The interactive software for this piece was originally created
in 1988 at the time of the arrest of the great entertainer James
Brown. Designed in the tradition of old song-snippet novelty records
assembled out of questions with sampled lyrical answers--like
"The Return of Jerry Lee Lewis" (1959) and "Mr.
Jaws" (1974)--a mouse click upon an onscreen button plays
James' response. However, I decided upon James' stiff prison sentencing
that I did not want to exhibit this work until he was out of prison
and his career had resumed.
As I continue my various attempts to integrate mural painting
with digital information, this computer wears its painted facade
to become a distinctive dedicated fine-art kiosk. "The Trial..."
was exhibited February 1993 in a group show celebrating the opening
of the San Francisco State University Downtown Learning Center
and the San Francisco State University Multimedia Studies Program.
It was the only interactive piece in this exhibition of Bay Area
computer artists. The piece runs under HyperCard 2.0 upon a Macintosh
Plans are afoot (since Fall 1996) to strengthen and update "The Trial..." with allusion to the Thomas-Hill hearings, notice of the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans and a comparison to the O.J. Simpson trials prior to any further exhibition.