[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Joseph Delappe – Masturbatory Interactant

Artist Statement

Masturbatory Interactant is a computer interactive electromechanical installation which is the ultimate realization of three years of conceptualization and creative interest in critically examining the human/machine interface. The installation was directly influenced by Marcel Duchamp’s seminal work of mechanized eroticism The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915-23. Duchamp’s bride has become an inflatable female party doll, painted white and continuously suspended inside a transparent enclosure by the air flow of three 20ο/οο cooling fans. The floating female form acts as the projection surface for randomly selected computer based visual information—essentially a hyperkinetic image stream. The images primarily consist of a combination of short, provocative quick time video segments of digitized close-ups of a nude male figure conducting self erotic actions, selected three dimensional computer animations, background images, texts and audio. The imagery is randomly selected through an automated, machine kinetic interactive process. The Chocolate Grinder from Duchamp’s piece has been recreated to scale as a kinetic sculpture – the tapered drums are covered with bar codes, slowly rotating around the central axis. All the while the laser bar code scanner, a pen-like device, which is mounted on an extending and retracting armature, randomly scans the bar codes. The selected bar codes send a predefined command to the Macintosh computer mounted above the grinder, choosing image segments from the Director based multimedia program.The selected images are then projected onto the floating body by an LCD video projector which sits atop the CPU, above the Chocolate Grinder mechanism. The piece is designed for continuous kinetic movement. After several weeks of operation, the repetitive scanning process begins to scratch away at the surface quality of the bar code — creating a general deterioration of the interactive process, ultimately frustrating the devices intended machine/sexual performance. As a result of this gradual process of entropy, looped segments of images and sounds, once rapidly changing and intermingling with others, begin to continuously repeat until the machine eventually again selects a still functioning bar code. In this installation the computer and the electronics are pivotal sculptural objects which coexist and meld with the constructed kinetic pieces. The piece critically investigates male sexuality, technological hegemony, and multi-media hyperbole through the use of humor, high tech absurdity and non-participatory computer interaction. In totality, the intent was to create a contemplative incident for the consideration of machine-based erotica, male sexuality and high tech absurdity. delappe.net/masturbatory-interactant-1997    Video: Art Installation: Masturbatory Interactant

  • Joseph DeLappe, USA, is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Nevada, Reno and the head of the Digital Media Studio in the Department of Art. DeLappe was the first MFA candidate in computer art to graduate from the CADRE Institute of San Jose State University (1990). His works in digital media, ranging from manipulated, experi­mental photographic portraiture to interactive, digitally controlled installations and electro-mechanical sculptures have been shown nationally, and internationally. Recent exhibitions include installations at the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, New York and the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada. Past recipient of a Southeastern Regional National Endowment of the Arts Visual Artist’s Fellowship and a Nevada State Council on the Arts Individual Artist’s Fellowship. This past fall, he was a visiting artist at the Department of Photography of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  delappe.net