TOYING WITH PEOPLE
The Art Objects
FURBY'S FRENETIC WORKOUT
...................Meanwhile, in his basement and in the former two-car
garage behind his home, Sherman, .. is beginning to experiment
with the circuitry of the Furby, the must-have electronic toy of
1998 that spoke its own breed of language while occasionally
mimicking its human owner.
Sherman encountered Furby when his now-17-year-old twin sons
owned them (another studio in the Sherman home belongs to
Nancy Sedar Sherman, an embroidery artist).
"They are the most sophisticated toy I've ever seen," says
Sherman, who admits that when the Furby was still a mere toy,
and not components of his work, his sons "were driving me nuts"
playing with them. Now, Sherman buys them on the Internet,
incorporating the dome-shaped bodies and electronic guts into
kinetic pieces such as Furby's Frenetic Workout.
There, a silver-skinned Furby squawks as it sits on the
handlebars of an exercise bike Sherman has given the profile of a
motorcycle by adding a rear fender made of stainless steel slide
joints fastened by a bronze clip. The contraption will skitter across
a parking lot, or, if tied down in a home workshop, rattle wildly up
and down, an exercise machine that runs the program as the
hypothetical rider hangs on for dear life.
Frenetic Workout made its debut at the + Gallery show's opening,
and has inspired Sherman to continue his exploration of what the
once-popular plaything can do in a series called "Toys at
- Mary Chandler, Rocky Mountian New Art Review
All images and content copyright © 1998-2009 Ira D. Sherman - All rights reserved