The Coin Operated Electric Chair provides a safe and healthy outlet for hate. It's better than using violence against real human beings, and it directs violence toward someone who deserves it, rather than toward an innocent person. A hooded "condemned man" dressed in prison garb is strapped to the chair, awaiting his fate. The machine speaks: "Who would you like to bring to justice? Execute the condemned man. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. No judge, no jury, no last minute stay of execution. You pull the switch. Step up to the control panel. Insert 25 cents. Execute the condemned man. "

When a coin is inserted, and the switches are pulled, the condemned man twitches and jerks in the chair. Sparks fly and the odor of burning hair is emitted from the panel.

The coin operated Electric Chair inspired complaints when it was first shown at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, CA. It was mentioned in the New York Times for two days. The National Enquirer, The Sun, The Globe and the Weekly World News all printed pictures of the Coin Operated Electric Chair. A letter from Amnesty International demanded the removal of the piece from the exhibition. The East Bay Justice Project labeled the piece tasteless, and picketed the exhibition. Attendance at the Triton Museum tripled after the protests begin. The switch was pulled enough times to empty out all the prisons in California. A Museum staff member noted; "Some people seem to feel a surge of power when they throw the switch. This piece graphically shows what an execution is all about."

The artist says: "People love to see violence when it's happening to others. We see violence and crime as entertainment all the time and nobody complains. Now we see punishment and somebody complains.

While counting his pile of coins at the close of the exhibition, he notes that "crime doesn't pay, but punishment does.


wood ,electricity, and mixed media

Life size

"Art That's Jolting And Revolting."
National Enquirer- April 16, 1985