The Trial of James Brown


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 computer.

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.



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