cybernetic man — birth of a new type of man,
adapted to new duties and interplanetary missions.
we known already at this moment that it will be soon possible to adapt man to new environments by adding or replacing parts of his body with cybernetic elements,
this in order to enable him to move more easily in space. l'homme cybernetique — naissance d'un type nouveau d'homme, adapté aux tâches et missions nouvelles interplanétaires. a present il semble que bientôt il sera possible d'adapter l'homme a de nouveaux conditionnements, en lui ajoutant des organes mécaniques ou en remplacant des parties de son corps par des elements cybernetiques, ceci afin de lui permettre de se mouvoir plus aisément dans le cosmos. homo cyberneticum — geboorte van een nieuw mensentype, gevormd voor nieuwe taken en opdrachten in de ruimte.
nu reeds weten we dat weldra de mens zal kunnen worden aangepast voor een volledig nieuwe wereld.
door vervangen van of aanvullen met cybernetische elementen, wordt het lichaam in de mogelijkheid gesteld
zich in de cosmos to ontwikkelen. (p. v. h.)
Paul Van Hoeydonck (born 1925) is a Belgian printmaker and painter. He studied both archeology and art history in Antwerp, Belgium. His first one man exhibition took place in that city in 1952. During the following years van Hoeydonck both lived and worked in Belgium and in the United States. His art is now included in the collections of leading museums in Europe and America.
He also created "Fallen Astronaut", an aluminium statue about 8.5 cm long that is the only piece of art on the Moon.
The Apollo 15 crew had agreed with Van Hoeydonck that no replicas of "Fallen Astronaut" were to be made. After mentioning the statuette during their post-flight press conference, the National Air and Space Museum contacted the crew asking for a replica made for the museum. The crew agreed under the condition that it was to be displayed with good taste and without publicity.
Interview with John Gaughan who restored "Tap Dancer".
AN INTERVIEW WITH STEPHAN VON HUENE
ON HIS AUDIO-KINETIC SCULPTURES
* Computer artist living at 820 Hermosa Drive, N.E., Albuquerque, N.M. 87110, U.S.A. (Received 22 November 1969.)
Interviewer's note—Stephan Von Huene was born in Los Angeles, California in September 1932 and is currently residing there at 1336 Sutherland Ave. He studied art at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and at the University of California at Los Angeles [1-4]. He teaches at present at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.
Newmark—'Tap Dancer' (1969) is your latest audio-kinetic sculpture. Do you feel it is the culmination of a period in your work?
Von Huene—All of the sculptures that were in my 1969 exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art were the culmination of a certain direction; that is, the use of biomorphic forms activated by a player-piano mechanism and accompanied by music.
`Kaleidophonic Dog' (1967) was my first machine to operate successfully. A dog is lying on its back with parts of it moving, accompanied by sounds of a wooden drum, 8 organ pipes and a xylophone. Used in the machine are five loops of 2 in. tape with perforated programs that move along a tracker-bar arrangement. The pneumatic system causes parts to move and the drum, organ pipes and xylophone to produce sounds.
N. Would you describe the mechanism you use?
V. H. The basic part of it is a valve that acts like a switch and a tracker bar over which rides a perforated tape. When the perforations in the paper tape line up with holes in the tracker bar,it turns on the valve switch and allows air to be pumped out of
a small bellows that has a hammer attached to it. The hammer may hit a drum or it may operate another small bellows that opens a palate valve connected to one or more organ pipes. The organ pipes are operated by an air blower. The perforated tape, or several of them, can be rewound automatically; the system can also be operated during the rewinding phase. If anyone is interested in the details of the system I use, I would be glad to provide them.
N. What led you to use the player-piano mechanism ?
V. H. I was at first simply interested in finding out how it worked. I found that the 11.5 inch player-piano paper strip was too wide for my purposes and now use a 2 in. paper tape. I punch holes in the tape at random or with a specific program of sounds in mind. I would like to make it possible for anyone to prepare the tapes, so they would produce sound combinations to suit themselves—either ordered sound sequences, which are, I suppose, what we call music or haphazard sound arrangements.
N. Would you describe your most recent piece, `Rosebud Annunciator' (1969).
V. H. It has an overall appearance of early California architecture, heavy and oak-furniture-like, an influence that stems from a very romantic part of my early life in Pasadena, California. On top of the machine is a leather rose, made up of sixteen sections that can be inflated and deflated. Then, on each side there is a post with an inflatable, deflatable leather sphere in a box on top of it, connected by tubing to the pneumatic system. The center part is made of a large xylophone with twenty-four notes, two cymbals, a drum and an octave of reeds.
N. I note that 'Rosebud' is 7 ft high and 8 ft wide. What led to the center part being so large, was it the xylophone ?
V. H. The xylophone determined the width but it was the pneumatic system underneath it that brought about the rather large height.
