... constantly working out the details...

... constantly working out the details...

Monday, March 31, 2008

The tao of sub suburbia

In all of these peices there exixts a cyclical time based element in which things inflate and deflate. This cycle, though only to be set off when the viewer approches references the taoist principles of balance, force (tao) and the struggle between passive and aggressive action.

The balance of form, precision set off by imperfection, the simple made complex and vice versa are instantly apparent uppon approach of the piece. As the work comes to life, a pattern arises, not overly bold, but obvious in its intentions. this pattern is followed by the hand to create the form, and mutilatyed by the hand in as quick of a fashion. The triangle and the circle, The two simplest of shapes are combined and multiplied. The multiplicity, again thoug elegant in its individual aesthetic becomes moot upon viewing the piece asa a whole and appreciating its basic reference to the sphere. This is how the simple arizes and dominates the complex, allowing balance to overcome chaos and disorder.

The force of the approach, though intimidating on first impact, becomes nessacary in order to fully appreciate the silence. In other ways, the cyclical currents inside of the pieces reflect this inner chi provided by the viewerits currents are what actually shape the sculpture. The air in all its delicacy is the driving force behind this work it becomes the penetrator. in the same way that a rock will split a stream, the force of air threatens to split the seams of these sculptures. In the end this force is subdued, calmed by the abscence of action on the part of the viewer. The wu wei. The art of doing nothing. As the weight of the fabric and iron begin to pull and down on the fabric. The once powerful air pressure, now static, is overcome by gravity. The overcoming of this synthetic force is in and of itself as poetic and beautiful, if not more so than the act of inflation.

The constant struggle between passive and agressive forces I dont know what to say at the end of this part, i feel like if i go any further in ths the metaphor and emphasis will start to border on hyperbole. The pieces inflate, they deflate, one hand washes the other, tree falling in the woods, water crashing over a stone, ying, yang, chi, chai, rock gardens, power yoga, tae bo, cheech and chong etc etc,

Monday, March 10, 2008

The material

In general in my work, i am often presented with a material and objects are created from that material. I believe this body of work is separate from previous works, in the sense that the idea to work with sail canvas came to me, without any specific pieces In mind. While the transformation has been relatively smooth to go from steel and wood to a softer material, the transition was not without its hiccups. the initial idea was to have more of a patch worked feel to it where seeming imprecision yielded a formulated shape or form. after several experiments with this I came to the conclusion that this just doesn't happen. this was when i started to turn towards computer aided design to create the shapes.

The use of sails specifically came quite naturally to me, Being from around this area, and having a father who was a marina worker, the use of nautical equipment seemed appropriate. I have always tried to maintain a transparency and truth in my materials, both in a geographical sense and functionality. In the sense that most of my material has a local relationship and simplicity in its function.

Sail fabric, being both familiar and readily available in the area, presented itself as a solution long before i had any particular body of work in mind that related to it. In the beginning the idea of using the fabric for what it was and using wind and currents to activate kinetic sculptures seemed like the right direction to head, but nothing came to mind that didn't seem so obvious.

The Idea to inflate came about during sketches, I suppose partly due to a play on words evolving into a sort of kitchy relationship between sails and air. I have done the most on my part to avoid exploiting this sort of literal/figurative problem, but it makes me happy to know that it is still there.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Process III

The swatches of fabric are cut from sail material. in this case either Dacron, Nylon or a kevlar/mylar laminate. each material has Its own sets of properties. because most of the products are made from thermalplastic materials, they are best cut with heat, so as to reseal frayed edges as the material is cut. as the material is cut out, the pieces are laid out and attatched using a thin double sided mylar tape, known as basting tape. this tape helps to reduce puckering along the seams as well as create a more air tight seal along the seams. In the case of laminate materials, a differet type of tape is required. The frailty of the mylar used in the initial factory lamination makes straight sewing this material fruitless. Mylar is easily ripped and the kevlar weave pattern in relatively loose, giving the fabric its signature transparancy. The combination of these traits often leads to tearing seams in a sewn laminate material. To combat this problem, sailrites have come up with a special basting tape made of high strength Dacron Canvas for laminate sails. This tape holds the fabric togeter for stitching, but also provides a tightly woven layer of material to stop a running split seam.

The materials pieces are sewn together one by one to create a gore based pattern, defining either a round or geometric faceted form. Velcro is used to create a sort of service hatch in the side of these particular pieces, to aid in the installation. a blower port is attatched to the side of the pieces, and blowers are attatched to a motion sensitive electrical system which causes the pieces to inflate and deflate.

In some cases, Cast iron weights are added to the pieces to work against the force of the blowers. a