Johnny Box is a solar powered, modular art kit that commemorates the late inventor, Johnny Stewart—an audio field recordist who marketed electronic hunting game callers in the 50s. In fiction, “McGuffin” or “Big Dumb Objects (BDO)” are mysterious, sometimes extraterrestrial devices that a protagonist pursues with little narrative explanation. Johnny Box is this kind of device. The kit—inspired by Fluxkits—was compiled at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and is on loan at the L.C. Bates Museum in Maine (as pictured above). The short documentary about Johnny Box—included here—was produced in collaboration with Somerset Community TV11.

Kit contents:

— Johnny Stewart “Call of the Wild” record player with horn loudspeaker and cable
— Johnny Stewart “Deluxe Cassette Tape Game Caller” with horn loudspeaker and cable
— Assorted Johnny Stewart 7” animal calls and instruction records
— Assorted Johnny Stewart animal call cassettes
— Assorted Johnny Stewart “Call of the Wild” ephemera including print advertisements
— 1 Johnny Stewart “How to Call Wild Game” pamphlet
— 1 Johnny Stewart “Call of the Wild” operation manual
— 2 X 3W solar panels housed in custom mahogany frame
— 4 X mahogany interchangeable placards with hardware
— 1 Seeedstudio LiPo Rider Pro
— 1 Adafruit 328 Lithium Battery, 3.7V, 2500mAh
— 1 Arduino Uno
— 1 USB 2.0 A/B cable
— 1 SainSmart 4-Channel Relay Module
— 1 custom mahogany base (27x22x19)
— 1 custom mahogany/plexiglass vitrine (28x23)
— 1 concrete base with rope handles
— 3 X custom sand bags with special stitching
— 1 circuit breaker kit
— 1 utility box with tools, soldering iron, extra turntable needles, and batteries
— 1 custom mahogany utility stepstool
— Galvanized pipe frame
— Assorted mahogany and galvanized pipe fixtures
— Assorted nuts, bolts, washers, and screws
— Assorted electrical cable
— Foam insulation