<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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>> Edward Ihnatovicz, SAM - Sound Activated Mobile

from: http://www.senster.com/ihnatowicz/SAM/sam.htm

"SAM was the first moving sculpture which moved directly and recognisably in response to what was going on around it. It was exhibited at the 'Cybernetic Serendipity' exhibition which was held initially at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1968 and later toured Canada and the US ending at the Exploratorium in San Fransisco.

SAM consisted of an assembly of aluminium castings somewhat reminiscent of verebrae, surmounted by a flower-like fibreglass reflector with an array of four small microphones mounted immediately in front of it. The vertebrae contained miniature hydraulic pistons which enabled them to move in relation to each other so that the whole column could twist from side to side and lean forwards and backwards. A simple electronic circuit used the signals from the four microphones to determine the direction which any sound in the vicinity was coming from and two electo-hydraulic servo-valves moved the column in the direction of the sound until the microphones faced it.

The resultant behaviour, that of following the movement of people as they walked around its plinth, facinated many observers. Also, since the sculpture was sensitive to quiet but sustained noise, rather than shrieks, a great many people spent hours in front of SAM trying to produce the right level of sound to attract its attention."

--> compare it to cyclops ( Leading Edge Design Corp. , JP, 2001):

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.