Virtual Concrete Destruction

Virtual Concrete (1994) was created at UC Santa Barbara and funded by the David Bermant foundation. It is one of the very first pieces that connected the Internet to the physical space. For many years it was stored in the back of the foundation’s farm in Santa Ynez and when the property was sold and the collection moved to the Butler museum, I had to make a decision to let it go. Virtual Concrete was purposely constructed to be very heavy with enforced concrete and this made it difficult to move and / or give away. Not to mention that all this was happening in the midst of the pandemic…

Here is a short video they sent me of it being disposed unceremoniously….just another reminder of the transitory nature of life. END of an ERA!

Description from 1995 ISEA: This piece is based on a paper The Wild West and the Frontier of Cyberspace. An 18-foot concrete path was constructed upon which lay larger than life electrostatic images of seemingly dead/ fragmented male and female bodies. Once the paper was removed, the remaining pigment bonded to the concrete, thus creating a digital fresco. The viewers in the physical site walked and crawled on the art, reading the text, triggering sounds of cybersleaze and legalese via sensors, all the while being watched by a camera/eye connected to the Net. Those away from the concrete virtually participated as voyeurs, watching who was walking on the bodies, talking into the concrete, constructing and commenting on bodies in the gallery. The Concrete Path was part of the Veered Science show at the Huntington Beach Art Center (California) in 1995.

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