Mariko Moris "Wave UFO", 590 Madison (atrium)
Photo Credits
Click to enlarge Main Image
All photos:
Roving Rube
'03 May 16

Editor's Notes:

(For the purposes of this series, we are counting atriums as being "outdoors".)

This space, in the former IBM building, is well-suited to large-scale installations, and we're glad there's a "fun" piece here for once. Mariko Mori's "Wave UFO" (sponsored by the Public Art Fund) will remain until the end of July, and hopefully we can convince the Rube (even though he is a big fan of Mariko) to put on the electrodes (see Fig. 3) and go inside the thing to give us a report by then:

Inside Wave UFO, three viewers at a time recline on a Technogel chair - a spongy, comfortable surface - to watch a 7-minute projection on the domed ceiling above ... Each viewer is outfitted with a set of electrodes, which gather brainwave data. This information is instantly transformed into visual imagery, in real-time correspondence with the actual activity of the brain, and projected onto the screen: Six undulating bio-amorphous cells represent the left and right lobes of each of the three participants' brains, and a waving line moves in correspondence with blinks and other facial movements. This instant biofeedback thus incorporates the experience of watching the projection, and the interaction between the three viewers. The forms change shape and color in response to three types of brainwaves, showing which type is most dominant. Alpha (blue) waves indicate wakeful relaxation, Beta (pink) waves indicate alertness or agitation, and Theta (yellow) waves indicate a dreamlike state. When the two cells come together, that demonstrates "coherence" between the two lobes of the brain. Mental functions such as thinking in other languages or doing math problems immediately transform the characteristics of the graphics. (from the Public Art Fund site)

Thomas Sokolowski, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, called [Mariko] "a cross between a geisha girl and Gidget," and she has also been described as a cyberchick and as Barbarella. With her eye-popping, oversized, computer-manipulated images starring herself in various guises, she is getting a lot of attention in the art world. Who is she really? (Carnegie Museum online) has a review of "waveUFO", with pictures.

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Figure Key:
M = Main figure; usually you can click on the image for a large version, suitable for wallpaper
1, 2, 3 (etc.) = Numbered figures, often referenced in text. When the text is blue it can be clicked on to swap the image.
Mc, C (etc.) = An view "in context" of the Main figure, or a general context view of the subject.
1b = A large version of the referenced figure.
1d = A detail or "macro" view of the referenced figure.
1i = A "digital reinterpretation" of the referenced figure. If more than one, different colors are used.

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3