An Article in MAKE Magazine:
Manipulate doll to trigger figure on video.
1. Move head forward & back to nod head
2. Swivel hips
3. Move right leg
4. Move left arm
H:7′ W:3′ L:3′
A life sized mechanized figure with the face of the Kalman Spelletich wears his clothes. A camera in his mouth and another camera overhead observe the Spelletich-golem and the viewer. The video is shown on two monitors at the other end of the room. A small voodoo doll sits in front of the monitors. Manipulating the doll causes the life sized figure to move: the right arm lifts and grabs, the head nods, the leg kicks, the torso swivels.
This is a work encouraging dialogical interaction that confronts complex issues concerning identity, agency, responsibility, and the many forms of communication. I am interested in fear, play, groups of people that prey on others, and the complexities of power dynamics. How does our knowledge or ignorance of another sentience at work affect our actions? What does it mean to be the puppet-master or dictator? Who do you become when you observe your effect indirectly? Is this parasitic or symbiotic?
With no visible intelligence at work, the golem is merely entertaining. When the method of control becomes known, the golem becomes something to relate to, be subjected to, act in opposition to, and play with.
Once the viewer is aware of the entirety of the piece, they are in the panopticon, either as watcher or as watched. With this awareness, the viewer cannot return to the act of naive observation, and must interact with the puppet-master instead of the puppet?
Being in the body & being sentient is cause for rapture!
As an avatar