1975-6 – “Blue Wazoo” Cybernetic Sculpture – Jim Pallas (American)

The blue Wazoo senses light and sound and responds with a behavioral repetoire of various LED patterns, movements, inflations, deflations, whirs, clicks and jiggles. It is six feet high and weighs about twentyfive pounds. It was made in 1975-76 and uses TTL logic circuits.

It is currently owned by Allan Stone of the Allan Stone Gallery in Manhattan.

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BLUE WAZOO
THE BEAD OF CONSCIOUSNESS
SUSPENDS CONTINUITY MARKING,
SPACED STIMULI.
BUDDAH-NATURE WAVERS TWITCH.
THE DREAM BAG FILLS.
POSSIBILITY TENDRILS
AND NECESSITY RINGS
POP UP.
BEAD DESCENDS.

The Blue Wazoo is primarily a welded steel structure covered with several coats of acrylic lacquer. The structure contains plastic shapes, ciruitry, wires, light-emitting diodes, solenoids, a motor, cloth, horsehair, a feather and a bead. The Blue Wazoo senses light and sound and responds with a behavioral repertoire of various LED patterns, movements, inflations, deflations, whirrs, clicks and jiggles. It is six feet high and weighs about 25 pounds.
Ambient light falling on the photocell (in the small velcro-mounted "gun" at the front of the body) increases the clock frequency (average: 2 hertz), of the 16 bit serial-in serial-out shift register. Data for the shift is generated by a microphone (at the front base of the neck). An 8-bit binary counter counts the output of the shift. Four nand gates are made conditional on data from various outputs of the shift and counters. Each nand gate controls an activity of the Blue Wazoo.
Visitors sense that the Blue Wazoo is reacting to something they are doing but they don't know exactly what. This often leads to superstitious behavior on their part. The artist is particularly interested in this cybernetic aspect of the work and feels that the dynamic interaction between viewer and artwork is one of the more exciting potentials in the use of the new technology in art.
The internal workings of a circuit and the resultant activities take on symbolic content as indicated by the individual names given to various parts of the sculpture.
The Blue Wazoo was made by Jim Pallas in 1975-76 and is in the collection of the Allan Stone Gallery, NYC.

 

See pdf of complete article here-

See Jim's website here for other cybernetic sculptures.


 

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