This photograph shows a white, egg-shaped capsule large enough to hold a seated person. The front and back separate to afford access to the leatherette-lined interior. There is a seat at the back.

Edmund Alleyn

(Québec City 1931 – Montréal 2004)

 

Introscaphe I

1968-1970

Wood, fibreglass, paint, electrical and electronic circuits, projection system and other materials

155 x 365 x 105 cm

Conditional gift of Jennifer Alleyn, 2008

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec collection, 2008.78

© Estate of Edmund Alleyn. Photo: MNBAQ, Patrick Altman


Introscaphe I is a cockpit-sculpture designed to hold a single visitor. The unit, which is no longer functional, opened up when visitors put coins in a slot. Its immersive environment consisted of the projection of a four-and-a-half-minute experimental film (a condensed version of Alias, made by Alleyn in 1969), accompanied by surround sound, synchronized vibrations and temperature variations. Although this multimedia work was produced as a prototype, it was never replicated. Resembling a spaceship crossed with a carnival ride, Introscaphe I testifies to the technological and democratic aims of the artist’s practice.


Edmund Alleyn, who trained at École des beaux-arts de Québec, was a versatile artist whose career spanned nearly fifty years. His multifaceted production defies classification, although painting held a central place. Introscaphe I, which was unveiled at Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1970, belongs to the artist’s technological period, when his focus was on electronics and automation. Unique in Alley’s work, Introscaphe I is a 1970s landmark that placed him among the pioneers of media art.

 

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