrations are minimized. In fact, when I 
subsequently ray-traced the system, the results 
indicated that the size of the image of a point source 
was limited only by the 'spherical aberration' of the 
upper mirror in the horizontal plane, while the 
'cross-talk' aberration in the vertical plane was quite 
small, even for large apertures. I was surprised that 
this system could theoretically perform this well— it 
would be more than adequate for our purpose. 

After much trial and error experimentation, Forkner 
evolved a means for constructing the cylindrical frames 
and a method for applying the reflective Mylar. The two 
sections of mirror frames (each measuring about five by 
seven feet) would consist of curved plywood ribs over 
which a plywood sheet would be glued. The surface 
would be sanded with a specially made fitted tool to 
achieve a perfectly smooth surface. Over this, one-eighth 
inch metallized acrylic sheets would be fastened with 
double faced masking tape. Forkner made a working 
model for this plan. [9] 

In October, after searching for a means to construct the 
cylinder and corner-reflector mirrors, a member of the 
USIA's design team recommended that we approach a 
New York based company called Today's Displays, an 
installation and display company in New York. The 
firm's president Joseph Grunwald visited the Philco-Ford 
plant to see Forkner's model and agreed to undertake 
the project, following the above-described procedure. 
Today's Displays was contracted to build the corner 
mirrors and the large curved mirrors, while Forkner 
continued to develop and construct the varifocal mir- 
rors, control units, and vacuum pumps. This equipment 
was to be placed out of sight above a false ceiling in the 
installation. The vari-focal mirrors served as an inter- 
mediary directing device between each object and the 
large cylindrical mirrors. Without them the real objects 
could not have been hidden from view. Philco-Ford now 
limited its support to allowing Forkner the time and 
materials needed to complete this part of the project. 

Because of limited available funds, it was decided to 
abandon temporarily the one mirror which would 
produce the pseudoscopic device; we hoped to find some 
means to include it in the exhibition at the Museum. At 
this point, it seems likely that we will be able to do so. 

As reports came in from Today's Displays, Forkner 
expressed concern that the mirrors would not be satis- 
factory and stressed the need for precision in building 
the structure support. He had already made several trips 
East to consult with Whitman on various developments 
in the project, and in November he went to New York to 
inspect the work in progress at Today's Displays. As he 
had feared, the support structures were inadequate— the 
reflected image was not nearly precise enough. Forkner 
telephoned MT to say that the optical effect simply 
would not work and that Today's Displays should cease 
working on the units. 

This was again a disheartening setback, and we felt we 
had reached an impasse. But with characteristic persis- 
tence and ingenuity, Forkner proceeded to develop yet 
another construction method. He wrote. 

When I settled down from the shock of this new 
failure, I realized that my own assessment of the 
required accuracy of the mirrors was too optimistic 
.... I reasoned that at a point when you examine a 
real image, you are actually looking at two spots on 
the mirror (whether spherical or cylindrical), and 
these spots have a diameter and a separation deter- 
mined by eye separation and pupil diameter and the 
ratio of observer to image and observer to mirror 
distances. The diameter of the instantaneous spot 
actually used on the mirror is small enough (less than 
1") so that accuracy of curvature is fairly easy to 
hold in this case. The really difficult problem comes 
from the need to hold accuracy over the much larger 
eye separation distance (about 10" at the mirror, 
typically). Errors in this instance cause distortions in 
the apparent depth dimension of the image. The 
distortions in the image shape which these large scale 
errors also cause are even more serious since they 
appear so obvious when you look at the images. To 
get a feeling for the magnitude involved, I considered 
an object whose largest dimension is about 10" and 
which is imaged at unity magnification. I assumed 
that a bulge of about one-fourth over a three inch 
portion of this image might be acceptable. Assuming 
an eleven foot effective radius of curvature of the 
mirror, this corresponds to an angular error of about 
1 .8 milliradions. The three inches in the image dimen- 
sion corresponds to a ten inch span on the mirror and 
over this span the assumed angular error is equivalent 
to a deviation from a true circular curve of about 
.002 inches. The way I interpreted this result was that 
if you use a three-leg spherometer with a span of ten 
inches to measure surface errors, the maximum 





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J. F.^oR.v:vJ€.iZ_ 




allowable deviation as shown by the dial indicator 
should be no more than double the calculated devi- 
ation of .004 inches. Notice that this is a smoothness 
requirement and does not imply that the radius of 
curvature of the mirrors need be held to tolerances of 
this magnitude— which would have made the project 
nearly impossible. With this new insight into the 
tolerances needed for an acceptable image, I began to 
understand the difficulty we were having in construc- 

In order for Forkner to achieve the degree of precision 
described above, he decided to substitute masonite for 
the plywood surface. (The softer material could be 
ground much more smoothly than wood.) This was done 
on the four foot model and the results were encouraging. 
He invited us to view a test set-up. Because of USIA 
deadlines, we had been waiting anxiously for some 
breakthrough, and as a result of the successful test 
situation, we were now optimistic that the project could 
progress. Building the model had demonstrated that the 
construction theory would work; however, only one 
month remained in which to build five double sets of 
huge mirrors before all materials had to be shipped to 

To accomplish this immense task Forkner enlisted the 
help of his church group, the Laguna Beach Unitarian 
Fellowship. They borrowed building space in an empty 
Laguna Beach grocery store and began work under his 

direction, with the technical help of George Quinn, a 
man of great professional versatility who supervised the 
operation. The Fellowship members were assisted by 
various friends, and whoever else wandered into the 
store out of curiosity and was willing to help. The 
history of what transpired in that Laguna Beach store 
between January 2 and February 9 constitutes an 
important part of the Whitman-Forkner saga. It was a 
Herculean undertaking, as is indicated in John Forkner's 
detailed account which follows this discussion on p. 353. 

After witnessing this extraordinary cooperative en- 
deavor, we agreed to recompense George Quinn for his 
supervisory assistance, to defray the cost of certain 
carpentry work that had to be subcontracted, and to pay 
a rental fee for the building space. 

The mirror frames, the internal mechanism (vacuum 
pumps, varifocal mirrors, and special lights), and the 
corner mirrors from Today's Displays were shipped to 
Osaka in early February. Philco-Ford authorized a leave 
of absence for Forkner to supervise installation at Expo. 
The installation of the environment was a tedious 
process. It would have been impossible to accomplish 
without Forkner's thorough knowledge of every stage in 
the operation. Whitman was involved in E.A.T.'s construc- 
tion of the Pepsi Cola Pavilion at Expo and depended 
completely on Forkner to execute his A & T piece. 

The Expo spectator, upon entering Whitman's darkened 

: — 1\— ^-- : LAi>p«^ Acee?k -"--Afi^ 


environment and standing under one of twenty-four 
ceiling light fixtures (each a 100-watt, incandescent lamp 
located at the focus of a ten-inch diameter plastic 
Fresnel lens), saw one thousand images of his own face 
reflected in the corner mirrors. Looking up, he saw, as 
he moved across the area, five successive pairs of images, 
projected by each of the hidden cylinder mirror systems. 
In other words, the "ghost" image of each object would 
suddenly appear in space as one of the miniature spot- 
lights in the ceiling switched on; the image (unlike an or- 
dinary mirror reflection) was seemingly detached from 
any reflecting surface, and as the mirrors began to pul- 
sate, would advance toward the viewer, then disappear as 
the light shut off. 

