"The Web Unites" digital painting by Lowell Boileau 1995


Total Intervention was installed in the Modern Art galleries and was immensely popular.

Visitors waited in lengthy lines to take turns sitting at the display
and mousing their ways through the virtual journey of the intervened DIA galleries.

In the end the physical won out over the virtual with the DIA staff.

Unannounced they decided to acquire the display unit, whose concept and construction I had guided,
without the computer and my virtual tour software and programming that was the whole purpose of the art work.

They made the offer to the late sculptor Matt Blake without consulting me.
Matt, being the honorable person he was, told me of the offer and asked my opinion.
Like most of us artists then, I knew he needed the money and gave my blessing.

Nonetheless it hurt.
It was as if they had bought a framed painting, ripped out the painting, and kept the frame.

The insensitivity did not stop there.
The display unit was soon put out on the floor--and used as a stand for DIA brochures!

I made written protestations both of the museum's failure to comprehend the totality of the concept
and of the pedestrian use of the display unit as a mere shelf. My protests, and those made by others most notably
the late galleristMary Dennison, fell on deaf ears and went unresponded to.

I was astounded and realized, "They really didn't get it."
The first Internet-enabled artwork and first interactive virtual art creation at the DIA meant nothing.

Maybe I should known something was amiss when the then Modern Art Director Jan Vander Marck
first visited the display. He clearly had never seen a mouse as when, out of curiosity,
he picked it up and began rolling the ball it were a track ball and
watching in naive amazement the motions created by the cursor on the screen.

Please Click Here to Visit my Thank You Page
to the many who helped make Total Intervention Possible

Stephen Goodfellow's Interventions Show page »



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