Liz Phillips has been creating interactive art for nearly four decades, and during her presentation, she introduced the audience to her timeline of work. Her earliest example was very simple and direct; a sort of pad which translated human contact through electric signals as her friend Robert Kovich writhed and danced upon it, creating a quantity of correlating sounds. That simple model was the seed which would bloom into her artistic mission, both practically and technically. In 1988, Liz created “Graphite Ground”, an indoor rock garden with carefully placed copper boulders, which thanks to a high level of conductivity, allow the viewer to manipulate electromagnetic fields around the installation, creating a sound-shifting environment.
The duo featured several video clips of Phillips’ work in action, including a unique project involving a windmill in
More recently, Phillips has bee working with more technologically complex ideas. In a 2004 work, “Echo-Location:Queens”, an audience activates video displayed within a weather balloon while sounds are played back through objects like bowls, vases and pipes as opposed to conventional speakers. The sound is augmented based on the participant’s movement.
During the presentation, Paula Rabinowitz added the valuable ingredient of context. She described the two vehicles of collaborative art; response and interactivity, the latter of which is the emphasis of Phillips work. This connection between the artist and the audience is non-denominational. Without a language or culture barrier, anyone is able to participate. This seems to be a common quality of new media. Phillips was very content in discussing this art she so obviously is passionate about, and Rabinowitz’ ability to point out how valuable these concepts are make this presentation nothing short of prolific for truly creative people.