Who’s Who: Elliott Earls (Part2) Project 1

After being fired from Elektra Records in 1994, Elliott Earls began to follow a new path for himself. Over the course of twelve months, Earls worked alone on a collection of pop songs, graphics, programming, electrons, spoken word poetry, posters and typography that ultimately became Throwing Apples at the Sun. The art piece is an “Enhanced CD,” meaning that there is an audio CD, and an interactive CD-ROM on the same CD. Much like a photo-collage, the piece incorporated photographed versions of Earls’s physical printed posters overlaid with his bespoke type fonts and sound effects.

When it was originally released, Throwing Apples at the Sun was an interactive piece that could be flipped through, clicked and dragged around a Macintosh computer. It was not a cross-platform program, and therefore not accessible to Windows users, which limited its reach as a performance and art piece. Earls’s frustration with the technical limitations of his time caused him to branch out into performance, making Throwing Apples at the Sun from an interactive ROM, to a video presentation of mediated poetry, to a multi-media art performance to be seen in-person. Combining many of his skills and talents, Earls created a spectacle that couldn’t be looked away from.

The technology of the 1990’s limited Earls, but this also might’ve created the perfect opportunity for Earls to fly into the art scene as he did from this piece. CGI, advertising graphics and artistic forms were just some of the visual forms being experimented with as technology was beginning to come into the hands of all people. With Earls’s unique set of skills (computer technology, design, performance, etc.) he was able to surpass many of the early experiments with technology’s limits and create something truly surreal for people in 1995 (Earls).