John Toth
Intermedia. Hypermedia and the Sublime.

Light & Shadow
The centennial anniversary of the Pan American Exhibition in Buffalo at the Burchfield Penney Art Center presents an opportunity for an intermedia installation by John Toth in collaboration with Margaret Foster and John Valentino of Arts in Education of Western New York.

John Toth, fabric and light installation designed for the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford, England.


National Museum of
Photography, Film & Television,
Bradford, England

Convergence, 3 fabric units 30'x40"x50' with light and video projections
Convergence image archive

Confluence, 6 fabric units each 10'x10'x10' with light and video projections
Confluence image archive

In A Circle is a collaboration that will use the internet and other technologies to link groups of participants in many sites and cities. The core collaboration at this point is the linking of live performances in Buffalo and New York City via the internet I will create fabric installations in multiple sites that will define the structure and framework for performance and art. Artists in Buffalo include composers, poets, video artists, musicians and visual artists. Artists in New York City will provide choreography, dance , theater, video, opera, composers, musicians, visual arts, cyber arts. Teleconferencing and live internet connections will bring interactive possibilities between performers at different sites. ( a dancer in one city will duet and improvise with a dancer in another city or a visual artist and musician might interact with several dancers in other cities).
Circle 1f

In A Circle
# 1f , Audart / Art and technology Circus
installation for performance

In A Circle
Victoria Anderson, Choreography

Victoria Anderson

Sarah Carl / Below

In A Circle
Sarah Carl, Dancer, Actor

Music performances with the East Buffalo Media Association
Media Study/Buffalo
EBMA performance
Don Metz, composer; Michael Basinski, poet

fabric, 8-units 18' x 18' x 9'


Artists' Gallery
Buffalo, NY
sea5 sea9
# 1a
, fabric, 96" x 96" x 96"


Fabric sculpture installation in collaboration with John Cage and LeJaren Hiller for their music composition for six
harpsichords, titled HPSCHD, with 40 slide projectors and 16 - 16mm film projectors.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery
, Buffalo, N.Y.

John Toth
, 8 fabric units, 18' x 18' x 9'

Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Collaboration with John Cage and LeJaren Hiller


John Cage / HPSCHD 2a

John Toth
, 8 fabric units, 18' x 18' x 9'

Collaboration with John Cage and LeJaren Hiller

fabric installtion with 40 slide projectors
and 16- 16mm film projectors



Public Installations
Elicot Square
John Toth,
fabric installation in the Elicot Square Building
fabric 40 feet by 60 feet

Elicot Square 2a

Elicot Square
John Toth, f
abric installation
2 fabric and wood units, 8 feet by 50 feet
white tricot and bent poplar

Elicot Square 1a

In 1989 I had the pleasant experience of meeting dance choreographer Ruby Shang.  Ruby saw slides of my stationary fabric installations and thought it would make a good collaboration to have to have her dancers move and manipulate my fabric structures within her dance composition.  "TALES OF EXILE" premeired in 1989 at the Lincoln Center "Out-Of-Doors Festival" in New York with Ruby Shang Dance Company and theater performance directed  by Gilbert T'sai with music composition by  Carman Moore.

tales03a.jpgTales of Exile
Collaboration with Ruby Shang and Dance Company, at the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival (1989). Dancer manipulated fabric structures.

Gilbert Tsai, director adapted from"Invisible Cities" by Italo Calvino

Carman Moore, composer and the Sky Music Ensemble with Leroy Jenkins - violin and Sam Rivers - saxophone


tales07a.jpg     tales09a.jpg


tales06a.jpg    tales08a.jpg   

Chester, NY


Cloth Forms
Dayton Art Institute
Dayton, Oh.

cloth forms
Net Web
fabric installation, 36 " x 36" x 36"


Screen 1a Screen
# 1a, maquette for sculture with bent poplar and white fabric. 12" x 10"
Performance fabric installation at Times Square, NYC.
Earth Day 1a

Snake, Earth Day
# 1a, fabric sculture, 30' x 4'

Earth Day 2a

Snake, Earth Day
# 2a, fabric sculture, 30' x 4'

Fabric structures from "Tales of Exile"
at Earth Day Festival

Volcano, Earth Day
rip stop nylon fabric, 72" x 24" cir.

at Earth Day Festival


Fabric Is A Structure For Behavior

Perhaps the earliest memories we have of fabric are from the embryonic membrane that first served as our protective shelter.  And immediately from the womb we were dressed in furs, blankets and clothes.

       As a child, I crawled under the quilting frame of my grandmother’s Slavic sewing circle.  My back to the damp basement floor, I watched, under the quilting frame, as needles poked through the tightly stretched fabric, stitching remnants from our worn out shirts into brightly colored geometric patterns.  Sitting around the perimeter, the husbands occasionally rose to readjust the clamps holding the quilt to the frame, testing the tension, aware of the surface.  The lights above lit the fabric, coloring the shapes, as I watched below the patterns grew. I played under  fabric landscapes that covered furniture in storage, in the scary part of the attic. Within the quiet moments of hide-and-seek, lying under the fabric protection, I discovered a place that gave refuge and a structure for visual fantasy.

        In later years, I camped in dark green resin soaked cotton canvas tents and watched shadowy trees and blistering light bend on sharp angles across the woven  textured surface that promised, during rain, not to drip unless I touched it.

       As an artist I use fabric to mingle the mystery of materials from  brightly colored nylon and synthetic grids to metallic meshes and translucent Mylar’s, with light, film and projected video

John Toth, 1990

defining links:

Installation Art

Unlike traditional art works, installation art has no autonomous existence. It is usually created at the exhibition site, and its essence is spectator participation. Installation art originated as a radical art form presented only at alternative art spaces; its assimilation into mainstream museums and galleries is a relatively recent phenomenon. The move of installation art from the margin to the center of the
art world has had far-reaching effects on the works created and on museum practice.

From Margin to Center: The Spaces of Installation Art
Author:Julie Reiss Publisher:MIT Press


Digital Media Archive 1 - 2 - Sculpture Archive - Painting Archive - Drawing Archive - Portfolio Archive

all images (c) copyright 1986-10 John Toth