COLLISIONcollective

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

proximity sensor, 54 servo motors, Arduino microprocessor, MDF panel, acrylic, house paint, spray paint, ink and graphite
2011
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]
Artwork by [user-name]

Wonder (2011) is an interactive, kinetic sculpture that is brought to life by the movement of others. From a distance, the white dots appear to be a constellation, and the work remains static. As a person approaches, the motors suddenly come to life and the dots slowly coalesce to spell the word 'wonder'. However, much like a pointillist painting, the word is illegible when viewed up close. Because of that, it ideally requires two or more people to participate. The person approaching or ‘wondering’ becomes the artist/performer, physically bringing the work to fruition with their movements. Onlookers are given the ability to see the ‘wonder’ in the making, both literally and metaphorically. The typically passive act of looking becomes a physically active performance, and people in the vicinity are able to watch and be entertained by the spectacle of it. It is the sculpture's playful nature that really interests me. Whether or not viewers ever discover the word ‘wonder’ within the work is not important. Meaning is constructed and elaborated collectively, through a shared and hopefully memorable experience. 

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.

Mechanical Universe, Part I: The Pastoral

Oil paint on wood, aluminum (steel brackets), motors, solar panels, wire, electronics
2008
Artwork by [user-name]

Mechanical Universe originally was created for the Boston Cyberarts Festival and shown as part of the 2007 festival at TransCultural Exchange: Punzo shipped his cyber insects to the Boston, where I created their ‘living spaces’ - part irreverent homage to Donald Judd; part reverent homage to Jean Tinguely and Alexander Calder. But pure Punzo and Sherman.
Each 'box' is a collage of highly textured paint and polished aluminum.
At the push of a button, the doors open at staggered intervals, revealing a host of musical 'cyber insects,' before slamming close. The individual 'boxes' also can be re-configured to respond to the architecture of the space in which the piece is exhibited. The idea is to create an up-dated, modular version of the 17th century Italian pastoral by way of the 21st century
Special thanks to George Bossarte for electronic/programming help; and Nexus Machine Shop and Gallery for use of the shop

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