9 Evenings of Theatre and Engineering



Fred Waldhauer and I make a mid-performance repair to Alex Hay’s myeoelectric back pack. Hay’s live image is projected on a screen behind him.

Hay’s backpack measured myoelectric potentials among his major muscle groups and then transmitted the signals by encoded FM, wirelessly back to the control booth where they were re-modulated into audio.  The audio was then played back into the Armory.    In other words, Hay made his own dance music as he moved.

In the ‘60s large screen video projection was very rare. In this instance it was accomplished by a GE Talaria Projector   - a curious device that scanned an electron beam onto a moving film of oil.

About  “9 Evenings  of Theatre and Engineering”:

In 1966, 9 Evenings was a groundbreaking event.  It was the first large–scale  collaboration of artists and technologists in the country.   It formally introduced this new genre to the art world. The legendary series of theater, dance, music and performances were held at the New York 69th Regiment Armory (where Duchamp had his first American show) .  It featured 10 well known New York artists and 30 engineers from Bell Telephone Laboratories.

The artists included Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, David Tudor, Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, Robert Whitman, Steve Paxton, Alex Hay, Lucinda Childs and Öyvind Fahlström. I was among the Bell Telephone Labs engineers that participated in the construction of this spectacle.

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