CYSP 1. (1956)

the first cybernetic sculpture of art's history



CYSP 1. ( a name composed of the first letters of cybernetics and spatiodynamic) is the first "spatiodynamic sculpture" having total autonomy of movement (travel en all directions at two speeds) as well as axial and eccentric rotation (setting in motion of its 16 pivoting polychromes plates).

Nicolas Schöffer has executed this spatial composition in steel and duraluminum, into which an electronic brain, developed by the Philips Company, has been incorporated.

The whole is set on a base mounted on four rollers, which contains the mechanism and the electronic brain. The plates are operated by small motors located under their axis. Photo-electric cells and a microphone built into the whole catch all the variations in the fields of color, light intensity and sound intensity. All these changes occasion reactions on the part of the sculpture consisting of combined travel and animation.


For example: it is excited by the color blue, which means that it moves forward, retreats or makes a quick turn, and makes its plates turn fast; it becomes calm with red, but at the same time it is excited by silence and calmed by noise. It is also excited in the dark and becomes calm en intense light.

Inasmuch as these phenomena are constantly variable, the reactions are likewise ever changing and unpredictable, which endows the mechanism with an almost organic life and sensitivity.

CYSP 1. launches upon an adventure unique in the history of art. It participates in artistic live on multiple levels.

In an actual spectacle, it dances in ballets with one or several human partners. It takes its place in motion pictures. An abstract film, for instance, is being planned, using all possible visual effects, such as the stroboscopic effect which occurs when its polychrome plates turn at the speed of light vibrations, giving an effect of immaterial colored blends; its shadow projected in movements gives the spectacle a double effect. Its transparency confers upon it multiple partially arrested aspects. It can adapt itself to the theatre and participate in exhibitions.

It constitutes a living counterpoint, a new and harmonious contrast with the articulated movements of the undulating bodies of humans by its evolutions and its transparent, orthogonal and metallic structure.

This artificial being is the prototype of a whole series of other spatiodynamics sculptures which could stage a great cybernetic spectacle on the ground and even in the air, thus creating a true synthesis between the most advanced aesthetic conception and the most up-to-date scientific means, capable of multiplying their attractive possibilities tenfold.


CYSP1. Paris

The making of an animated spatiodynamic sculpture marks the first attempt at allying abstract sculpture and choreography. Both of these, reflecting as they do a comparable artistic expression, have been fused into a single object thanks to electronics and to cybernetics.

Maurice Béjart showed this robot-dancer for the first time en 1956 in a ballet performance. He executed with a pas de deux to the accompaniment of a concrete music composition by Pierre Henry.

Spatiodynamic sculpture, for the first time, makes it possible to replace man with a work of abstract art, acting on its own initiative, which introduces into the show world a new being whose behavior and career are capable of ample developments.

Where, in which museum this key-work will take place?

That is the question we ask us.

That is the question we ask you.


More informations on the french side of the web site