N. Tell me how you incorporated inflatable parts with sound producing elements in this audio-kinetic sculpture.
V. H. First, I made the rose as a relief in wood. Then I formed over it separate pieces of leather. Later, I mounted these pieces so that the assembled form could be activated by air pressure. The motion of the rose and the sounds are controlled by the player-piano mechanism and the roll, both when it unwinds and rewinds. The roll rewinds faster than it unwinds in this machine. While the roll unwinds the animation of the rose and the spheres is slow, monotonous, ceremonial, then on the rewind there is a fast jumble that gives the feeling that the machine is falling apart amidst a din of sounds.
N. Has anyone commented on the sounds emitted by 'Rosebud' ?
V. H. In the fall of 1968, I was asked to exhibit `Rosebud' in the Electromagica Exhibition in Tokyo. That was an international exhibition of art objects using electricity. It was organized by the Japan Electric Arts Association. At the show I met a Chinese scholar who said that he noted with interest that my machine was playing Japanese music. I explained to him that I had based the music, more or less, on Bach's 'Two-Part Invention' and the beat was related to some of the music composed by Stravinsky. Perhaps this combination sounds Oriental to some. To me the beginning part sounds a little like the music I heard in Vera Cruz, Mexico. The end, as I said before, is a jumble of sounds, nevertheless, the complete program has, I believe, a certain kind of consistency which I enjoy.
N. Did it take you a long time to complete `Rosebud' ?
V. H. Approximately two years—'Kaleidophonic' Dog' took three years. 'Washboard Band' and 'Tap Dancer' each took me only six months to complete.
N. Would you give some details on 'Tap Dancer' and 'Washboard Band' ?
V. H. 'Tap Dancer', as you can see in the photograph, consists of the legs of a man below the knees. The shoes are a bit odd looking. The legs oscillate in clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, while the toes of the shoes go up and down. The toes are connected pneumatically to wood blocks inside the supporting box to make tapping sounds against the top of the box. The sculpture is programmed by a tape loop that lasts about 4 minutes and it automatically plays over and over.
`Washboard Band' consists of two major elements. The taller column supports an ordinary laundry washboard upon which beat four sticks. There is also a sliding piece that moves
horizontally, back and forth, to produce a rasping sound. Above the washboard is a cymbal and a cow bell, which are struck periodically. On the top of the shorter column, there is a plastic box containing reeds that vibrate when air is blown past them. (The air also moves leather strips above the reeds.) The sculpture is programmed by two tape loops of different length. With each revolution of the loops the program on each tape phases into a new relationship.
N. Do you have some new ideas you want to apply to your audio-kinetic sculptures?
V. H. Yes. I want to handle the whole sculptural lay-out in a different, simpler way. Also I want to use different sound-producing objects that produce less well-known sounds. I'll still use wood and leather for some moving parts, as I find them satisfactory materials—I used wood and leather even before I started to make audio-kinetic sculptures. When I became interested in player piano mechanisms and organ pipes, I found they also had wood and leather parts. I believe I have improved the old systems for sucking and pumping air both to activate pneumatic parts and to produce various kinds of sound. When I made figurative sculpures in the past, I used wood covered with leather rather than with paint. You may find it surprising that I also used bread instead of wood because I like its tactile, sensual qualities.
N. But is bread sufficiently durable?
V. H. I made it durable. After the bread formed, I dried it and covered it with resin. Sometimes, I used fresh dough and allowed the rising of the dough, caused by the action of yeast, to fill a desired shape. I enjoyed working with a material that has life-like properties. I became quite obsessed with bread for a while. I wrote stories on paintings I had seen that seemed to me to be all bread. People seemed to be all bread. It was as if they became what they ate. No doubt, a very primitive attitude on my part. Why make images of people out of stone, of metal? Why not make them out of bread or leather? Certainly, these materials are most appropriate for making images mimicking people.
[Source: Kinetic Art: Frank Molina- Leonardo Magazine - Dover Press]
STEPHAN VON HUENE
Animation by Allan Kaprow
Born 1932 in Los Angeles, California. Graduated from Chouinard Art Institute in 1959, and received M.A. from the University of California. Los Angeles in 1965. Currently Associate Dean of the School of Art, California Institute of the Arts.
Current art is often made of absences: absence of purpose, absence of meaningful connection between things, absence of material and conceptual definition, absence of elaboration, absence of professionalism, absence of uplifting values, absence of personal identity, absence, even, of pathos. Artists seem intrigued by these gaps, these meta-states that leave things blankly self-evident or connected in perfunctory series like the numbers in a traffic count.
