COLLISIONcollective

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*                        For engineers that moonlight as artists and artists that moonlight as engineers                                         *
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Wonderlust

Polymer clay, acrylic mirror, acrylic panels, proximity detectors, LEDs, pager motors, ultrasonic water foggers, H0 scale figures
2012
Wonderlust
Wonderlust - detail

Wonderlust is a glittering, mysterious, miniature cavern. The floor of the cavern is colonised by vague organic shapes shrouded in a gently moving mist. From the ceiling of the cavern hang a cluster of immaculate mirrored rectangular bars of varying lengths. Bright lights shine shine up from the floor but are dimmed by the mists. Visitors notice the resemblance of the suspended bars to data representations like histograms. The column lengths suggest a measurement of an aspect of the shapes found directly below them. As visitors approach the piece, their curious examination triggers movement of tiny observers contemplating their environment. As they spin, the observers kick up the mists both hiding and revealing aspects of the cavern.

The piece suggests a dialog between Nature and one of the ways in which we attempt to understand it - scientific study. Do we diminish the subject by reducing it to numbers? Does the abstraction really reveal anything more? Is wonder lost or gained when we try to satisfy our curiosities?

This piece is part of a series of works I have made exploring the value we place in scientific discovery and what consequences such reverence might have for making progress - either in deepening and elaborating a paradigm or shifting to a new one. Previous works show data and models rendered either verbatim or abstractly in gild, glitter and rhinestones while all other explanatory information is lost.

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