Firefly: Portrait of the Artist with Cosmic Bubble
Plastic and electronic components; figure: 208.3 x 71.1 cm (82 x 28
in.), bubble: diameter 16.2 cm (30 in.)
Institute of Arts Founders Society Purchase, Twentieth Century
Painting and Sculpture General Fund with funds from the Stroh
Vivian Day, John W. Stroh Ill, Jean and Joseph Hudson, Jr., and Sidney
M. Hiller (1996.38)
"Firefly" responds to light to create four
of electronic events. The frequencies combine to cause the red lights
stream up and down the Self Portrait. Patterns of green lights' travel
in the the middle of the red streams are the result of a logic
(an exclusive "or") on these two streams. Sounds cause the nature of
patterns to change. The Cosmic Bubble is a mandala of 144 lights
geometrically. It first appears in Twelfth century Islamic mosaics.
This artwork was a subject of the DIA's and Detroit Public
writing project and it inspired five
to compose poems.
"Firefly" is silent and contemplative.
More Self Portraits.
(79 inches x 19 x 13, 18 pounds. Its materials are similar to
Three self portraits in one, it senses ambient light.
Portrait of the Artist to be Viewed While Saying "
You're Great! You're Terrific! What a Genius!" (1981)
(84" x 40 x 48 (inflated), Painted steel, "ear"
and polyethylene bag and fan.)
Although the artist loves to hear the above praises,
the head, of course, inflates if it hears anything at all.
Click on either image to see a 200kb.animation of this sculpture.
Portrait of the Artist.
(Diameter:20 inches, length: 20 feet, Painted welded steel,
bag and fan, solenoids, plaster life cast, beads\ and electronic
This ceiling-hung sculpture senses ambient light levels and
intermitent, drumming sound.
From 1990 to 1995, a kind of sculptural
marked the walls outside the mens' room at One Twenty Three, a posh
"MAN ABOUT A DOG"
(1989)A motorized wire dog wags his tail when he sees the infra-red
coming down the stairs. A portrait of the artist, sketched in wire,
a leash and gazes down the hallway at a crystal moon on the wall
the lavatory door. The moon lights up 83 seconds after the dog wags his
tail, the average time an american man spends in a public lavatory.
commission started when I was shown a blueprint of a basement wall
the men's room and asked if I could make something inexpensive for it.
They named a crippling budget. I was peeved with the location and the
So naturally I turned in anger to graffiti and made reference to sexual
and scatological matters. The Dog: an indiscriminate affection wagging
his tail, a wanton wanderlust but domesticated, leashed. The Moon: a
ideal, detached, reflecting unattainableness, the eighty-three second
certainty of death yet feminine and sexual. And the Man: restraining
the hand that holds the leash yet dreaming of the woman-moon.
I don't think anybody ever got it.
Everybody thought it was "Cute".)
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