Stephan von Huene's art is one of presences. Not simply the physical presences of well-crafted objects, inventive and focused for eyes and ears; but, rather, 'magical' presences. Here are beings, surrogates for ourselves, who perform for a time and then are mute until requested to act and speak again. Oracles. They communicate in crypto-syllables from a language just beyond translation. They emit hoots, moans, clicks, beeps and breathy sounds, punched out on hidden paper tapes and run by vacuum sweeper motors. I've seen them in their mahogany dusk. Lights shine from their insides. Ceremonies.
For instance: A one-man band without the man who is the band, mechanically having become the band, plays for itself in an empty room. A white rose. Presence of the absence.
And: A vaudeville team in some bar in 1920 where for a nickel in a slot they'll rag, rattle, tonkle, scrape and blow. Washboard face with cowbell feather. Guardian Nickelodeon. Very serious. Mutt and Jeff at attention.
And: Enormous shoes of the clubfoot dandy, tapping away nifty twist of the hard-tipped toes under heavy folded cuffs. Insidious dance to the music we refuse to hear so we listen to the tappety tap of the man we won't see. Tappety
And: Erect wooden columns, alone, in pairs, threes and more (NYC office buildings), floating on contained light, totems intoning cadences of windy stories spoken to the shivering back. Jokes. Jokes you don't laugh at since you don't know when. (Meditative punch-lines.) Squared lips mouthing them, saying something known but forgotten. Dead-pan. Elegant. Ancestor.
Von Huene's art is located at a point just between those turn-of-the-century fantasies of machines that come alive, and archetypal evocations that reach beyond time. It thus escapes both the topicality of modernism and the datedness of the recent past. There is no nostalgia in his beings who articulate their own existence almost didactically and "in tongues." They seem on their own, stylistically removed from now just enough to perform without either necessity or apology. They are perhaps even a little smug in their mystery. What they are not, that is, what is absent, is of no importance to them. It is what makes their magic so potent.
[Source: Sound Sculpture, Grayson - see pdf here.]
Source: Mark Fisher: staged architecture by Eric Holding – 2000
Inflatables and Structures
Fisher had seen his first anthropomorphic inflatable Mother of the Arts in 1966. It was an inflatable woman designed by fellow Architectural Association students for the annual Lord Mayor's procession. It was based on Jean Tinguely's She, a long, hollow reclining woman whose vagina was the entrance to the exhibition inside shown earlier that year at Stockholm's Moderna Museet. In the procession, the designers of Mother of the Arts wielded coloured marker pens on the inner surface of the clear polythene blow-up.
Four years later Fisher and Simon Conolly built a 14-metre- (46-ft-) long inflatable submarine which toured on the back of a flatbed truck and featured at several exhibitions. In 1969 they had set up the firm, Air Structures Design, as a commercial vehicle for making lightweight tents and inflatables; the profits from this financed their student work on an inflatable mat which could be configured in a number of ways as a rigid structure. An interim version, Automat. was exhibited at the 1969 Paris Biennale and the two submitted a final version as their final year thesis project. Dynamat was a muti-celled inflatable structure which could be bent and shaped by varying the air pressure in each cell.
The success of Woodstock inspired many similar events such as the Isle of Wight Festival, for which Fisher helped build the stage structure designed by the engineer Anthony Hunt. Inevitably through his own direct experience of attending events like this, and given the powerful influence of Archigram, Fisher's work reflected the spirit of the times, which is apparent in his designs for an Adult Theme Park carried out in 1970. The drawings, which have a loose playful quality, depict a youthful population exercising its right to hedonistic behaviour, and inhabiting an artificial entertainment landscape, complete with hover-dodgems, disposable hot air balloons, bouncy floors, and escape towers.
It is interesting to observe the emphasis placed on technology in this scheme — and in the work of Archigram — which can be seen as a response to the advances that were taking place during the 1960s, such as the Apollo space programme, Sea-Lab, the introduction of the hovercraft and the Boeing 707. Whilst many of these technological developments were a direct result of cold war research programmes, they were all perceived to extend the capabilities of mankind, and as a result technology was seen as a form of social emancipation which was to be embraced. Rock music itself depended upon new technology, not just for the amplification of instruments and the emergence of the electric guitar, but also for the advent of television which played a significant role in its rapid rise in popularity.
Fisher's fascination with technology is manifest in his Automat project of 1968, which he carried out in collaboration with fellow student David Harrison. The liberal pedagogical stance assumed by the Architectural Association at this time meant that they were positively encouraged to develop their own approach to architectural design, and as a result the project emerged out of a sustained period of practical experimentation. Automat was an attempt to create a self-articulating form which altered shape in response to its users' changing physical requirements. In order to achieve this they created a rudimentary low-pressure pneumatic structure which was articulated using a system of internal bracing cables connected to high-pressure jacks which could selectively expand or contract the structure at a ratio of 80:1. Although some problems were encountered with fabrication, the structure was exhibited at the Paris Biennale in I969, and the project was featured in Peter Cook's publication Experimental Architecture in 1970.