The items selected by Whitman were all familiar, com- 
mon objects— an assortment of organic and man made 
things: a clock, an artificial fern, a pear, a cabbage, an 
electric drill, a brick [10] , a knife, a wad of crumpled 
paper, and a tank of live goldfish. The experience result- 
ing from this unique combination of optical phenomena 
is one of mysterious visual disorientation. This sensation 
is mainly owing to the incongruity between the type of 
images used— the intimacy of one's own reflection or 
the utter familiarness of the objects— and the feeling of 
unreality occurring in the observed situation. To see one 
thousand images of one's own face, discrete and isolated 
from the surrounding persons, is in itself startling; but 
coupled with the evanescent appearance and disappear- 
ance of strangely hovering objects, the experience 
becomes even more extraordinary. 

At the time of this writing, plans are underway to 
develop the environment for exhibition at the Museum 
through structural and technical modifications. The 
pseudoscopic device will probably be included as one of 
the five or six types of image projections. In addition 
Whitman and Forkner are re-designing the room itself so 
that the lower section (the corner-reflector mirrors) and 
upper area (the object projecting mirrors) will combine 
to effect a more unified visual experience. One way to 
accomplish an increased coherence will be the transfor- 
mation of each object into a second form; for example, a 
cabbage could appear and seem to move toward the 
viewer; as it disappeared it would gradually change into 
the shape of an electric drill. 

Gall R. Scott 







X - 

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V \y > ' 


The construction of Robert Whitman's mirrors 
in Laguna Beach, California. 


December 23, 1969 

Mr. Tuchman, in desperation, gambled and accepted my 
proposal to consign fabrication of the cylindrical mirrors 
to the Laguna Beach Unitarian Church Fellowship. I 
approached Allan Christiansen, who, in addition to being 
a close friend and an engineer, was also the Chairman of 
the Fellowship. I discussed the possibility of the Fellow- 
ship building the mirrors as a group money-making 
endeavor. If Allan had been less than enthusiastic, the 
whole project might have failed at this point. But he, 
like I, had tremendous if somewhat irrational faith, that 
the membership could, under my constant guidance, 
construct five sets of mirrors even though a professional 
outfit had failed. 

Allan and I then decided we must find one full-time 
supervisor to handle the multitudinous problems of vol- 
unteer work schedules and the vast ordering of materials. 
George Quinn, a member of our Fellowship, who most 
recently had been supervisor for Laguna's new commun- 
ity playhouse, and had formerly worked with volunteers 
in constructing a summer camp, was unexpectedly avail- 
able and quickly accepted our offer. [1 ] We could 
hardly believe our good luck. 

January 4, 1970 

Byron Ritchy, the owner of Microtechnical Industries in 
Laguna and a very good friend of one of our members, 
put at our disposal rent-free, a huge vacant, barn shaped 
structure known forevermore as The Barn. It was about 
7000 sq. ft., and once had been a supermarket. The idea 
of the project so far had hit everybody— Allan, George 
and Byron Ritchy— as great right off the bat. Byron, who 
is an engineer, really enjoyed the whole scene. As a 
measure of faith he let us take out the front windows, 
front wall, inside wall, and immovable structures of his 
barn and put holes in concrete floors. Later Byron, on a 
business trip to Japan, waited four hours in line to see 
the exhibit. He was quite moved. It had been worth it. 

Every night for the rest of the week Allan, George and 
met and discussed budget and organization. Allan 


sketched the whole thing out nail by nail and screw by 
screw. He estimated a cost of $7,000. In actuality we 
spent $8,000, and the Fellowship profited by $2,000. 
During the day George had been buying materials and 
organizing the barn. He subcontracted to a quality furni- 
ture builder the most precise job— that of cutting hun- 
dreds of plywood ribs to an accurate circular arc. There 
were to be two sets of wooden parts. One for the five by 
seven foot mirror, and one for the seven by seven foot 

We then planned to make five sets of mirrors, but actual- 
ly made six. Fortunately by a slight compromise I was 
able to make the radius of curvature of the two frames 
identical— eleven feet. Therefore the builder was able to 
make a single fixture to do the fussy operation of accur- 
ately cutting this radius. He held to within .010 inches 
of the design curve by using marine glue plywood, 
because of its low warpage and uniform density. By 
doing this we had transformed the whole job into that of 
assembling rather spectacular kinds of kits. This made 
the work of a sort that we hoped could be handled by 
our group. 

We spoke of building a motorized sanding machine to 
assure the accurate cylindrical shape of the masonite 
surface. We dropped this idea, hoping that my model— a 
two-man sandpaper lapping tool— could do the job. If I 
had known everything that would eventually have to be 
done, I could never have started. From the beginning I 
was in a constant state of panic. We had set January 31 
as our goal. 

January 1 1 

We had our first organizational meeting in the barn. Riva 
Morton, the Program Chairman of the church, who had 
wandered into the barn the Friday before, mostly out of 
curiosity, contacted sixty members for the meeting. 
That Friday we knighted her official Personnel Director, 
and she continued for the duration of the project as 
George's and my executive secretary.* At that meeting 
George outlined the work involved, and I described the 
art-technology history of the mirrors. 

Eddie Sturm, a retired bookprinter, intellectual, and 
amateur photographer was there avidly taking pictures. 
His usual dour expression was gone. George had appoint- 
ed him official photographer of the project. He daily 
took dozens of pictures, developed them, and then 
mounted our reflections on the wall for us to see. We 
could order prints for $1 .00 apiece. 

January 12 

Production began. Fifteen people came in two's and 
three's. No one quite knew what was required. George 
very quickly had some nailing, some measuring, and 
some stacking materials. There was work for everyone. 
No one was turned away. Our supervisor welded dancers, 
teachers, rock and roll musicians into an efficient task 
force of carpenters, gluers, and sanders. He sent Winnie 
Palmer, a famous writer of children's books, under the 
pen name of Winifer Wise to buy very special glue for 
sandpaper. After fruitless searching for hours, she came 
back with ordinary paper cement. It worked fine. 

In the afternoon came Felicia O'Connell, who teaches 
French at the University of California, Irvine. George as- 
signed Felicia the task of making signs. Within an hour 
workers were warned of dire results if they did not put 
tools away and keep off certain areas. The signs never 
stopped. They eventually became an important factor in 
the spirit at the barn. 

In a small side room there was coffee, cake, and fruit 
juice. George outfitted this "office" with a Salvation 
Army rug, my patio chairs, and an antique drafting 
table. It was quieter than the main room and we often 
met here for special conferences. 

At seven o'clock that evening George's estranged wife 
Ruth interviewed me for a story in the local paper. She 
did a thoroughly professional job. Throughout, our press 
coverage was excellent. We averaged two articles per 
week. A local reporter of our most right wing paper 
handed Riva his best Leica. He instructed her how to use 
it and sent her off to cover a barn happening. He had 
first met her when she walked into his office fifteen 
minutes before. 

*She also assisted me in writing this account. 

Our doors opened at 10 a.m., and closed after midnight. 
George kept the barn going seven days a week and 
stayed on if a single person wanted to work. Dependable 
work crews assembled in just a few days. There was the 



early afternoon crew of Felicia O'Connell, French 
teacher; Winnie Palmer, writer; Nota Chari, physical 
therapist, and Greek exile; Jan Babcock, local artist, and 
Barbara Jones, art historian and print maker. Both Jan 
and Barbara also worked later shifts side by side with 
their husbands. Jan's husband, Norm, was the local nar- 
cotics police officer, a role which estranged him from 
most of the local youth in Laguna. At the barn he en- 
joyed a different role. He taught members of the 
church's youth group woodworking skills and then 
patiently worked side by side with them. Riva's seven- 
teen-year old son, Eric, said, "It's great to be with Norm 
and not feel paranoid." In the late afternoon students 
and housewives came. After dinner salesmen, teachers, 
and engineers worked. Allan worked night after night, 
along with Ayda Brunnell, an electrolysist and our very 
competent treasurer. We amassed that week about thirty 
steady workers; some came for artistic reasons, others to 
practice their technical skills, and others for the sense of 
companionship that the barn afforded. We often drank 

attached at two separate points on the rib. Misalignment 
of rib with respect to this line was corrected by gently 
tapping the rib up or down against the clamping force of 
the steel tie rods. 

