Tony Martin, a painter and new-media artist whose groundbreaking work with mild was embraced by performers as disparate as Pauline Oliveros and the Grateful Lifeless, died in upstate New York on March 24 of congestive coronary heart failure on the age of eighty-three. The information was confirmed by his spouse, poet Margot Farrington. Martin, who bought his begin within the San Francisco underground scene of the early Sixties, is broadly credited as one of many inventors of the sunshine present and as an early proponent of interactive artworks.
Martin was born in 1937 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of two artists employed by the US authorities’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the course of the Nice Despair. His father was moreover a widely known illustrator of album covers; the household’s immersion on this planet of music vastly influenced the youthful Martin, who would later recall Woody Guthrie sometimes stopping by with a guitar. Martin went on to check on the College of Michigan and on the Artwork Institute of Chicago earlier than transferring to San Francisco. Whereas working and exhibiting there as a painter, he started creating mild compositions utilizing the titular factor in addition to paint, numerous liquids, objects, and overhead and slide projectors. A classically educated musician himself, he began performing these works, which he characterised as “painting in time,” dwell with pioneering composers together with Oliveros, Morton Subotnick, David Tudor, and Terry Riley. He moreover started creating multisensory environments, sculptural, light-based artworks that viewers may manipulate to impact adjustments each inside and outdoors the buildings.
In 1963, Riley and Ramon Sender invited Martin to hitch the San Francisco Tape Music Heart as visible director; the next 12 months, on the behest of promoter Invoice Graham, he started creating for artists such because the Lifeless and Jefferson Airplane the primary of the psychedelic mild exhibits that may come to embody the period. On transferring to New York, he produced the visible techniques for the famend disco Electrical Circus earlier than accepting a place at New York College’s newly established Intermedia Arts Division. Within the late Nineteen Seventies, utilizing a grant he obtained from the Nationwide Endowment for the Arts, he invented the vector image generator, which he unveiled in 1980 at New York’s P.S. 1 (now MoMA PS1) together with his Vector Picture Wall. His later work integrated digital and analog media, and made use of assorted software program applications.
Although he would stay finest identified for his pathbreaking work in mild, Martin continued to color in the course of the course of a variegated profession that spanned 5 a long time. He exhibited broadly, together with on the Walker Artwork Heart, Minneapolis; the Whitney Museum of American Artwork, New York; and the Nationwide Museum of Trendy and Modern Artwork, Seoul. His work is held within the collections of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Backyard in Washington, DC, and on the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, amongst different establishments; his papers are held by the Fales Library at New York College.