The work of one member of the Archigram1 group, Mark Fisher, a student of Peter Cook at the Architectural Association (AA) in London, embraced the language and images of the youth culture that was booming in England and abroad. His investigations into inflatable technology led to the Automat in 1968-9. It was a user-responsive pneumatic structure supported by internal bracing cables, which, attached to high pressure jacks, allowed the structure to expand and contract in response to a user's weight requirements. Fisher improved the Automat in his design of the Dynamat, the surface of which was controlled by a series of valves which open and closed in in pre-programmed sequences.
1Archigram was a publication, begun in 1961, that quickly became known for its alternative ideas. Short for "Architectural Telegram," Archigram was produced by the young English architects Peter Cook, David Greene, Michael Webb, Ron Herron, Warren Chalk, and Dennis Crompton. The full Archigram group later included Colin Fournier, Ken Allison, and Tony Rickaby.
Mr. Taro the Camera Robot by Jiro Aizawa. Built in 1969 for Expo'70 held in Osaka. He was located in the Fujipan Pavillion, in partnership with another robot. The above image was from a more recent exhibition catalogue held in Japan, 2010, and shows a more modern digital camera. The Nixie tubes around his waist are no longer functioning.
Mr. Taro (left) with Jiro Aizawa and his partner robot prior to being painted. [Magazine cover circa 1970]
A Sharjah commemorative postage stamp showing the Fujipan Robot Pavillion at Expo'70 in Osaka. [Sharjah is the 3rd largest emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)].
Mr. Taro inside the Fujipan Robot Pavillion, 1970.
Mr. Taro and companion inside the Fujipan Robot Pavillion, Expo'70.
One stood next to the companion robot to get one's photograph taken. [Photo from Gernot]
[Source: Gainsville Sun 16 Aug 1981]
Mr. Taro in 1981, sporting 2 flash packs.
Mr. Taro post restoration at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Japan.
Robot on the left has incorrectly been called Goro in some other recent web posts. At this point in time I do not know that robot's name.
As they appeared in a 2010 exhibition in Japan, 2010.
SAM, a mobile manipulator, mimics the movements of an operator stationed at a far-distant control center.
The Self-propelled Anthropomorphic Manipulator (SAM) that wears NASA logos was developed under Edwin Johnson's direction in 1969 by the now defunct Space Nuclear Propulsion division of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Johnson is credited with introducing the popular term "teleoperator" in 1966 to describe a servo controlled manipulator that is not directly connected to the operator's twin manipulator.
RISE OF THE ROBOTS – George Sullivan 1971
Government scientists representing the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office of the Atomic Energy Commission have taken the basic operational principles of the mobile manipulator and added an extra—long-distance control. The machine they've developed is one of the most exciting advances in teleoperator technology in recent years.
Nicknamed "SAM" ( for Self-propelled Anthropomorphic Manipulator), the unit is composed of two distinct parts. A machine portion features steel arms and hands, very similar to the arms and hands used in handling radioactive materials inside hot cells. These arms and hands, however, are mounted on a steel boom which moves up and down and in a circular pattern to give a wide range of operation. The boom, in turn, is mounted on an open, four-wheeled vehicle about the size of an Army jeep. This "torso" portion of the unit is topped with a small television camera. Its "eye" peers down at whatever the hands grasp. The second portion of the unit is the control station, the command post for the human operator. The control station and the mobile manipulator are linked by a coaxial cable, the same type of insulated conducting tube that is used to transmit television signals from a studio to viewers' homes. The two parts of the system can also be linked by radio control.
The operator wears a jacketlike apparatus called an "exoskeleton" to send commands to SAM's hands and arms. If the operator wants SAM to pick up a stick, he simply reaches down and performs the necessary hand-arm movements. The operator is able to see the stick by means of a television screen in the control center which presents the picture transmitted by SAM's television camera. Scientists plan to "slave" the movements of the television camera to those of the operator's head. The camera will thus become the operator's remote but all-seeing eye.
The first SAM was built at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station located at Jackass Flats, Nevada. It inspects and tests equipment used at radioactive nuclear test sites. It is planned that SAM-type units of the future will be used to defuse and dispose of dangerous bombs, and as search and rescue vehicles in any type of disaster that involves fire or hazardous fumes, not just those caused by nuclear explosion.
Machines such as SAM suggest a wide array of applications. Teleoperators could be put beneath the sea or on a distant planet and be made to perform a variety of chores, all while under the precise command of a human operator housed in the safety of an earthbound control center.
From an overhead view, SAM looks like this.
Using an exoskeleton and guided by what he sees on the television screen, the operator controls SAM with simple arm-hand movements.