Allan was our stern, unbending master. He had the final 
say on whether the alignment was within the proper 
tolerances. Pressed by the lack of time I was angered by 
his demand for precision. Later George told me, "I 
would get so mad at Allan I could kill him, but that's 
O.K. I guess . . . conflict's O.K. when there are sparks 
. . . and there were." In the final analysis we all benefit- 
ed immeasurably by Allan's tenacity. In fact, the project 
never would have worked without him. 

After Allan approved the ribs, temporary nails were driv- 
en through the side rails in the ends of the ribs. After 
this the ribs were permanently attached with flathead 
wood screws driven in by a variable speed electric drill. I 
never quite got used to the ease and vigor with which un- 
trained women handled the drill. 

beer and listened to music while working long into the 
night until total exhaustion overcame everyone. The first 
major task was building work tables and some assembled 
fixtures. Once the assembled fixtures were available we 
used them to stack the curved ribs horizontally. 

January 13 

The first shipment of ribs arrived. We nailed spacer 
blocks on each side to maintain a uniform gap between 
the rib and ultimately to provide an intermediate 
support for the rib. Two half inch diameter steel tie rods 
equal in length to the long dimensions of the frame were 
then threaded through the ribs. Nuts on the ends of the 
rods were then tightened to clamp the rib assembly to- 
gether. Plywood side rails about fourteen inches deep 
were then attached to the ends of the ribs with flat-head 
wood screws. A very tedious part of this operation was 
precisely aligning all of the ribs with respect to each 
other, so as to define a single smooth cylindrical surface. 
We did this alignment by using carpenter's chalk lines 

The frame was now rigid enough (all joints were glued in 
addition to the fasteners) so that we could transfer it to 
another assembly location for attachment of the front 
and back coverings. The back, quarter inch thick ply- 
wood, was installed, first using nails and then glue. For 
this joyful, noisy operation George usually gathered 
everyone available in the barn— men, women and 
children. They pounded some two hundred nails in wild 
rhythm. While the glue was setting we prepared the nine- 
sixteenth inch thick masonite sheet for the critical front 
surface that was eventually to support the mirror mater- 
ial itself. The masonite was also to be nailed and glued to 
the ribs, but due to the somewhat brittle nature of this 
material (which was an advantage in the final sanding 
operation) we had to pre-drill and countersink holes for 
each nail— three hundred fifty holes per frame. We also 
had to drill another two hundred small holes to pro- 
vide passage for the vacuum that would hold the plastic 
in place. Since the available size of masonite sheet was 
too small to cover the entire frame, we had to butt two 


sheets together at the center— two ribs having been set 
close together to support the joint. Both George and 
Allan, though polite, were somewhat critical of my 
choice of masonite as a sanding material. I therefore was 
very anxious to see the sanding results of the first five by 
seven frame. 

I was victorious! At the end of the week Jane Living- 
ston, Associate Curator, Gail Scott, Assistant Curator, 
and James Kenion from the Museum came to check their 
financial investment and see our first finished five by 
seven mirror. George put up scaffolding so they could 
view the mirror from above. They were flabbergasted at 
our speed and technical competence. 

Everything was going well with two more weeks to go. 
Our supervisor was working out beyond my wildest 
imagination. My constant state of panic was beginning to 
ease, even though one night Riva and I half-seriously dis- 
cussed where I could hide (Bali, the Sahara) if the 
project failed. A feeling of euphoria was replacing my 
tension. Unfortunately it was only temporary relief. 

The sanding on the small frames was going slower than 
the six hours I had anticipated. Felicia's and George's 
signs ("Sanding Improves Rhythm," "Sanding Builds 
Busts," and "Sanding Brings Good Karma") were inspir- 
ing. They brightened up the barn, but didn't improve 
our sanding record. The first of the large mirror frames 
had just reached the sanding stage. A couple of days 
were needed to smooth it to a reasonable accuracy. 

George pressed Riva to get more personnel and to set up 
work schedules around the clock. She gave a party for 
the high school in an effort to get some volunteers and 
failed. George related, "Walter (Riva's rather large 
husband) and I pushed that thing back and forth for an 
hour. I wore him out and he wore me out, and I knew 
we were in trouble." 

The barn was getting quiet and sad. Twelve more days to 
go. A crisis conference was called. We decided to spend 

money and time and effort to build a sanding machine. I 
chose the most dramatic model I could design. [2] I was 
so tired I remember thinking that at some point, they 
wouldn't need me, and I could take a rest. 

The first night's work on the sanding machine was frus- 
trating. George forcibly sent me home at one o'clock so 
I could start fresh the next day. I still had to go to my 
regular job at Philco-Ford, and I had all the other objects 
to design for the final installation in Japan. The next day 
I drove to L.A. to get the gears; that night I was so 
exhausted I couldn't figure out what I had bought. 
George sent over a young man, Richard Berryhill, a 
machinist, to help me. He had read about us in the news- 
paper, and had stopped to see if we needed help. He 
came back carrying a case of tools. His timing was in- 
credible, and the beautiful part was I didn't have to 
explain anything. He knew exactly what went with 
what, and he had the right tools. Five of us, inspired by 
Richard, worked until five in the morning. He sensed our 
appreciation and he realized how much we needed him. 
After all, how many times in your life can you be such a 
hero! We didn't quit until that huge mechanical mon- 
strosity worked. The source of power was a one horse- 
power electric motor, whose speed was slowed down to 
about two rpm through a home-made speed reducer in- 
corporating a "V" belt pulley from a defunct washer- 
dryer and a collection of chain spocket wheels. This 
mechanism drove a three foot crank arm to which a fif- 
teen foot long wooden connecting rod was attached, 
with a pivot bearing. The connecting rod communicated 
to the top of an enormous vertical wooden arm eighteen 
feet long, hinged two-thirds of the way up to supports 
on the building roof trusses. This arm doubled the 
stroke length so that we could cover the seven foot 
mirror frame. I felt like Rube Goldberg, my child- 
hood hero. The sanding machine was a project 
within a project. It produced a tremendous uplift. The 
sanding millstone was off our necks. 

At this point Bert Altemis, who had just finished the 
orals for his doctorate in psychology, came armed with 
sleeping bag. He made sure the sanding machine was 
manned sixteen hours a day seven days a week. A Japan- 
ese flag and an American flag decorated the machine 
along with a Felicia-made sign which read. 

Sandman's Lullaby 

Cherished Sandman 

Bring us our dream 
Make these the smoothest 



We've ever seen! 

Pilots of this Keen Machine 

Who helped us with promises to keep 

And sanded miles and miles before we all can sleep! 



January 24 

Riva, who was completely enamored of the machine, 
threw a huge party at the barn in the machine's honor. 
Her son's rock band blasted over the noise of the sand- 
ing. Fifty people came and had a great time. 

