Pioneers in the Valley of the Heart's Delight**
Project Overview

Life size wooden cutouts of Lee deForest, Hewlett and Packard, William Shockley, Frederick Terman, and Robert Noyce near the art studio of Jim Pallas in Michigan, preparing for their hitchhiking journey to Silicon Valley. If you hellp these men get to their destinations in Silicon Valley, you can get up to a 10% share of the sculpture. All hitchhikers that reach their destination will be for sale at the end of the project. Contact exhibits _at_ ylem.org for more information..

Sentence:

During I.S.E.A.'s The ZeroOne San Jose Festival, GPS-bearing* hitchhiking cut-outs of the pioneers of Silicon Valley technology will visit their old haunts while we watch.

Short                description:
"Pioneers in the Valley of the Heart's Delight" * *  consists of five life-size cutouts painted with the portraits of people that were responsible for advancing the technology that drives Silicon Valley.  These cutouts will be implanted with GPS devices and then abandoned in public places in and around  San Jose or across the U.S. with a request for passers-by to deliver them to a prescribed location.  Real-time information about them and their whereabouts will be part of an art work at YLEM's booth in the conference center
during I.S.E.A.'s The ZeroOne San Jose Festival, .

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Julie Newdoll, Jim Pallas and Mike Mosher , three members of YLEM, artists using science and technology based in San Francisco with members all over the world,  have teamed up for this Inter City project
during I.S.E.A.'s The ZeroOne San Jose Festival, . Mario Wolczko joined them as the engineer on the project.  A key point of having the ISEA conference in San Jose in the Silicon Valley is to recognize the importance that computing and other local industries contribute to contemporary artists.  The history of this location and the people that paved the way for others should be included somewhere in the artwork and presentations.  Not many people even in this area would probably recognize the faces of the pioneers of transistors and semiconductors.  The Valley of Heart's Delight was Silicon Valley's original name, changed because of the importance of this industry.  We present here a way to engage the city residents in learning a bit about their history and its link to the artists of ISEA.    

The activity of making full-size wooden cutouts of people and sending them "hitch hiking" was originally conceived by Jim Pallas in 1981.  His first cutout was abandoned on a Michigan country road with a note requesting that it be delivered to an art gallery in time for a party.  This was his way of delivering his artwork to the gallery for an exhibit.  To his delight, the cutout made the hundred mile trip to the gallery by hitching a ride with a passer-by who was curious about the event.  This willingness to give a stranger a ride may be lost in our current society, but we are going to give it a try.

One frustration with the original hitch hiker concept was that Pallas rarely knew the whereabouts of his cutout after he abandoned it.  Many have not been seen since they were set out on the road.  We hope to remedy this and follow their path by putting a GPS device* inside the cutout.  A GPS device can send tracking information to a web page. Mario Wolczko figured out how to do this without paying thousands of dollars, and programmed the maps which show GPS locations on our web pages.  The real-time location of the five "hitch hikers" will be part of a computer installation art work by Michael Mosher. This is also available on the web (the web site contained within the pages you are currently viewing)
.  Mosher will provide a subjective interactive artistico-narrative on the several notable Silicon Valley "hitchhikers" whom Newdoll and others have set out to be picked up by passers-by in public places.  The pioneers' historical importance to the region and tech industry grapples with their often curious, contradictory biographies will be part of the display.  Web pages with the whereabouts of each cutout will be featured on the display and the Web.  Newdoll will write the travelogue based on the pictures and text people send in as they participate on the project. The display itself will be encased in a hand painted housing inspired by the subject matter of the project.
The following is the current selection of tech pioneers.  Their itineraries are subject to change.

Photo courtesy of Hewlett-Packard Company

.Hewlett Packard
William Hewlett and David Packard, travelling as one, will start out AUgust 5 at the Hewlett Packard printer cartridge section of an Office Depot store in San Jose, make an appearance at the YLEM booth of the ISEA ZeroOne block party in San Jose and then go on to Hewlett Packard, Inc.






photo courtesy of intel museum

Robert Noyce who will start out at a pig farm in Iowa around July 23 and try to make it to the Robert Noyce Museum.








Photo courtesy,History San Jose
Lee de Forest who will depart from the Opera House in San Jose August 7, get down with the ladies of YLEM at the ISEA ZeroOne block party on First Street in San Jose and move on to the Perham Foundation Electronics History Museum at the San Jose Historical Museum in Kelley Park.
Photo courtesy of Stanford University

Frederick Emmons Terman,
who will depart from
MIT's Media Lab around
July 24  in Cambridge, Ma
and arrive  at
Stanford College of Engineering.



William Shockley, who will be dropped off August 6 at the Any Mountain store in the San Jose area and end up at the fruit stand occupying his original building.

These hitch hiking pioneers will be deposited at their starting points with instructions on where they are to go inscribed on the cutouts' backs.  As an incentive, we will have a reward for those who aid the hitch hikers  to arrive at their destinations.  The main reward is a share of the hitchhikers. Each person to help get the hitch hikers to their destination gets up to a 10% share. Share details are on the backs of the hitchhikers. The hitch hikers are registered with fineartregistry.com to discourage theft.  To PURCHASE a "hitch hiker" after the event, please contact:
exhibits _at_ ylem.org
or phone Julie Newdoll. Publicity surrounding the figures would aid in getting our content to the general public. Contact Julie Newdoll for specific release times and sale information  650 591 7999

 Pallas, who has created almost thirty "hitch hikers" in the past quarter century, says the most interesting aspect of them are the surprising adventures in which they become involved due to their uncontrolled interaction with the public. Essential to the Hitch Hiker concept is the act of abandonment.    At some point, control over the hitch hiker is relinquished.    Otherwise, it's just some kind of alternative delivery system.     Abandoning our creation  makes the  statement that, at least in our mind, art is  essentially divorced from money,  that life is risky, that art is not in the  object but in our concept of it.  For this reason, there has  to be a break in  custody of the artwork between the creators and the carriers.  Our concept requires that the Hitch Hiker be left someplace to  be picked up by a "naive" member of the public who is free to do  with it what he/ she will.  We hope it won't be left by the side of  a busy road  because people tend not to "interfere" with stuff  there.  An isolated spot  on a quiet country road is ideal.  If the  person who abandons it  wants to "hide in the bushes" to see what  happens, that's fine.   But they mustn't interfere.  We are are curious to see where these hitch hikers will go and how they are received by the people in the community to which they have contributed so much.

Where are the hitchhikers NOW?
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*  A device that utilizes a system of space satellites and receivers that is able to determine its latitude and longitude on Earth by calculating the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach it.  
** "Valley of the Hearts Delight" was the former name for the area now called "Silicon Valley"