Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts of activism
Notes and discussion: intermedia workshop, pp. 448-454 PDF (5.1 MB)
of a city. Ronald Globus, a director of the new Museum of Media loaned us electronic equipment such as a photocell oscillator that would pick up light rays and transfer them into sound. We then worked with color organs which translated sound into light frequencies. One student built a themin and taped the sounds, later combining them with live sounds. We set up an exhibition at Hofstra University that illustrated the Workshop's program. The exhibition, an environment of light, sound and air forms, was called "Flower Light." This was a major collaboration between myself, the students, and the engineers, We had attempted to take the workshop experience and make it illustrative of the basic philosophy which first led to our Intermedia program. Students worked with tape decks, speakers, lighting, and space as a dimension in time. The environment was programmed for a thirty minute sequence. We worked with mylar, programmed sound and air. The mylar was cut into strips forty feet long, and was blown up into the air by two fans. We used three separate units. The fans were controlled at six different speeds by the Agastat programmer. The mylar moved like a silver pulsating body floating in air violently to soft undulating patterns. We used ten speakers which were also controlled by the programmer so that the synthesized sound would move from one speaker to the other at varying speeds. At one end of the room we built a wall of light which was controlled by changing sound frequencies from radio stations and activated by photo cell switches as people passed in front of it. The radio stations were not audible. Chemical projections created by Jean Diana and Pat Wollard's beautiful electric slides brought entities together. The environment was an effort of the communal mind. The Intermedia Workshop at NYU's School of Continuing Education is the first in the United States to be open to the public. Someday we hope to set up a permanent studio for intermedia experimentation. The center for such an intermedia workshop program will someday be able to exist in a university for undergraduates where they will have an opportunity to develop a language of perception that reaches out to all 451 areas of the community. It is no longer enough to have the printed word without the poetic visual sense that created it. No art school can long continue in contemporary society if it does not recognize the importance of the visual-environmental arts. At the NYU Intermedia Workshop we are now attempting to utilize the insights and methodologies of sober science in new creative ways. We are trying to develop new tools for art and man. Intermedia can represent communication at the deepest levels of our being. Someday we will be able to light up a whole city in a way that will be attuned to the diverse needs of its people. We will in fact be able to present the living community of the city as a unified production, interweaving light, sound and film - at times even projecting colors on the clouds at night.