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Tony Price - Life & Times
essay by James Rutherford

      Price was approached during this period by John
Allen and others involved with the conception and development of the Biosphere 2 8 project underway in Oracle, Arizona, who felt Tony’s work corresponded to the philosophy of the project. “Characteristically it attracted people from, what I would generically say, the avant-garde. And particularly the people it attracted were Tony in sculpture, William Burroughs in writing, Ornette Coleman in music. There were others. They saw it and they added to it. The biospherics is a new way of organizing human sensibility, which is the way or style in which the senses are organized for manifestation. Tony’s sculpture was particularly interesting and I think it added to the project a great deal. Because on a certain level the materials he dealt with were non-natural - so they were what humans have done with the world of life by applying intelligence and technics. These materials are ambiguous and double-edged. That is they can destroy a great deal of biosphere or they can be used to enhance it when used for artistic purposes. Biosphere 2 as a project presents a challenge of making humans realize that they are a part of this whole of which we emerge and we are participants in and at the same time we have the capacity to injure. This is where Tony thought his Atomic sculptures had a place. Its definitely a living art” Allen said. The group negotiated for the purchase and lease of a sizeable collection and in the fall of 1991, Price began installing numerous pieces on the sprawling facility including his large “Atomic Dorje” fountain and the final incarnation of his “Last S.A.L.T. Talks” piece. Since their placement these works have been seen by literally millions of visitors to the facility and continue to be enjoyed by the thousands who still venture to the site each year.
(additional Biosphere 2 photos)






Tony Price - Life & Times
essay by James Rutherford