“‘Dirty Power” is a work of personal expression which is in reaction to living in the age of the fatal disease AIDS. The work has obvious and ambiguous meanings which respond to events in my private and public life caused by our sexual-social crises. This piece was also inspired by my exploration of the often seductive sexy nature of three dimensional computer graphics media and its almost “‘magical” abilities. Previously I have worked with pencil drawing, photography and film, but having been seduced by three dimensional computer graphics, I have decided to use is as my medium of choice for this project. My personal approach to using the computer as a fine arts medium is the same as if I were using traditional media; the creative spirit comes from the same place no matter what I am creating or how I am creating it. However I am acutely
aware of the unique capabilities of computers and try to make the best use of them as multi-media interactive environments/tools. I recognize every software package as an art medium. I am interested in working with programs written by others as well as writing my own. I have been fortunate to participate in transcontinental and intercontinental exchanges of images and text with fellow artists who create on the computer via BITNET and TELNET. We participate in critiquing each others animations, still imagery, software and literature. Thus, a big part of my approach to using computer as a fine arts medium is to use them to communicate with other artists as well as to use them to create art works that communicate with audiences.
Dirty Power begins with off screen sounds of lovers in the night and a television news broadcast. The sounds of the lovers brings to live the electrical cords and their plugs. The two cords unplug themselves engaging in a seductive gestural dance during which the viewer begins to suspect the motivation of each of the snake-like characters. It becomes clear that the unseen end of each of these cords is a television and a lamp. As the cords plug themselves in and out of the wall in love frenzy, the lamp and the television that they are connected to turn on and off. This cause and effect changes the lights and the sounds of the scene to the rhythm of the cord’s intercourse. Meanwhile, the sounds of the lovers in the other room becomes increasingly more intense and mixed with progressively more ambiguous television babble. After the ritual
comes to a climax the camera reveals the television and the lamp resting quietly on a living room table. The meanings attached to the interplay of the electrical cords are colored by the sound track. I am attempting to bring the feeling of life to inanimate objects while experimenting with cineastic language to intrigue, entertain, confuse and hopefully make people think.
This project served in part as a joint interpolation experiment with forward kinematics; an Evans & Sutherland PS300 and Twixt animation software written by Julian Gomez were employed. Articulated joints with a parent-child hierarchy were animated to command control-points for outputting three dimensional paths that were then referenced to generate three-dimensional tubular geometric models for each frame of motion. These tube models thus became the cord characters in the movie. All geometric models were generated using in-house software developed at Ohio-State University. The project also served as a platform for experimentation for the research and development of TROUT rendering software written by Scott Dyer of the Ohio Supercomputer Graphics Project. Further software support was provided by John Fujii, Susan Amkraut, John Donkin and Jeff Light.
- Robert Lurye, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA