1979, 3:55 min, color, sound

Sunstone is a landmark tape. Symbolic and poetic, it is a pivotal work in the development of an electronic language to articulate three-dimensional space. The opening image is an iconic face, which appears to be electronically "carved" from stone. A mystical third eye, brilliantly crafted from a digital palette, radiates with vibrant transformations of color and texture. Sculpting electronically, Emshwiller then transforms perspectival representation: the archetypal "sunstone" is revealed to be one facet of an open, revolving cube, each side of which holds a simultaneously visible, moving video image.

Created with what was then complex technology over an eight-month period, this emblematic spinning cube metaphorically describes a three-dimensional, temporal space, both hyperreal and simulated. Emshwiller's humanistic approach to technology ushered in the 1980s with a new electronic vocabulary for conceptualizing and visualizing images in space and time. Reflecting an image-saturated world, Sunstone marked a new stage in electronic art.

Computer Programmer/Technical Support: Alvy Ray Smith, Lance Williams, and Garland Stern. Produced at Computer Graphics Laboratory, New York Institute of Technology.