588B  "AUTONOMOUS"
2017, 24’10” X 49” X 21.5”, 80 lbs., LED LIGHTS, SEALED BEAM HEADLAMPS, PERFORATED STAINLESS STEEL, LEXAN, LACQUERED WOOD & MDF
This piece has me thinking that my initial thoughts about where it was coming from now have a very different twist. When I started, my intention was to emulate all those huge whales and whale sharks that have enormous mouths taking in vast quantities of seawater and straining it for tiny plankton. I thought this time, I would do something different. Instead of having a shape tapered at both ends and jutting out in space from a central fuselage, this will be about its interior. The exterior will be simple and solid looking from certain angles. One end will be a wide open split oval that diminishes in size and flattens toward the other end. A separating carapace held in place by radiating spines. This time, the fuselage would be transparent and the lights would not be rigid neon tubes held out in space, but a plethora of tiny dots attached to numerous flexible ribbons running down close to the center. By using LED lights, I would be switching from 12,000 volts to 12 volts. At the front end, the long arms, or feelers, or antennae, would terminate with delicate, almost hand like, forms that seem more searching than dangerous. The divided tail end would be like the swallow tail on insects and birds, but also perforated the way steel girders are to save weight and to follow the precedent of the perforated fuselage. Each tail would be tipped with a tiny dot of bright white light to suggest dual tailpipes coming from an intense power in a miniscule area. (Small Plasma power engines are expected to be capable of reaching Mars, Jupiter, and beyond.) But I have a second possible interpretation to all of that. I had a devil of a time getting this piece made during the two plus years Mary and I were coping with her cancer. First, I rejected two other starts, then, when the idea came; I was working in spurts, making errors, and making way more parts than needed. Clearly, I was having a hard time concentrating on this project that required a considerable amount of planning . Maybe I chose this shape as a version of Mary's cancerous spleen that had doubled in size and protruded down well below its normal area tucked up under her ribs. Mantel Cell Lymphoma is a blood disease. Perhaps I was driven to use thousands of brilliant red LED's to describe her blood cells. Additionally, even watching for hours as each session of chemo drugs would be administered drip by drip at the slowest rate because she came close to dying with the faster more economical delivery could relate to the precise 11/16” spacing of the lights. My choice this time, to emphasize the inside of the sculpture. The idea of making something with a different set of spatial principles, with a kind of light that I had never used. All of this feeds into my view that art is best when seeded with both the conscious and the subconscious. I don’t think this is one of my best sculptures, but it is done as Mary is done with cancer for now.
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