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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts of activism
(1969)

Warshaw, Laurence
Notes and discussion: intermedia workshop,   pp. 448-454 PDF (5.1 MB)


Page 449

less the involvement. The easel painter will always preserve the historical
approach
to an art curriculum. The idea that an artist must work alone in his studio
is the excuse
society creates to isolate his development, and control the status quo.
I have established The Intermedia Workshop at New York University's School
of
Continuing Education because I feel that today's university can serve as
a center
for total integration of ideas and experimentation. The university can once
again
become a leader in shaping the expansion of the future and providing a fielding
ground
for new ideas and concepts. A school of continuing education can best serve
its
community for it is open to the public and only a registration fee is required
- a
university without walls. The tools for our workshop are tape recorders,
speakers,
projectors, cameras, etc. At the time I approached NYU we had only one tape
recorder.
We spent three months writing to over four hundred industries discussing
our new
approach, this new term intermedia. One company sent us a one hundred amp.
six volt
transformer, and several switch companies sent us a tremendous assortment
of switch
mechanisms,from a photocell to a program computer.
Within the workshop I set out to form an all star team. Steve Bartok and
Ted Wolf,
both engineers who had previously collaborated with artists, worked with
me to set
up the technical side of our program. I had met Steve through Experiments
in Art and
Technology (EAT) about two years ago and we collaborated on a project for
Intermedia
'68 at the Brooklyn Academy for Carolee Schnemann's kinetic dance group.
Ted
had worked with Max Neuhause, the musician, and we met at the Park Place
gallery
one evening when Max was putting on an event.
Marilyn Reiss worked in a professional sound studio at the time we met and
spent long
hours working on tapes while she taught me the media of tape decks, amplifiers
and
speakers. Bob Fiala collaborated with me in the development of exciting
techniques in cinemagraphics, animation in film. We used Bolex Super 8 cameras
in    449
experimental macrophotography and polarized light. We later set up an entire
animation
program for film, and a small sound studio for tape recording and editing.
Bob
Demchuck and I became carpenters and built projection tables and screens,
and used
old doors for work tables. Kodak Corp. loaned us carousels, cameras and
projectors. I spent a good part of that summer speaking to artists
who worked with light and set designers. I had been involved with kinetic
light sculpture
for the last two years and now I wanted to explore how methods of light can
be used as a creative medium. General Electric Corp. and Sylvania Corp. gave
us lectures and materials. Throughout the summer months we met and discussed
the
philosophy of what we wanted to achieve, and where to begin. We had started
a school
unto itself.
During this past year the Intermedia Workshop had a registration of over
seventy five
students. Because the workshop is open to the public and no technical background
is required we have had a varied membership of artists, engineers, undergraduates
from
other universities, educators, and individuals who worked with media in industry.
We worked in the studio, and took trips to centers of media: from a professional
recording studio to a demonstration of the Moog synthesiser. Each week during
a
four hour session we worked with the technology and the projects of light,
sound,
film, environments. Ted, Steve, and Bob worked with small groups helping
them to
understand the technological problems of basic wiring, and instruction. Members
of the workshop worked with tape recorders and tape cassettes.
One project involved learning how to document the city as a sound environment.
One
group went to South Ferry, another to Times Square, another to Greenwich
Village.
They went out with tape cassettes and recorded traffic sounds, people in
the street,
subway trains, bars, the water front, a ferry boat. Later back in the studio
we
transcribed these sounds onto tape recorders and thus began one environmental
project.


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