Vlasta Volcano and Jeff Gompertz founded Floating Point Unit (FPU) 1993, electronic arts collective based in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Floating Point Unit uses and addresses new media technologies with a special emphasis on distance performance and internet broadcasting. The F.P.U. group stages media-saturated installation events and constructs real and virtual (vrml) architectural structures to contain them. They combine digital/analog electronics, performance art, and experimental video observation platforms to form multi-layered audio-visual environments.
Beside Volcano and Gompertz, the FPU on and off members were Bruno Ricard and Prema Murthy, although the FPU’s concept and activities were really marked with engagement
and participation of numerous artists per project, as well as various collaborations with different artistic institutions and groups. Since FPU raised from broadcasting company “Pseudo” which hired the artists to design the digital environments, it was understandable that early projects were frequently labeled as ‘pseudo’ (for instance, Pseudo Glove, 1993), as well as that they’ve used digital video equipment that back then was accessible to them. However, FPU work almost instantly begun to branch and develop in the direction by which the group would be more influential and renown – in organizing events and parties that included technocultural mix and unification of media, such as: performances, plastic installations (huge balloons), digital video installations, DJ-ing, and of course – audience participation (The Loft, 1995; Bubble 45, 1995). Strong influence of popular technoculture could be seen in the way they conceptualized and promoted their events, but especially in their choice of the spaces in which events took place (empty, abandoned places: lofts, synagogues, night clubs, etc.).

 

1996 OBSERVATION PLATFORM. An installation project specifically designed for simultaneous live view and broadcast on the internet.

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