Firefly: Portrait of the Artist with Cosmic Bubble

"Firefly" responds to light to create four frequencies of electronic events. The frequencies combine to cause the red lights to 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 operation (an exclusive "or") on these two streams. Sounds cause the nature of the patterns to change. The Cosmic Bubble is a mandala of 144 lights generated geometrically. It first appears in Twelfth century Islamic mosaics.
"Firefly" is silent and contemplative.

In 2020, D.I.A. gallery teacher, Andrea Del Rio made this 4 minute video for kids of one of her favorite works in the collection .
This artwork was a subject of the DIA's  and Detroit Public Schools writing project and it inspired five students to compose poems.
Plastic and electronic components; figure: 208.3 x 71.1 cm (82 x 28 in.), bubble: diameter 16.2 cm (30 in.)
Detroit Institute of Arts Founders Society Purchase, Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture General Fund with funds from the Stroh Foundation, Vivian Day, John W. Stroh Ill, Jean and Joseph Hudson, Jr., and Sidney M. Hiller (1996.38)

More Self Portraits.

Click for a big (227 kb jpg) view.


(79 inches x 19 x 13, 18 pounds. Its materials are similar to "Firefly"s.)

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)

Video (30 sec.)

(84" x 40 x 48 (inflated), Painted steel, "ear" circuit 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, polyethelene bag and fan, solenoids, plaster life cast, beads\ and electronic circuitry)

This ceiling-hung sculpture senses ambient light levels and produces and intermitent, drumming sound.

From 1990 to 1995, a kind of sculptural graffiti marked the walls outside the mens' room at One Twenty Three, a posh Grosse Pointe restaurant.


(1989)A motorized wire dog wags his tail when he sees the infra-red diners coming down the stairs. A portrait of the artist, sketched in wire, holds a leash and gazes down the hallway at a crystal moon on the wall opposite 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. (This commission started when I was shown a blueprint of a basement wall opposite 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 money. 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 distant ideal, detached, reflecting unattainableness, the eighty-three second biological certainty of death yet feminine and sexual. And the Man: restraining even 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".)
Pallas 1997

The Artist and his Wife  Self Portrait in Foam


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