In the late Sixties; a multi-screen, multi-sensing, multi-immersion theatre. The theme: the beginnings, not only of  information highways, but of the total information environment in which we constantly swim as fish in the sea. We live in an electronic environment that  transforms images and sounds into invisibility and silence so that they can be transmitted anywhere anytime to be transformed into a presence of  image and sound, bringing you at once to the source.

1968/9. Multi-screen, multi-projection, multi-image film & sound spectacle and environment: Making the

Invisible Visible: the millions of interpenetrating electromagnetic messages that fill our environment invisibly & inaudibly until brought into our lives through radio, television and the entire range of wireless & wired information equipment that weld us all instantaneously into a new cultural entity:  The "Electric Family."

But are you really there?  It's scary.  Man creates an environment, lives within it, clothes himself with it, even becomes it as an extension of himself.  Yet it is all artifice and in many ways hypnotic.  And all of its connections tend toward invisibility and infinitude.

How is this abstracted model of a simultaneous electronic society accomplished?  Six semi-synchronized movie projectors with similar films are set up in the centre of a semi-circle of six touching screens, resulting in one image area having a circumference of 100 feet, each of the 6 screens going from “in-phase” to “out-of-phase” randomly during the performance. The audience sits on cushions within the semi-circle surrounded by  the screens, and loudspeakers fed from each of the projectors. The images: evolving from pure abstraction to the explicit, starting with alternating hypnotic, hallucinogenic rhythms of pure black or white frames, then colour, then random patterns of billions of TV dots gradually controlled and orchestrated, becoming perceptible images, then the images moving everywhere and multiplying on each screen until the six screens, the entire vista, the larger unity, is filled with images, all suggesting a peek into the TV programs and radio-transmitted information of all kinds that flow invisibly through the ether everywhere about us, even through us.

The many soundtracks are made from multi-layered combinations of radio and television sounds "captured" from the thousands of transmissions that are constantly flowing unheard through our environment. Portions of the soundtracks are made from photo-scanning the film images themselves, all this perhaps, producing a kind of synaesthesia: sound, image and emotion unified to the extent that they each have no unique existence, but all tend to one impression without boundaries.

This multi-projector environmental piece was introduced at the International Design Conference, Aspen Colorado,1968, (see right)  with later performances at Louisiana State University,  Central Court Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto,  Carlton University Ottawa,  Michigan State University Ann Arbor.

This environmental piece preceded and informed Markson’s documentary film on Media and the 60‘s movements: Breathing Together: Revolution of the Electric Family.

America Simultaneous-The Electric Family

Thoughts on my multi-screen multi-sound technique: The totality of the tribal-electronic content of American electrical sound/image culture cannot be grasped by single-unit lineal depiction. Analytically. One thing at a time. It can only be grasped through the amazed, non-logical response of the senses forming their own gestalt as they are bombarded with complexity to the extent that the mind can’t keep up with the thickness of content overload. Other more intuitive forms of response come into play through random scan-view of personally, unconsciously selected parts.

Toronto Star: ".... it makes Marshall McLuhan look positively linear-minded."  Describing the poster: "The deep sea diver, looming toward us, represents for Markson the true modern-day man --- making his way through an unnatural and unfamiliar environment, but equipped by knowledge and technology for comfort and safety within that new world, so that he is granted a wider awareness and power."

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