BANANAFEELYEYE is a three piece sculpture created in 1990 for the Impresssion
5 Science Museum in Lansing, Michigan with support from the Michigan Council
for the Arts.
The main piece is a large triangular relief, twenty-two feet
wide and nine feet high. It wraps around the main landing of the
Museum's entrance stairs and is designed to greet visitors as they enter
the Museum. The right half of the relief is an assemblage of natural
The left half is constructed of man-made components. All materials
were selected for their tactile qualities. Visitors are encouraged
to touch the relief.
The materials and visitors' interactions with them were tested with a preliminary sculpture, "Bee" installed in the museum for several months.
Embedded in the relief are forty, red automotive signal lights, a clear,
one inch diameter tube containing colored liquids, two thermally sensitive
liquid crystal panels that, when touched, change color and emit the sounds
of birds and frogs, and a fan that sometimes blows banana scented air at
visitors. These four active elements are controlled by a computer
that senses visitors by their body heat, noise, and by them touching the
heat sensitive panels.
A giant eyeball one foot in diameter rises out of the apex of the main
triangle to a height of fifteen feet. Hidden in the eyeball is a TV camera
that sees and hears what the eye is watching. A TV monitor on a funky console
is located elsewhere in the Museum. It displays the scene with sounds
and includes the joy-stick which points the eyeball. Visitors are invited
to operate the eyeball which observes people entering the Museum.
Visitors may press a button on the console which lights up the eyeball.
A small bunch of white fabric hangs above the main relief. A second
button on the remote consol inflates the fabric to become an eight foot
tall question mark. If the button is pushed again, the question mark deflates.
Although the artist feels there is symbolic meaning in this artwork,
he prefers not to comment on it. He says that too many people will
accept his interpretation as the only one, and he doesn't want to limit
the numerous meanings suggested by the piece.