We had lost one week. Our original goal was only seven 
days away. Realizing it was impossible to meet this dead- 
line, I asked for an extension to a shipment date of Feb- 
ruary 9. It was granted. 

Time was still critical, and energies were running out. 
Yet George felt we should take out time to build a small 
model of the Japanese installation of the mirrors to keep 
up people's enthusiasm. George was sure people wanted 
to see a facsimile of the final project. Actually the 
project had proceeded on two levels: the intellectual, 
technical design and problem-solving level; and the 
emotionally exciting group construction effort. George's 
thing was the group effort. It was only halfway through 
the project that he realized we were trying to hold .002 
inch to .004 inch. He was frustrated with something he 
couldn't physically see with his eye. But he knew his 
public. The model worked. A Los Angeles Times report- 
er, Lael Morgan, wrote a brilliant feature article which 
accurately caught our spirit. She and her photographer 
were impressed by the model. Two days later Jim 
Cooper, a well-known TV reporter, and his crew, moved 
in. They spent five hours preparing a six minute pro- 
gram. Our model was an important part of the show. We 

were receiving so many visitors now that George ap- 
pointed five hostesses whom I briefed to answer all ques- 
tions and keep our guests out of the workers' way. In- 
stead of losing workers, we picked up new ones. 

We had one and a half weeks left, and most of us were 
very tired. Sanding around the clock we were able to 
finish the frames with enough leeway to do some testing 
of the final results. Using our homemade spherometer 
we found that with about five hours of sanding we could 
achieve a smoothness of .002 inch over the ten inch span 
of our measuring device, measured along the curved di- 
rection of the frame. Along the straight direction of the 
cylinder the errors were somewhat larger— as high as .006 
inch in places, probably due to the difficulty we had in 
holding alignment between ribs in the initial assembly 
operation. The final test was to install the plexiglass mir- 
ror sheets together with the vacuum system to hold this 
material in place. The first tests were already encourag- 
ing, showing much smoother images than in my proto- 
type model. We became very aware of the tolerances we 
were trying to meet when we noticed that some visually 
prominent local bumps in the mirror could be traced to 
nearly microscopic specks of dirt trapped between the 
mirror sheet and the frame. Cleaning finally had to be 
finished by using our bare hands to feel out and remove 
these specks. Another more serious source of distortion 
turned out to be due to local non-uniformities in the 
paint that the mirror manufacturer used to protect the 
rear surface of reflective aluminum film. Small runs in 










this paint layer, which were probably only a few thou- 
sandths of an inch high, had to be removed by hand 
sanding with a very fine grade of emery paper so as not 
to sand through the reflecting coating. The last stages of 
testing were done with complete sets of upper and lower 
mirrors so that the quality of the real images could be 
examined. (It was very difficult to assess the individual 
mirrors because of the peculiar nature of cylindrical 
images.) We did a crude kind of Foucault test on the set 
of mirrors in which one's nose was the source and the 
iris of his eye the knife edge! This strange test proved 
sensitive enough to show all the effects of dirt, paint and 
excessive vacuum. We decided that two of the mirrors 
had some unacceptable rib-to-rib distortions, and re- 
turned these to the sanding operation. Since we had 
assembled one extra set of mirror frames, we left the 
worst pair for sanding during the shipping operation— to 
make use of the sanding machine before disassembly. 

February 7 

George had promised Riva he would have most of the 
frames packed, the mirrors crated, and the floor cleared 
in time for her final Saturday night party. George's op- 
timism, at times, is not to be believed. Not only was he 
not ready, but he drafted Riva and her party crew to do 
the packing. By 8:00 P.M. everyone was so tired, the 
idea of a party was painful. But I had invited the whole 
town to free wine, food, and live music. I made a point 
at 7:30 P.M. of asking Riva to locate a special Chinese 
ink pen in order to have people sign a guest sheet. She 
nodded incredulously, too tired to complain, and our 
hundred guests signed with a plain pen. Good feelings 
ran high. Eddie Sturm took pictures of all the party- 
goers. There were free rides all night on the sanding 
machine. The barn rocked out for the last time until 
three in the morning. 

February 8 

The next day we felt a great letdown. We packed the 
crates morosely and in silence. On each crate was sten- 
cilled "To our Japanese brothers, with love." George was 
the most thorough packer I had ever seen. Thanks to 
him everything arrived in Japan in one piece. Even the 
mirrors, in a box that looked like it had been dropped to 
the ground from thirty feet, arrived undamaged. 

February 9 

It rained furiously. We put the crates on the truck and 


Why had the project succeeded? To begin with, Laguna 
is an ideal sized town with a population of 1 1 ,000. Visi- 
tors dropped in because they were just walking by and 
were curious. Publicity also helped and word spread 
quickly. Some began to feel this was not just a Unitarian 
project, but a Laguna project and non-Unitarians like 
Richard Berryhill came. 

In the middle of the project I realized that only a few 
understood the scientific details and could care less. 
Only Allan and I cared. Occasionally when we had tech- 
nical snags to unwind like the rib alignment problem, I 
felt everyone was saying "I wish they'd hurry up and get 
over their hang-up so we can go back to doing our 
thing." Most, however, sensed the intrinsic value in the 
project, primarily the value of process. The barn had a 
good feeling of warmth and community, and the sub- 
tasks were simply organized for success. Another value- 
one that I've never before vocalized but, of course, 
knew— was the sensual aspect of physical work. Every- 
one enjoyed the hammering, gluing, sanding, and even 
the menial task of sweeping and cleaning the bathrooms. 

John Forkner, August, 1970 

William T. Wiley A&T 

Born Bedford, Indiana, 1937 
Resident Woodacre, California 

William T. Wiley met with us in Los Angeles to discuss 
the possibility of his participation in A & T. We de- 
scribed Norris Industries and two divisions of Dart In- 
dustries: Riker Labs and Syroco, and gave him corpora- 
tion literature to study. In a telephone conversation a 
few weeks later, Wiley indicated that he was not suffici- 
ently interested in any of these companies to pursue the 
matter, and at the time we had no other company to 
offer him. 


361 Participating Corporations A&T 

American Cement Corporation 

American Standard 

Ampex Corporation 

Bank of America 

Container Corporation of America 

Cowles Communications, Inc. 

Cummins Engine Company, Inc. 

Dart Industries 

Eldon Industries, Inc. 

The Garrett Corporation, Life Sciences Dept. 

Gemini G.E.L. 

General Electric 

Hall Inc. Surgical Systems 

Heath and Company 

Hewlett-Packard Company 

Hudson Institute 

Information International 

International Business Machines Corporation 

International Chemical & Nuclear Corporation 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

Kaiser Steel Corporation 

Kleiner-Bell Foundation 

Lear Siegler, Inc. 

Litton Industries, Inc. 

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation 

Mifran-Bowman Corporation 

Norris Industries 

North American Rockwell Corporation 

Pan American World Airways 

Philco-Ford Corporation 

The RAND Corporation 


Teledyne, Inc. 

Times Mirror Foundation 

TRW Systems Group of TRW, Inc. 

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation 

Universal City Studios, Inc. 

Universal Television Company 

WED Enterprises, Inc. 

Wyle Laboratories 

American Cement Corporation 

American Standard 


American Cement Corporation was formed in 1958 by 
consolidation of three cement companies in California, 
Michigan and Pennsylvania. Acquisition of Pascoe Steel 
Corporation led eventually in 1968 to a management 
shakeup from which Pascoe's president emerged as 
American Cement president. Another acquisition, Ted 
Smith Aircraft, brought heavy losses. American Cement 
now owns a new ski resort, Snowmass-at-Aspen, and a 
company that makes swimming pools and mini-bikes. 
American Cement is one of a handful of top cement pro- 
ducers which have established research centers: 
American's Technical Center near Riverside, California 
began by examining cement's structural characteristics, 
but in the last year has turned to researching possible 
new applications with other structural materials. 

