507B  SWALOWTAIL
2014, 20'X 52"X 31.5", RED COLD CATHODE, FLOURESCENT,LED,& INCANDESCENT LIGHTS,LACQUERED MDF & WOOD, STAINLESS STEEL & COPPER
One of the limitations of sculpture is that much of it is static in this fast moving world. Kinetic sculpture attempts to bypass this problem, but machine produced repetitive motions are tedious and wind driven motions seem tame and still predictable. And the chance of a malfunction goes way up for both. My solution is to make the sculpture look like it is capable of doing something. And when that something is unknowable, that creates a mystery that keeps the mind in a more searching and fluid state. So the movement is in our heads, not before our eyes. Another method that I employ to keep that interest extended is to make the sculpture hard to know and even hard to see. As you move around under the sculpture, it keeps changing from solid to sparse, and its overall shape shifts considerably as you move from front to side to back. Even the lights disappear behind black forms and their linear shapes become just a hazy reflection only visible in a low light condition. In “Swalowtail”, I used another tactic to keep the viewer in kind of limbo. Even though it is symmetrical, the overall shape is so jagged, that it would be hard to make a drawing of it from memory because it doesn’t flow. So, this explains the title (except I left out one “l”). The idea for this sculpture came from watching butterflies and moths fly. You can also see that the wire antenna in the front of the sculpture, with its bright light, is a metaphor for an insect’s ability to detect pheromones. We make all kinds of instruments to gather every kind of information, so that is also a reference in many of my sculptures-as-instruments.
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