2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968
A machine tooled aluminium plate with circular cut opening and perforated speaker section to lower edge [replaced] believed to have been made as one of the front panels that held the television camera "red-eye" of the sentient on-board Heuristcally programmed ALgorithmic 9000 computer on the 'Discovery One' spacecraft in Arthur C. Clarke (writer) and Stanley Kubrick's (Director/writer) 1968 Warner Bros. film 2001: A Space Odyssey; black finish to front, with white transfer lettering at upper-edge HAL 9000, HAL lettering on blue ground, several threaded 'screw' holes to reverse and a separate replacement fish-eye lens compatible with the circular opening; together with an engineered aluminium key similar to the one used by Dr. Dave Bowman [Keir Dullea] to gain access to the Logic Memory Center from where he shuts down the computer; accompanied by a standard reply typed letter, not dated, on Arthur C Clarke headed paper, to the current owner, with very rare handwritten annotations by Clarke as way of personal reply, the final line reading Honest HAL /= IBM !, within personalised envelope post marked 21.10.96 and four letters, 5pp. from David G Stork, Chief Scientist, RICOH, Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford Engineering in which he discusses HAL artefacts, Arthur C Clarke and arranging the props as exhibits in 1997, the letters dated between October 1996 and June 1997, and a letter from the current owner concerning the provenance, plate -- 4½x11¾in.x1/2in. (11.5x30x1.5cm.), key -- 5x2½in. (14x6.5cm.), contained in a bespoke tool box [later] (5)
STORK, David G HALs Legacy: 2001s Computer as Dream and Reality, MIT press, 1996
SCORSESE, Martin The Making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, New York: Modern Library 1968
HAL Birthday Party: Live Video Guest Arthur C Clarke, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, January 12 1997
Cyberfest 97, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, USA, March 1997

Lot Essay

HAL, possibly the film's principal character, whether programmed or genuine, with emotions greater than those of the astronauts, is initially the only one who shows fully-realised human characteristics. Only HAL knows the real mission of the journey - both astronauts are unaware of the purpose of their Jupiter mission. The programmed computer has been designed to withhold vital information from the astronauts until the spacecraft is almost at the destination. It is only when the astronauts begin to question HAL's decision making, in terms of putting their lives at risk, that their own human instincts and emotions come to the fore. It is with the realisation that HAL is out of control that Dave ultimately decides he must switch him off.
IBM contributed advice about computers of the future, but insisted that their logos be removed from the on-board computer once they realised that it was to become an errant device. IBM was even less pleased when it was realised that HAL, the name of the computer, was IBM's name with all the letters displaced by one character. The producers maintain that this was coincidence, but the conspiracy theorists maintain that it was Kubrick and Clarke having a swipe at the computer company. The included letter is a very rare and significant handwritten document directly from the film's principal writer, that reiterates and ultimately confirms that the name choice was not made with any pre-meditated link to IBM, however subtle, (originally, the computer was to be named Athena and to possess a female voice).

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