Patron Sponsor 

See: Jean Dubuffet, Sam Francis, Philip King, Jules 
Olitski, Robert Smithson 

American Standard manufactures and internationally 
distributes building products including plumbing fixtures 
and fittings, residential and industrial air conditioning 
units and heating and ventilation equipment. The com- 
pany's major subsidiary, Mosler Safe Company, special- 
izes in industrial security systems, data storage and re- 
trieval equipment and office furniture and accessories. 


See: Sam Francis 


Ampex Corporation 

Bank of America 


Ampex Corporation was founded in 1944 to develop 
new radar technology. Since then it has found itself in 
races with other high-technology companies: with Japan- 
ese companies in audio and video tape recorders and 
with American companies in consumer products like cas- 
settes and 8-track tapes. Ampex makes 16-track record- 
ers for the entertainment industry, memory cores for 
computers, video tape systems for UHF television 
stations. In Los Angeles, the Sheriff's office uses an 
Ampex system to view fingerprints over television. The 
Vietnam war has slowed Ampex's probe into even more 
sophisticated research in information storage and 

Bank of America is the world's largest non-government 


Bank oi Am^rtrct 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Frederick Eversley 

See also: Michael Asher, John Chamberlain, Frangois 
Dallegret, Sam Francis, Hans Haacke, Philip 
King, Les Levine, Robert Morris, Jules Olitski, 
James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol 


Container Corporation of America 

Cowles Communication, Inc. 


Container Corporation of America is the nation's largest 
manufacturer of paperboard products. Its parent com- 
pany, Marcor, Inc., was formed in 1968 to combine Con- 
tainer Corporation and Montgomery Ward. Container 
Corporation makes shipping containers, folding cartons, 
fibre cans, paper bags and a pulp used for packaging and 
shipping many commodities including food products, 
automobile and petroleum products. 

Patron Sponsor 

Cowles Communication, Inc., is one of the largest con- 
sumer-magazine publishers, with Look magazine. Cowles 
is also involved in newspaper and book publishing, radio 
and TV broadcasting. It pioneered three-dimensional 
printing with its Xography process. 


Artist in residence: Andy Warhol 

Artist in residence: Tony Smith 
See also: Oyvind Fahlstrom, Les Levine, Jeff Raskin, 
James Rosenquist 

Cummins Engine Company Inc. 

Dart Industries 


Cummins Engine Company Inc., has branched out from 
its Columbus, Indiana headquarters to a network of 
plants and sales offices, all producing or selling diesel 
engines, in Ohio, Australia, Nassau and Tokyo. Engines 
for boats, trucks, busses, and industries like logging and 
farming still make up all but about ten percent of 
Cummins' sales. The company also makes automotive air 
conditioners, air and oil filters, and rebuilds its own 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Jean Dupuy 

Dart Industries, formerly Rexall Drug & Chemical Com- 
pany, gradually expanded into consumer products such 
as Tupperware tableware, West Bend Cookware, 
Thatcher glass bottles, and Babcock-Phillips cushions 
and pillows. These products now make up most of Dart's 
profits, the rest coming from Rexall products. Dart sold 
to 3-M Corporation rnost of Riker Laboratories, a 
higher-risk operation, along with Riker's British propri- 
etary drug outlets, but saved Seamless Company, a Riker 
producer of hospital supplies. 

Patron Sponsor 

See: John Chamberlain, Jeff Raskin 




Eldon Industries, Inc. 

The Garrett Corporation 


Eldon Industries, Inc., specializes in electromechanical 
toys and sells about a tenth as many toys as Mattel, 
located in the same city, Hawthorne, California. Eldon is 
the largest manufacturer of electrical hand soldering 
tools, and also makes underwater sports equipment. 


See: Jeff Raskin 

The Garrett Corporation's specialty has been designing 
high-performance jet engines for military aircraft, but in 
the last few years Garrett (a subsidiary of The Signal 
Companies) began receiving contracts to produce jet 
engines for American, German and French business air- 
craft as well. For future rapid transit systems, Garrett 
has experimented with a Linear Induction Motor which 
would power 250 mph trains. Its Life Sciences Depart- 
ment developed environmental control systems (temper- 
ature, pressure, air purity) for all NASA space vehicles. 
Its simulation of weightlessness helps research into long- 
life space missions. Though Garrett applied Its environ- 
mental control to commercial aircraft, government con- 
tracts still make up half of the company's sales. 

Patron Sponsor 

Artists in residence: Robert Irwin, James Turrell 

See also: lain Baxter, Len Lye 

Gemini G.E.L. 

General Electric 


Gemini G.E.L. is a publishing house that commissions 
major contemporary artists to produce limited fine art 
editions. It was originally formed in 1965 as a hand 
lithography worl<shop and became additionally a work- 
shop for research operations and the creation of dimen- 
sional objects, along with a gallery space. The staff of 
Gemini collaborates with some twenty manufacturing 
facilities around the world. Gemini has published over 
three hundred multiples, both two- and three-dimension- 
al, by Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, 
Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Kenneth Price, Josef 
Albers, Ctaes Oldenburg and many others. 


Artist in residence: Claes Oldenburg 

General Electric, besides making lamps and consumer 
appliances, is involved in manufacturing industrial equip- 
ment and in aerospace and defense technology, areas 
which make up three-fourths of its worldwide sales. It 
makes jet aircraft engines, equipment for nuclear reac- 
tors, and computers. (The competitive large-computer 
market led GE and Honeywell to propose a merger of 
their computer divisions.) Besides its other aerospace 
and defense contracts, which included Apollo equip- 
ment, GE has its own think tank, called TEMPO, which 
runs seminars on nuclear weapons and studies economic 
development for underdeveloped countries. At Nela 
Park, Ohio, G.E. Lamp Division operates a Lighting 
Institute with seminars in demonstration rooms for 
architects and engineers; the facility also researches new 
lighting technology and produces components such as 
glass and metals. 

Patron Sponsor 

See; Ron Cooper, Dan Flavin, James Seawright 

Hall Inc., Surgical Systems 

Heath and Company 


Hall Inc., Surgical Systems, grew out of a product which 
oral surgeon Dr. Robert Hall invented in 1963, an air- 
driven, highspeed hand drill used for surgery. Hall 
adapted the turbine driven instrument for neurosurgery, 
orthopedic surgery and microsurgery. It is sold world- 


Artist in residence: Wesley Duke Lee 

Heath and Company, owned by the New York Electrical 
contracting firm Fischbach & Moore, Inc., is one of the 
top ten electric sign makers in the U.S. The Los Angeles- 
based company produces metal and plastic signs for 
hotels, markets, drug stores, and car lots. 


Artist in residence: Oyvind Fahlstrom 

See also: John Baldessari 

Hewlett-Packard Company 

The Hudson Institute 


Hewlett-Packard Company's principal products are elec- 
tronic measuring instruments which classify solid, liquid 
and gaseous chemical compounds, measure electrical 
variables, and record medical and biophysical data. 
Besides making other devices used in ultrasonic detec- 
tion and in data processing (desk-top calculators, time- 
sharing systems), Hewlett-Packard is also heavily in- 
volved in defense equipment: radar, guided missile 
control, nuclear research. 


