This presentation of recent works involves technology-based performance and installation. Three works will be presented illustrating techniques for combining computer graphics, interactive systems, telecommunications and expert systems: DoWhatDo is best described as a techno-urban drive-in dealing with Silicon Valley’s romance with multiculturalism; Conduits introduces the C-Machine, a hypothetical telecommunications sculpture of unparalleled capabilities; and Telepresent Surveillance, an installation involving three autonomous self-navigating surveillance robots, each equipped with infrared scanners for targeting and tracking, collision detection and wireless communications.
This discussion presents three works by media technology artist Joel Slayton. Two of the projects, DoWhatDo and Conduirs, integrate large scale media technology with site specific experimental performance. The third project, Telepresent Surveillance, (a work-in-progress) is a media installation scheduled for exhibition at the Krannert Art Museum in Champaign Illinois in November of 1995.
DoWhatDo revisits the urban drive-in as a principal means of social interaction. The top floor of the city of San Jose’s six story public parking facility was transformed into a hi-tech, multimedia drive-in movie environment. The performance was experienced from strategic vantage points in and around an atmosphere of automobile culture. The theatrical space enabled total immersion of the audience into the actual performance. DoWhatDo explored edges of cross-culturalism characteristic of the diverse demographic population in Silicon Valley. The performance creates a world of illogical manifestations, where electronic forms of information challenge traditional perceptions of individual and ethnic identity. Silicon Valley’s romance with multiculturalism provided a springboard for an innovative conceptual, visual and musical experiment. Two hundred performers present a cross-cultural re-definition of San Jose in a
parade of circumstance and event. A professional rollerblade team, skateboard enthusiast, sport motorcyclist, young entrepreneurs, Latino, Indian, Afro-American dance ensembles, martial arts groups including Kendo, Fencing and Caporia, and a parade of low rider automobile culture in a finale that directly involved the audience in celebration of DoWhatDo theory, comprise the cast of performers. The event was moderated by a master of ceremonies/ information theorist, located in a mobile 30 ft. mechanicalift posturing above the performance site. The performers engage the audience in a series of simultaneous demonstrations of sport, dance and ceremony with each act presenting a mixture of contemporary sub-culture and cultural tradition, all to illustrate the principals of DoWhatDo theory. Automobiles were directed into the environmento pre-selected viewing positions in an orchestrated parking art event. Audience members were encouraged to leave their automobiles and move in and around the environment during the performance.
- Joel Slayton. Since 1985, he has been Professor of Fine Arts and Director of the CADRE Institute (Computers in Art and Design/Research and Education) at San Jose University. He specializes in experimental media and performance and is presently Associate Director, New Media Research at the Digital Institute at San Jose University and Exhibitions Program Director at the Holmes Fine Art Center in San Jose.
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