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Michael Jackson Dance Floor


The Michael Jackson Dance Floor exhibits Marman and Borins's characteristic interest in interactivity. The floor, on which viewers are intended to stand, lights up and plays samples from Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. With the slightest nod to the ghost of Andy Warhol's Dance Diagrams, the viewer, whose foot pressure activates the sound clips, controls this dancing machine. It also, however, dictates the viewer's set of possible foot movements (not without a certain irony, as Michael Jackson was known for his fluid and ground-breaking dance moves). It is in this manner of machine controlling the viewer that Marman and Borins’ signature take on interactive art and post-minimalism is expressed. The grid-like dance floor, pristine and industrially finished as commodity, slab-like and yet iPod-like, brings together the boundaries of pop-culture and mechanized minimalism.

Sharing the red carpet is a vitrine housing artifacts stringing together associations between music, the body, and technology: a pair of LA Gear Michael Jackson running shoes; "The Man-Machine" 1978 Kraftwerk album whose record cover is modeled on Russian Constructivism yet was attacked for its fascist colour scheme; and the BeeGee's keyboard model used by Kraftwerk on their album tour. These objects seem to provide a historical and conceptual context for the Dancefloor, an exhibit of carefully loose clues.