“The penis is so different!,” proclaims artist Peiqi Su in a statement accompanying her thesis project for the “2014 Spring Show” at New York University’s ITP, a program within the Tisch School of the Arts focused on interactive and new media art. Her installation, The Penis Wall (2014), is exactly what it sounds like. The piece consists of a wall covered with 81 3-D-printed penises, each equipped with tiny motors that can modulate its level of flaccidity or erectness to one of six levels. The penises can be calibrated to respond to a number of stimuli, from the movements of viewers within a gallery space, to the fluctuations of stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange.
Peiqi built the work over the course of a semester, from initial prototyping in early February to 3-D-printing the first mechanical penis in mid-March, and finally testing and fixing for much of May.
“I hope to provide a chance for people to discuss penises and things related by creating an interactive installation,” she explains in her thesis summary. “For myself, I’m also interested in the behavior of penis. It’s soft and hard, up and down, small and large, smooth and rough. It may be the most attractive and intuitive interface.”
Peiqi’s previous projects have involved recreating other organic and bodily forms, from mushrooms to human hair.
“This is my initial motivation,” Peiqi explains in her statement, “to study one of the oldest and probably the most attractive thing that humans interact with.” The piece was on view only briefly, on May 19 and 20, as part of ITP’s spring exhibition showcasing student works, but The Penis Wall seems destined to pop up again soon.
To see footage of Wall of Penises in action, click here.Follow artnet News on Facebook.