Current Conceptual Territory

This is a collection of work in progress by artist John L. Mueller of La Grande, OR.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

This is an amazing old TV that I found at a yard sale recently. When I was inspecting it at the sale, I noticed that there appeared to be a molded plastic cover over the glass of the CRT. I hadn't encountered this before, and I saw the potential for the removal of the tube while retaining the molded plastic cover.(giving the appearance that the tube and the appliance are intact) I picked it up for five dollars and took it to the studio. When I opened it up, I was happy to discover that the cover was a seperate piece. I was thinking about putting an aquarium or an ant farm or a plant or something that would slowly decay into the "viewing chamber". Working with something as common and cliche' as an old TV made me realize that this probably wouldn't result in anything that I would consider to be a legitimate piece, but I still wanted to have some fun with it. I ended up lining the back of the molded plastic cover with black fabric, and it looked just like the front of a CRT. In the now empty housing, I mounted an electric motor with an off center piece of scrap steel welded to it's shaft. I then covered the bottom of the housing with small pieces of scrap steel. When it's powered up, it vibrates violently and makes a terrible racket. My next step was to place it where you can see it in the first image. (This is at the bottom of the stairs at the studio) I then adapted a motion sensor to a salvaged extension cord and positioned it so that when the TV is passed or approached it starts up. Once it was all in place, I tested it and realized that it would scare the hell out of anyone passing by that spot. While it was funny in a way, I decided that the potential liability wasn't worth it. Even when warned, there is a startling and menacing quality about it. I decided that was enough. Fun stuff indeed.

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