Pixel by pixel in reality :
Petrus Wandreys' videosculpture Computer-Man is one of the earliest
of digitalism.
This multifunctional sculpture incorporates some technical relics from the 70s.
After many years with no function it is now fully operational again.

The specialities are an early LED light play in the shape of an atom, speakers and a cassette player for car use and two mini televisions as eyes.


Computer-Man holds several different functions. Because of disuse since years, none of them were working at the first inspection.

The LED light play is controlled by a selfmade matrix.

Each light is triggered individually.

From today’s perspective this is not a big deal, but back in the early days of digital electronics this was a real speciality.

Computer-Mans' eyes are even more remarkable.
Two tiny CRTs imitate the eyes of the sculpture.
These two are the rare cult model Sinclair MTV-1.With only two inch diagonal it was the smallest CRT television in the world.

Both picture tubes are attached on a wooden construction outside of their original case in order to fit next to each other.
Due to the unusual design of the tube itself the magnetic fields are interfering each other.
The images become distorted and unsymmetrical.
Additionally the early television models have an unstable vertical image frequency, which leads to the image rolling.

Wandrey must have been aware of this effect and had translate the image rolling into a wink of the Computer-Man.




The restoration of these very rare televisions turned out to be complicated.
A battery pack was built in these portable devices, which had run dry and started to leak acid.
The acid had affected major parts of the electronic chassis.

One Sinclair was restored, the second could not to be saved.
Therefore a spare device was sourced.
It was a MTV-1B, the successor model.

Addtionally the integrated circuits were a problem in both televisions.
In all three TVs, the main IC was defect.
Since it was a common problem, all spare ICs are out of stock since long.

Another conservation approach was to built in similiar mini TVs with a better technical quality.
It turned out that the sculpture is precisely fitted for the measurements of the Sinclair TVs, so from a conservational standpoint, it was not possible to adjust and convert other models.

The only way was to get other MTV-1s and use them for spare parts.

At the end we achieved to have two working Sinclair TVs by cannibalizing other Sinclair models.

All belts of the cassette player were porous.
The renewal was accomplished by finding new ones of identical sizes.



All technical components were restored and were ready to run.
Now it was time to analyze the original content that was displayed.
What was seen on the TVs?
What was heard from the speakers?

Since the TVs are only equipped with antennas, it became clear that the normal television program was broadcasted on them.
These analog signals have been turned off since years.


So the TVs were converted to video input by adding a custom circuit.
Content can be played on the "eyes" now via an USB media player.

There was no unique cassette for the player either, so it is to assume that this artwork is a kind of multimedia player for the owner.

Computer-Man was a personal gift from Petrus Wandrey to Harald Falckenberg.
His eyes and voice can display whatever the operator wants, meaning that this
scultpure is not only one of the first artworks of digitalism, but a very early kind
of interactive multimedia station.