The Nose Wazoo

In the Frankenstein myth, man created a being that destroys him. While this myth is often associated with new technology, I'm more interested in Pygmalia who creates something to fall in love with.

NOSE WAZOO (1990) is a five foot tall, viewer responsive electronic creature. Using pneumatic cylinders, he is able to flex his neck and extend his nose an amazing 20 inches. Rocking back and forth, sometimes even flipping over, he regards his surroundings with four crude photocell eyes and an infra-red sensor. A 6502 microproccessor (located in his foot) seeks to encourage interaction which he initiates by trying to nudge visitors. Jim Zalewski collaborated on the program. The surface of his body is decorated with sisal fibers, beads and wire. A Velcro mask allows him to snatch targets. His nose and neck may be operated by remote joystick.

Pssssssssssssssssssst CHOK!!

The Nose Wazoo startles an unwary visitor, barely missing their chest with his padded proboscis as they walk in front of him.

He gathers a crowd by showing off with "back flips" and "floorscrapes", and when lots of people are around him, he trys to nudge them with his "nose" (actually, a padded pneumatic cyclinder with a fast, twenty inch stroke).


When visitors tease the Nose Wazoo too much by attracting his attention and dodging his thrusts, he flips upside down, faces the other way and sulks!

The Nose Wazoo communicates via a standard terminal protocol to report its sensory status and program progress interspersed with bizarre observations about its existence and life in general.

(Profile at rest)

The Nose Wazoo comes accompanied by a communication cable, software and documentation, technical video cassette, tools, crate and spare parts. Its dimensions are 63 inches high at rest, 105 inches at its highest extension, 43 inches wide and 69 inches deep. 60 lbs.
Materials used in fabrication are painted welded steel, electronics, epoxy, sissal fibers, beads, aircompressor, 2 pneumatic cylinders, tar.
The Nose Wazoo first took shape in 1984 during a collaboration with Professors Jim Plante and Larry Ford and their students in the robotics program at Macomb Community College near Detroit. While Zalewski and I programmed the Nose Wazoo, it was field tested at St. Florian Elementary School in Hamtrmck, Michigan, the Allan Stone Gallery in New York and the Artemisia Gallery in Chicago. Finished, it appeared "Digital Visions"(1989) Ohio Wesleyan University, at "Automates et Robots"(1992) Le Circ, Reims and, at "ARTEC93" in the Nagoya Science and Art Museum, it was given an Artistic Distinction Award by Prince Tomahito.
To download a ten second movie of he Nose Wazoo. (1.4 meg, avi format)

Nose Wazoo Bibliography:

  • Ohio Wesleyan DIGITAL VISIONS catalog. Cynthia Goodman. 1989. The National Colloquium Press.
  • "Nose Wazoo", Jim Pallas, 1991,Leonardo, v. 24, p. 83
  • "Jim Pallas", Intercommunications, 1994, Winter #7, p. 86

    Comments or questions: jim(at)
    Link to an earlier Wazoo.

    Pallas home page

    Comments and Questions