Artist in residence: Rockne Krebs 

The Hudson Institute was founded by Herman Kahn 
after he left the Rand Corporation. It receives most of 
its funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense 
for studies on political and economic problems of 
foreign underdeveloped countries, for studies on strate- 
gic U.S. defense systems, and for a substantial number of 
classified studies on military technology and counter- 
insurgency warfare. Like many non-profit think tanks, 
the Hudson Institute has begun to concentrate more on 
domestic economic development problems such as urban 
transportation and planning, and poverty. Studies of 
economic and political models projected a few decades 
ahead resulted in a book by Kahn and another Hudson 
researcher, Anthony J. Wiener, called The Year 2000: A 
Framework for Speculation. 




Artist in residence: James Byars 


Information International 

Internationa! Business Machines Corporation 


Information International, is one of many companies 
specializing in computer peripheral equipment and is the 
principal producer of equipment which can read graphs, 
maps, print, microscope images, and telescope images 
and translate them into computer language. The com- 
pany also makes computer microfilm systems (which 
translate computer language into visual images), thereby 
joining much larger, established competitors like Kodak, 
3-M and Stromberg DatagraphiX. It is one of a handful 
of computer companies experimenting in animating 
those visual images for scientific research and engineer- 


Artist in residence: Jackson MacLow 

See also: Wesley Duke Lee, Eduardo Paolozzi 

International Business Machines Corporation is still the 
monolith of the computer industry; IBM usually sets 
computer selling and maintenance trends by example, 
although many smaller companies are finding specialized 
programming markets where IBM can't go. Its subsidiary 
World Trade Corporation, which computes hotel rooms 
in Japan, rainfall in Mexico and stock prices in Germany, 
symbolizes how rapidly the world is being computerized. 
IBM computers are used at the Houston Manned Space- 
craft Center and aboard the Apollo spacecraft. IBM's re- 
search explores new kinds of information storage, but 
IBM also still makes small business machines like type- 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Jesse Reichek 

See also: Jackson MacLow, Eduardo Paolozzi, Victor 

International Chemical and Nuclear Corporation 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory 


International Chemical and Nuclear Corporation, located 
in Pasadena, sells pharmaceuticals, radio-active isotopes, 
health and beauty aids. Its nucleic acid research institute 
explores memory, learning and aging processes. 


See: John Chamberlain, Mark di Suvero 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, operated by the California 
Institute of Technology, is the center of advanced re- 
search and planning of U.S. space programs, and its level 
of activity consequently depends on NASA funding. JPL 
was project manager for the Mariner flybys past Mars, 
and is managing the Grand Tour past Jupiter, Saturn, 
Uranus and Neptune in the late 1970's, as well as what- 
ever space programs NASA can fund in addition. JPL's 
primary job besides this has been deep space radio tele- 
scope probes and spacecraft tracking, but it continues a 
good deal of research in physical sciences (theory of rela- 
tivity), electronics and telecommunications. It is doing 
studies on applying space program organization to social 


Artist in residence: Newton Harrison 

See also: Michael Asher, James Byars 

Kaiser Steel Corporation 

Kleiner-Bell Foundation 


Kaiser Steel Corporation, largest steel producer on the 
West Coast and tenth-largest in the country, operates its 
own coal and ore mines (including some in Australia and 
British Columbia) for use in its twelve mills in Fontana, 
California. Kaiser's mill and fabricated products have run 
into competition with Japanese imports, which now 
makes up a fourth of the steel available on the West 
Coast. Kaiser has entered the modular and pre-fabricated 
housing field. Along with Kaiser Aluminum and Chemi- 
cal, Kaiser Steel jointly owns United International 
Shipping Corporation. 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Richard Serra 

See also; Frangois Dallegret, Mark di Suvero, Philip 

King, Len Lye, Jules Olitski, Robert Smithson 

Kleiner-Bell Foundation is endowed by Kleiner, Bell & 
Company, a well known West Coast brokerage firm. 



Lear Siegler, Inc. 

Litton Industries, Inc. 


Lear Siegler, Inc., primarily manufactures support equip- 
ment and systems for several industries: axles and auto 
diagnostic centers for the auto industry, guidance sys- 
tems for aircraft and weapons, air conditioning and heat- 
ing units for mobile homes, and maintenance centers for 
aircraft. In Europe and the U.S., it is one of the largest 
auto seat manufacturers. It also makes Bogen hi-fis and 
Olympic televisions, and operates twenty -eight technical 
schools in the U.S. Its main technological development 
goes into aerospace (including some Apollo guidance 
equipment), but some research has led to a six-way 
bucket seat adjuster for 1970's cars. 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Robert Morris 

Litton Industries, Inc., is a large conglomerate with a 
solid foothold in military contracts. Litton builds sub- 
marines, amphibious assault ships, and advanced 
guidance and fire control systems, selling the latter to 
Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada as well as to the U.S. 
Litton also makes Royal typewriters and Profexray 
X-ray tables, is the country's largest builder of paper and 
pulp mills, sells technical books (American Book Com- 
pany) and manufactures laser crystals. Its Stouffer 
Foods sent food with Apollo, while another subsidiary. 
Western Geophysical, explores the world for petroleum. 
Research in microcircuitry (one step beyond integrated 
circuits) is tailored to the military market. 

Patron Sponsor 

See: John McCracken, Boyd Mefferd, Robert Morris, 
Vjenceslav Richter 

Lockheed Aircraft Corporation 

Mifran-Bowman Corporation 


Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, the nation's number one 
Department of Defense contractor, has long been a 
leader in military aircraft. In that position it has been 
particularly vulnerable to critical attitudes in Congress 
and the Pentagon. It produces the C-5A, world's largest 
aircraft, for the Air Force, and is developing advanced 
anti-submarine aircraft for the Navy. In the commercial 
market, it makes the L-1011, competitor for McDonnell- 
Douglas' DC-10. At its Rye Canyon, California, research 
facility it wind-tests prototype aircraft, tests antennae 
systems, researches new materials, and does solar 
research for NASA. 

Mifran-Bowman Corporation, deals in materials' 
handling, specializing primarily in forklifts and pallet 
trucks. The company is one of the largest local firms to- 
sell, lease and service this type of equipment. 

Contributing Sponsor 


Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: R. B. Kitaj 

See also: Robert Irwin 

Norris Industries 

North American Rockwell Corporation 


Norris Industries has been a major ordnance manufactur- 
er since World War II, and has since applied its expertise 
in forming metal cartridge and bomb cases to the manu- 
facture of compressed gas containers, fire extinguishers, 
electrical outlet boxes and automobile wheels. Its 
Thermador Division manufactures large home appliances 
such as electric ranges and ovens, heaters and dishwash- 
ers. Several other divisions supply brass fixtures for 
homes and industry. Although Norris has begun to diver- 
sify even more, for example with the purchase of Waste 
King Corporation, the company's sales continue to be 
primarily military. 


See: Philip King, John McCracken, Peter Voulkos 

North American Rockwell Corporation is a principal 
Apollo program contractor. 



