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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

America's Finest
Lynn Hershman

Lynn Hershman (USA), Professor at the San Francisco State University, BA from Case Western Reserve University, MA from San Francisco State University. Coinventor of „Lorna", the first interactive laser disc. Over 150 individual exhibitions, numerous publications, awards and prizes.

I call it "America's Finest" because it is the weapon that was used in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. It is the gun that was aimed at America's Finest to protect them, and through which they dedicated their lives. The way this project works is that the user/participant aims the rifle at anything in the room. They not only see what the gun is pointed at in the specially equiped gun site, but also see themselves. There is a hidden camera that puts them into the "scope" along with random cycling images from history in which this particular weapon was used over the past wo years. Wars, weapons and media that have affected and afflicted our lives become one in this piece. If there is any message, it is that when you point your finger at someone else, three fingers are often pointed at you, and that the aggressor becomes the victim of his own violence. There are sounds, mixing and grabbing capabilities incorporated into the piece. It uses a Targa Board, custom software in C programmed by Paul Tompkins, a 3" active matrix color LCD monitor, a monochrome video camera and micro camera inside the gunsite. The gun can move 360 degrees, incorporates sensors and knows when it is picked up and the "trigger" is activated.

Technical Background

HW: Macintosh
SW: Paul Tompkins' Proprietary