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

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

Page 451

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
into light frequencies. One student built a themin and taped the sounds,
combining them with live sounds.
We set up an exhibition at Hofstra University that illustrated the Workshop's
The exhibition, an environment of light, sound and air forms, was called
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
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
different speeds by the Agastat programmer. The mylar moved like a silver
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
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
and activated by photo cell switches as people passed in front of it. The
stations were not audible. Chemical projections created by Jean Diana and
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
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
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
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
At the NYU Intermedia Workshop we are now attempting to utilize the insights
methodologies of sober science in new creative ways. We are trying to develop
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
film - at times even projecting colors on the clouds at night.

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