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A cart prototype
Deborah Hay, Solo David Tudor, Bandoneon! (a combine) Interview with Per Biorn
Tool Identification

Name of tool: Cart
Creation date: 1966
Designers: Larry Heilos and Witt Wittnebert
Dimensions: approx. 1’ x 2’ x 2’

Historical Notice

The carts were developed for Deborah Hay’s performance. An initial model, which included three wheels powered by a small motor, was created by Witt Wittnebert in the early summer of 1966. However, because the dancers needed room to move on the platforms, the cart design was completely modified. The final, four-wheel version was larger than the first. Larry Heilos was in charge of the cart’s mechanical design and construction, while Witt Wittnebert focused on its electronics. The main problems encountered involved the cart’s constant starts and stops and engine noise, and remote control of the FM frequency in the Armory. Eight carts were built and used in performances by Deborah Hay, David Tudor and John Cage.

Tool Description

Wireless remote-controlled cart.

Summary of Materials

Four wheels, plywood, motor, battery, electrical components, remote control unit.


Electromechanical components, including decoder, relays and FM transmitter and receiver.

Operating Procedure

The carts were operated via remote control. An FM signal was sent to a receiver placed on the underside of the cart. This receiver was connected to a decoder, which triggered relays that controlled the motor and wheels via an audio signal emitted by the remote control units.

Documents Consulted

Wittet Wittnebert and Larry Heilos, Remote Controlled Carts for Deborah Hay. Experiments in Art and Technology. Records, 1966-1993, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (940003).

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.

Interview with Per Biorn / produced by the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology; interviewers: Vincent Bonin, Éric Legendre, Julie Martin (Shot the 25 of August, 2004), 4 videocassettes (3 hr., 45 min.): master, col., sound, Mini-DV. Interview made the 25 of August, 2004 in Berkeley Heights (N.J. USA). VID 00031593 / M.

Vincent Bonin © 2006 FDL