Toxic Wastes from A to Z (coming after you and me) is a parody of a children’s alphabet learning aid which runs alphabetically through a list of toxic pollutants. Martin Nisenholtz invites Fekner, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and others to experiment with an early interactive computer graphics system (Telidon) at New York University’s Alternate Media Center (Interactive Telecommunications Program). Fekner generates colorful shapes and patterns in a deceptively simple lighthearted manner to engage the attention of the viewer concerning the seriousness of hazardous waste and the effect on both the general public and the environment. Under the direction of Don Leicht, students in his class at P. S. 161 in the South Bronx participate on the rap chant of the video’s title. Using reconfigured audio toys, Fekner and Steve Grivas supplied the additional background sounds. Fekner received his first international award at Toronto’s Video Culture Festival in the Videotex category.
2min 12sec. color, sound, 8-bit computer graphics
©1981 John Fekner