PRINT December 1962/January 1963

Charles Mattox: Three Machines

His machines, often gimmicky and witty, are a form of up-to-date popular art more concerned with the rosy science-fiction vision of the marriage of art and technology than with constructivist purity of color, line, form and space.

Rotating Color Field. Consists of a series of mechanically rotating vanes painted in dark saturated colors. When in motion the color field silently turns a cycle of colors and has a mysterious and hypnotic visual quality.

Switcher-Bitcher. Apart from having the expected superimposed motion of various parts rotat­ing and reciprocating with a pattern of lights in a numbered frame busily clicking on and off, also in­corporates an electronic sensor which reacts to human beings that approach the machine. The sensor is not a remote control device––the machine thinks for it­self. Anyone crossing its line of vision wearing red clothing causes it to instantaneously react and reverse motion.

Double Twister. A motorized construction of nylon threads strung on connecting rings which produces a continuously changing series of helix curves by oscillation. In the lower connecting ring are four highly polished steel balls which act as bearings and also constantly rotate. The machine has the equivalent esthetic appeal of the precise and beauti­fully-shaped crystal forms of nature.

An exhibition of machines by Charles Mattox will be presented at the San Francisco Museum of Art in February, 1963.

John Coplans