[TISEA 1992] Artist Statement: Allan Giddy – untitled (interface)

Artist Statement

Electromechanical kinetic sculpture

This piece is concerned with chance, fate, destiny, or serendipity, (depending on the viewer’s spiritual inclination).  It consists of three pinball bumpers positioned in a padded scalene triangle with a perspex base. The unit is mounted on a large spring and strained with three sprung adjustable wire ropes. A steel pinball is placed on the field of operation. When this machine is disturbed in any way the ball rolls along the surface inevitably colliding with a bumper. This then initiates a chain reaction firing the ball in an agitated manner around the surface which in turn further agitates the machine into a frenzy of agitated reactions. These reactions last from 10 seconds to five minutes.

They are totally random so neither the direction of the ball nor even the duration of the agitation it causes can be predicted. The three pinball bumpers have auxiliary contacts which, when closed, acti-vate a remote solenoid positioned near the keys 0, 1, & SPACE on a computer keyboard.
These three solenoids and their activation allows for communication between the agitated machine and the computer to take place. 0 & 1 use binary code to choose a word from a programmed vocab-ulary, while SPACE verifies the choice and display it, allowing the selection of another word.
In this way the crude playful machine communicates random and spontaneous movements that are interpreted by the computer.

  • Allan Giddy, New Zealand