Alan Rath, ‘Something 4 Nothing II’, 1990, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
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Alan Rath

Something 4 Nothing II, 1990

Aluminum, acrylic, LEDs, electronics, and cathode ray tubes
68 × 27 × 10 in
172.7 × 68.6 × 25.4 cm
.
Permanent collection
Alan Rath
American, b. 1959
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Exploring the intersection of art and technology, Alan Rath renders electronics an art form with his electric, kinetic, and robotic sculptures. Wall Throbber (1998), for instance, is a device made from aluminum, electronics, a speaker, and light fixtures, that causes a red ball to bounce gently. More recent works incorporate digital media such as moving images in a manner that humanizes technology. In Watcher VII (2011), two screens showing close-up images of expressive human eyes jutting out from either side of an anthropomorphic white metal structure. He imbues these sculptures with lifelike qualities, working from his assumption that people will project human qualities onto machines when prompted and will even go so far as to perceive them as having personalities. The work celebrates technology’s potential for good while alluding to the dangers that lurk below the surface.

Alan Rath, ‘Something 4 Nothing II’, 1990, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Save
Save
Share
Share
Alan Rath
American, b. 1959
Follow

Exploring the intersection of art and technology, Alan Rath renders electronics an art form with his electric, kinetic, and robotic sculptures. Wall Throbber (1998), for instance, is a device made from aluminum, electronics, a speaker, and light fixtures, that causes a red ball to bounce gently. More recent works incorporate digital media such as moving images in a manner that humanizes technology. In Watcher VII (2011), two screens showing close-up images of expressive human eyes jutting out from either side of an anthropomorphic white metal structure. He imbues these sculptures with lifelike qualities, working from his assumption that people will project human qualities onto machines when prompted and will even go so far as to perceive them as having personalities. The work celebrates technology’s potential for good while alluding to the dangers that lurk below the surface.

Alan Rath

Something 4 Nothing II, 1990

Aluminum, acrylic, LEDs, electronics, and cathode ray tubes
68 × 27 × 10 in
172.7 × 68.6 × 25.4 cm
.
Permanent collection
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