Pan American World Airways 

Philco-Ford Corporation 


Pan American World Airways, "the world's most experi- 
enced airline," was the first company to put 747s in the 


Philco-Ford Corporation is the high-technology arm of 
Ford Motor Company, although it still makes appliances, 
televisions and stereos for the U.S., Japan, Europe and 
Latin America. Philco-Ford helped Apollo, produced 
Mariner communications systems, and developed anti- 
tank missiles and air defense systems for the Army and 
Air Force and radar for the Coast Guard. Its Aeronu- 
tronics Division in Newport Beach, California, which has 
developed laser target designators for air-dropped 
weapons, along with other major systems, is grouped 
along with Education Operations and a few other 
divisions under the heading Aerospace and Defense Sys- 
tems Operation. 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Robert Whitman 

See also: John McCracken, Robert Morris 


The RAND Corporation 



The RAND Corporation (from Researcli and Develop- 
ment) began in 1946 as a special project of Douglas Air- 
craft Company for the Air Force; Rand was to examine 
the many international variables which would control 
U.S. foreign policy. The think tank still receives most of 
its funding from the Air Force, Department of Defense 
and AID for studying such foreign policy factors as fer- 
tility rates in Pakistan and the influence of the Church 
on Latin American culture and politics. Rand monitors 
the Indochina war, has published volumes on Middle 
East politics and economy, and studies insurgency. It 
makes models (scenarios) of possible military interac- 
tions. Its first step into domestic problems has been 
studying where the interdisciplinary approach can un- 
tangle city budgets, combat VD, relieve fire departments 
and predict the impact of urban renewal. A large part of 
Rand's work remains classified. 


Artists in residence: Larry Bell, John Chamberlain 

RCA depends on the consumer market (televisions, 
records, stereo tapes, hi-fi and stereo equipment) for 
most of its sales. National Broadcasting Corporation, 
Random House and RCA Global Communications, 
which leases its satellite and cable transmissions, contrib- 
ute about half as much. RCA also owns Hertz Rentals 
and makes electronic systems, including radar, guidance 
systems, communications systems and small computers 
for aerospace and defense markets. While RCA expands 
consumer sales around the world, its research is geared 
toward compactness: integrated circuits and color cart- 
ridge video tape machines for consumers. RCA applies 
computers to classroom instruction and runs its own 
technical schools. 

Patron Sponsor 

See: Walter de Maria, Sam Francis, Glenn McKay, James 
Rosenquist, Victor Vasarely, Andy Warhol 






The Times Mirror Foundation 
Times Mirror Company 


Teledyne in its ten-year history has formed expertise 
that ranges from electronics to materials technology, 
aviation, and industrial equipment. Teledyne makes 
super alloys for jet engines, gear rolling machines for the 
auto industry, special metals for nuclear generators, and 
avionics systems for military and commercial aircraft. 

Its activities in propulsion include building piston 
engines for general aviation, jet engines for airplanes, 
multi-fuel engines for industry, and air-cooled engines 
for recreation. Teledyne provided Doppler radar for the 
Apollo Lunar Module landing, and also makes equip- 
ment for geological exploration, the Water Pik for oral 
hygiene, electronically controlled pilot-less supersonic 
aircraft, and television and stereo. 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Robert Rauschenberg 

See also: Victor Vasarely 

The Times Mirror Foundation is endowed by the Times 
Mirror Company, which publishes the Los Angeles Times 
and other newspapers, magazines, and books. 


Cos Attsdes Simes 

TRW Systems 

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation 


TRW Systems is a high-technology company specializing 
in electronics and the systems (interdisciplinary) 
approach to solving problems. TRW mapped Apollo's 
route to the moon. 


See: Eduardo Paolozzi 


Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation is one of the 
largest Hollywood film studios. 

Contributing Sponsor 

Universal City Studios, Inc. 

Universal Television Company 


Universal City Studios, Inc., owned by MCA, Inc., is one 
of the most efficient movie and TV studios in the indus- 
try, and surrounds itself with its own city of apartment 
buildings, shopping center and hotel. Television series 
and motion pictures make up two-thirds of MCA's busi- 
ness; Universal also sells records and tapes under UNI, 
Decca, Brunswick and Kapp labels, and operates a flour- 
ishing tour business through its movie-TV studios. A 
technology subsidiary, MCA Technology, Inc., makes 
high-speed tape duplicators for the music industry. Uni- 
versal's Optics Department has been refining a sixty year 
old rear-screen projection technique which puts actors in 
foreign settings without moving them from Universal 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence; Roy Lichtenstein 

Universal Television Company, founded in 1948, is prin- 
cipally engaged in electronic service with eleven "Home 
and Carry-in" service centers located in Northern and 
Southern California. The firm is presently considered the 
largest independent service company in America. Masco 
Sales, a subsidiary company, operates in television repair 
and accessory sales department in thirty-five West Coast 
locations. Dealers Installation Service, another division, 
maintains a private warehouse in the City of Commerce, 
specializing in customer installation of major appliances, 
televisions and stereos. 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Boyd Mefferd 





WED Enterprises, Inc. 

Wyle Laboratories 


WED Enterprises, Inc., is the Walt Disney Productions 
subsidiary which designs and fabricates new Disney 
projects, such as Florida's Walt Disney World, an enter- 
tainment complex which will dwarf Disneyland in size. 
Disneyland is the parent company's best performer. Its 
Florida offspring, along with RCA, will integrate a com- 
puter system into its operations handling credit, reserva- 
tions, budgets and communications. Software companies 
have tried to computerize Disney's animations but 
haven't yet proved it feasible. Disney Productions also 
operates Mineral King, a ski resort in the California 

Patron Sponsor 

Artist in residence: Claes Oldenburg 

Wyle Laboratories' principal business used to be testing 
rockets and weapons systems in simulated environmental 
conditions; with many recent acquisitions it has 
branched into electronics and industrial manufacturing. 
Less than ten percent of its sales are now in testing and 
research. Wyle companies make tools in Cincinnati, St. 
Louis and Toledo, distribute electronic components in 
Los Angeles and run one of the biggest trucking com- 
panies in the Southeastern U.S. Wyle still does aerospace 
testing, but also is designing a laboratory test facility for 
high-speed rapid transit. 

Patron Sponsor 

See: Philip King, Eduardo Paolozzi 





The following corporations were invited to join A & T 
but declined: 

Aerojet-General Corporation 

Aerol Company, Inc. 


Allied Chemical Corporation 

American Bulk Carriers, Inc. 

American Construction & Pipe Company 

American Cyanamid Company 

American Smelting & Refining Company 

American Standard, Inc. 

Ameritone Paint Corporation 

Anchor Hocking Corporation 

Apex Smelting Company 

Argo Plastic Company 

Armstrong Cork Company 

Atlantic-Richfield Company 

Avery Products 

Avis Renta-Car System 

Beckman Instruments, Inc. 

Bendix Corporation 

Beneficial Standard Life Insurance Corporation 

Bethlehem Steel Corporation 

C.W. Bundren Truck Company 

California Computer Products, Inc. 

California Federal Savings and Loan Association 

California Savings and Loan 

Carnation Company 

A. M. Castle Company 

Century Plastics, Inc. 

Chase Brass & Copper Company, Inc. 

Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles 

Columbia Broadcasting System 

Columbia Pictures Corporation 

Computer Creations 

Crocker Citizens National Bank 

Crown Zellerbach Corporation 

Crucible Steel Corporation 

Dillingham Corporation 

Dow Chemical Company 

Ducommun Metals & Supply Company 


E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. 

Eastman Kodak Company 

Economatics, Inc. 

E G&G, Inc. 

Electro-Optical Systems, Inc. 

Max Factor & Company 

Federal Steel Corporation 

Fellows & Stuart 

Feuer Corporation 

Fibreboard Corporation 

Firestone Tire & Rubber Company 

First Western Bank and Trust Company 

Flex -Coat Corporation 

Flinkote Company 

Flying Tiger Line, Inc. 

Foremost-McKesson, Inc. 

