Interface

« Interface » was the first network event I was involved in, an exchange between the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT and the American Center in Paris.  The event took place in February, 1981.  Press photos of the respective presidents were cut into 16 pieces and transmitted by slowscan between the cities over phones lines connected with a machine which allowed the transmission of images converted into sound.

This was the event which led me to understand the potential importance of the network and to shift my own emphasis to the network as a tool for artistic performance and experimentation.

See Catalogue.

« Interface« , the video tape by Vin Grable et al. can be seen over the MARCEL web site under MARCEL-TV and the rubric Network Art History in the pulled down menu.

I have posted some stills from the tape here :

Title, image received from Boston

Title, image received from Boston

Aldo Tambellini & Don Foresta

Aldo Tambellini & Don Foresta

Installation at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT

Installation at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT

The slowscan technology involved capturing an image over video, which was then analysed and transformed into sound signals, one representing a range from gray to black, another from gray to white and a third, the sync.  The sounds were sent over a normal phone line to be reconverted into an image on the other end.

The machine was clipped directly into the open mouth piece of the phone seen here wrapped in a scarf to avoid other interference.

Phone connection, Paris

Phone connection, Paris

AT & DF sending an image over the Robot slowscan machine

AT & DF sending an image over the Robot slowscan machine

Press photo of the French president being prepared for sending

Press photo of the French president being prepared for sending

The machine used was called Robot and was initially invented to send images of checks between banks for verification.

Betsy Connors at MIT preparing a photo for capture

Betsy Connors at MIT preparing a photo for capture

DF operating the Robot slowscan

DF operating the Robot slowscan

R. Reagan, results of the transmission on the Paris end, Image is around 5m x 3.5m

R. Reagan, results of the transmission on the Paris end, Image is around 5m x 3.5m