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AMP Equipment

Tool

AMP Patchboard
An AMP Equipment with a patchboard attached Patchboards ready for each performances
Interview with Per Biorn
Interview with Per Biorn
Tool Identification

Name of tool: AMP Equipment
Alternate name: AMP Patchboard System
Creation date: 1960s
Designer: Amp. Inc., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (U.S.).

Historical Notice

The preparation of diagrams of the 9 Evenings performances allowed the combined TEEM elements in each performance to be visualized, exposing a problem that Herb Schneider summarized as follows: “Just looking at the 10 diagrams made it clear that shifts between artists once each night might take hours.” (1) The diagrams therefore prompted a reorganization of the material. To simplify and systemize the approach, Schneider suggested that all of the show’s components could be connected to one another using a control console: AMP Equipment, loaned by Amp. Inc. of Harrisburg, PA. This decision would later be highly criticized, as cabling errors seriously disrupted the performances, particularly during the initial days of the festival. These errors were essentially caused by a lack of time in which to check and test all of the material.

Tool Description

Electromechanical equipment allowing the connections between various inputs and outputs to be stored in memory by inserting patchboards into a reading device. This device was connected to all TEEM components (except those controlled via FM frequencies).

Summary of Materials

Two reading devices, two patchboards for each performance, electronic components.

Operating Procedure

The Amp Equipment was comprised of two reading devices: the Hot Patchboard [HPB] and the Cool Patchboard [CPB]. The HPB allowed for the control of the electronic relays [PoR] and the silicon controlled rectifiers [SCR]. The CPB provided access to all other low-powered components: encoders, decoders, preamplifiers, etc., as well as to the audio console, Proportional Control System and the microphones. Connections were also established between the HPB, CPB and Master Control Board [MCB], which enabled manual control of the various components. For each performance, two patchboards were prepared: one for the HPB and the other for the CPB. These were installed in the corresponding reading devices, and the necessary connections automatically took place.

Effects

Connection of the various artefacts, with these connections stored in memory.

Documents Consulted

Herb Schneider, A glimpse or more at some technical aspects not seen by the third partner of Nine Evenings – the public. Experiments in Art and Technology. Records, 1966-1993, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 940003.

Robby Robinson, What Really Happened at the Armory. Experiments in Art and Technology. Records, 1966-1993, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (940003). Box 2, file 16-17.

Billy Klüver, “Interface: Artists/Engineers,” E.A.T. Proceedings, no. 1 (Apr. 21, 1967) p.1-23.

Simone Whitman, “Theater and Engineering: An Experiment: Notes by a Participant,” Artforum (Feb. 1967) p.26-30.

Vincent Bonin © 2006 FDL

(1) Herb Schneider, A glimpse or more at some technical aspects not seen by the third partner of Nine Evenings – the public. Experiments in Art and Technology. Records, 1966-1993, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (940003).