Formica Corporation 

Fry Plastics International 

Fuller Paint Company 

General Dynamics Corporation 

General Tire & Rubber Company 

Georgia-Pacific Corporation 

Getty Oil Company 

Gibraltar Savings 

Gilfillan, Inc. 

Gladding McBean 

Glass Containers Corporation 

Glendale Federal Savings and Loan Association 

B. F. Goodrich Company 

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company 

Gulf General Atomic, Inc. 

Hancock Oil Company 

Harvey Aluminum Company 

Hertz Corporation 

Hess-Goldsmith, Inc. 

Hoffman Electronics Corporation 

Hollywood Turf Club 

Home Savings and Loan Association 

Honeywell, Inc. 

Hughes Aircraft Company 

Hunt Foods and Industries, Inc. 

Industrial Asphalt, Inc. 

International Paper Company 

International Pipe & Ceramics Corporation 

International Rectifier Corporation 

International Silver Company 

International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation 

Interpace Corporation 

Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation 

Jorgensen Steel Company 

Joshua Hendy Corporation 

Kilsby Tubesupply 

Korad Corporation 

Lannan Foundation 

Lippincott Environmental Arts, Inc. 

McCrory Corporation 

McDonnell Douglas Corporation 

M.S.L. Industries 

Marshall Industries 

Mattell, Inc. 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios 

Metropolitan Water 

Mobil Oil Corporation 

Monsanto Corporation 

Mosaic Tile Company 

National Broadcasting Company 


National Cash Register Company 

National General Corporation 

Northrop Corporation 

Occidental Petroleum Corporation 

Old Colony Paint & Chemical Company 

383 A&T 

Optical Coating Laboratories 

Owens Corning 

PPG Industries 

Pacific Fiberglass Corporation 

Pacific IVIetals Division A. M. Castle & Company 

Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company 

Packard-Bell Electronics 

Paramount Pictures Corporation 

Pacific Lighting Corporation 

Pendleton Tool Industries, Inc. 

Pepsi-Cola Company 

Phillips Petroleum Company 

Poly-Optics Systems, Inc. 

Pomona Tile Company 

Portland Cement Association 

Potlatch Forests, Inc. 

Producers' Council. Inc. 

Property Research Corporation 

Purex Corporation, Ltd. 

Raytheon Company 

Reichhold Chemicals, Inc. 

Republic Corporation 

Republic Steel Corporation 

Reynolds Metals Company 

Rohm and Haas Company 

Royal Industries 

Ryan Aeronautical Company 

Joseph T. Ryerson and Son, Inc. 

Scientific Data Systems 

Shell Oil Company 

Signal Oil Company 

Silmar Division of Vistron Corporation 

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill 

Southern California Edison Company 

Standard Pressed Steel Company 

Standard Oil Company of California 

State Mutual Savings and Loan 

Statham Instruments, Inc. 

Swedlow, Inc. 

System Development Corporation 

Technicolor Corporation 

3-M Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) 

Transamerica Corporation 

Union Bank 

Union Carbide Corporation 

Union Oil Company 

United Artists Corporation 

United States Gypsum Company 

United States Plywood-Champion Papers, Inc. 

United States Steel Corporation 

Uniroyal, Inc. 

The Upjohn Company 

Warner Brothers-Seven Arts, Inc. 

Webb Textiles 

Wells Fargo Bank 

Westinghouse Electric Corporation 

Whittaker Corporation 

Xerox Corporation 

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors 

Frank G. Bonelli, Chairman 
Burton W. Chace 
Ernest E. Debs 
Warren M. Dorn 
Kenneth Hahn 
Arthur G.Will 

Chief Administrative Officer 

Board of Trustees 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art 


Mrs. Howard Ahmanson 
Mrs. Aerol Arnold 
R. Stanton Avery 
Michael Blankfort 
William Brice 
Edward W. Carter 
Justin Dart 
Henry Dreyfuss 
Charles E. Ducommun 
Dr. Armand Hammer 
George R. Hearst, Jr. 
Felix Juda 
Hoyt B. Leisure 
Mrs. Rudolph Liebig 
Charles O. Matcham 
Henry T. Mudd 
Edwin W. Pauley 
Mrs. Christopher B. Russel 
Taft B. Schreiber 
William T. Sesnon, Jr. 
Norton Simon 
Maynard J. Toll 
John Walker 
Hal B. Wallis 

Mrs. Stuart E. Weaver, Jr. 
Mrs. Herman Welner 
Dr. Charles Z. Wilson, Jr. 
Dr. M. Norvel Young 

Sidney F. Brody, Chairman 
Franklin D. Murphy, President 
Richard E. Sherwood, Vice President 
Mrs. Camilla C. Spear, Vice President 
Mrs. Freeman Gates, Secretary 
Joseph B. Koepfli, Treasurer 

Photograph Credits 386 

Samuel Aroni, pp. 87, 90 
Aruba Tourist Bureau, p. 308 (top) 
Rudolph Burckhardt, p. 306 (left) 
Leo Castelli Gallery, p. 286 
Cinnamon Productions, pp. 196 (left), 198 
Ed Cornachio, pp. 55, 61 , 64, 66, 79, 81 , 1 09, 1 1 0, 1 1 1 , 1 1 2. 
113, 119, 145, 150, 155 (bottom), 157 (top), 163, 171, 224, 
245, 246, 252, 253 (bottom), 255, 266, 277, 320, 321, 343, 
345, 357. 

Cowles Communications, pp. 331, 333, 334 

Barbara Crutchfield, p. 71 

William Crutchfield, pp. 204, 289, 291 , 341 (right top and 
bottom), 344 

Cummins Engine Company, pp. 99 

Design News, p. 257 

Hal Glicksman, p. 60 

Institute for Theater Wissenshaft, Cologne University, p. 309 

Sidney Janis Gallery, pp. 104-105 

Kaiser Steel Corporation, pp. 300, 301 , 302, 304 

James Kenion, p. 317 

Tami Komai, pp. 1 21 , 1 22, 1 24, 1 25, 1 72, 1 73, 1 74, 231 , 232, 
233, 234-5, 263, 313, 314, 315, 319, 335, 336, 337, 348, 

Knoedler Gallery, p. 306 (top) 

Malcolm Lubliner, pp. 102, 106, 120, 128, 129, 133, 135, 137, 
142, 150, 155 (top), 156 (right), 157, 158, 159, 186, 190, 
194, 196 (right), 201, 203, 206, 228, 229, 240, 243 
(bottom), 244, 247, 248, 249, 253 (top), 254, 256, 258, 259, 
260, 261, 262, 279, 281, 282, 299, 303, 309 (bottom), 310, 
31 8, 341 (left top and bottom), 353, 354, 355, 356 

Marlborough, pp. 149, 152, 154, 159 (left), 160, 161 

Eric Miller, pp. 153, 155 (middle, left and right), 156 (left) 

Museum of Modern Art, New York, p. 57 

Hans Namuth, pp. 311, 312 

Eric Pollitzer, pp. 270, 271 

Nathan Rabin, p. 267 

Vincent Bobbins, pp. 123, 175 

Jay Rowen, p. 89 

Y. Ernest Satow, p. 264 

Teledyne, Inc., pp. 283, 284, 285, 287 

Frank Thomas, p. 195 

Maurice Tuchman, p. 238 

387 Credits: A&T 

Catalog Design: Louis Danziger 
Paste-up: Robert Riciiards 
Exiiibition Graphics: Vincent Bobbins 
Printing: Continental Graphics 
Typesetting: Garon Graphic