I had a one to one tutorial with Kenny Hunter today. Discussing these ideas I am having (moving concrete objects) appears to be more ambitious than I originally thought but I have no doubt that its doable. So many options arose; piping fed through the structure supported through the center by solid cylinders, half cast piping on runners attached to the bottom, runners attached to the bottom, suspension from the top. All of which ha left me with food for thought. However one idea has really stuck with me. Does it really have to be an exterior support? The structure its based on already has a visible source I can use… an interior support, which can hold a track which provides a proper amount of stability and movement. I will have to calculate out the amount of movement that can be provided or dictated by the shape. There is a way to provide this movement and make the object transportable. New materials that have been brought to my attention during this tutorial were jesmonite and also glass reinforced concrete. Both are viable options to make this project a reality.
Examining the actual principles of the objects also resulted in an examination of the reasoning behind its ability to move.
Stemming from one maquette in particular which was used as a three dimensional study, planning what can be achieved in a larger scale, however the movable elements took on possibilities of their own. The idea of control that comes over the architectural element of the piece provides the viewer with the ability to change the appearance of what architects try to make permanent. It goes against this permanence which in the material world is unobtainable.
This idea has been playing on my mind for a while and I’ve started to set it in motion recently. Constructing a form of apparatus that will bend, break and destroy the concrete I suspended last semester and then try and find a way to document it.
This has come about after talking about scaling up some of my smaller maquettes. These maquettes have particular kinetic elements, namely a shifting levels, moving apart from each other. This idea comes directly from the ideas of decaying within the built environment and my research into new materialism. Modernist/brutalist structures like the one I’m dealing with often fall into disrepair and are destroyed and that is what I want to really look at with this piece. Its the notion of human intervention in the decaying process, speeding up or slowing it down. The tension as the concrete starts to crumble and will eventually collapse.
There is a particular example of a piece by Jean Tinguely that I feel really encapsulates these ideas, Homage to New York was a machine that within 27 minutes systematically destroyed itself, guests at the exhibition at MoMA then scavenged through the wreckage for souvenirs to take home. This “Homage” was a way to encapsulate the cities ability to deconstruct and reconstruct, which it continuously does.
I only became aware of this through the work of Michael Landy, his series of drawings h2ny illustrated the metamechanical sculpture, detailing all that could be salvaged from the grainy footage and photographs.
This semester I will be continuing on with the projects I started last year. Looking at the concrete structures and suspension I’m now l trying to introduce a kinetic element. The maquettes I constructed last semester started as three dimensional composition studies but they developed into very ambitious ideas. Turning them into large scale sculptures will come with added difficulties such as structural, mechanical and material issues. The first project I’ve started which will see four concrete shapes slowly moving horizontally will not only be used as a major part of my studio work but will be shown at the Hidden Door Festival in March.
This March will welcome an event staged by Hidden Door in the Heart of Edinburgh. The Arches located next to Waverley trainstation on Market Street will be transformed for a week long festival celebrating many different aspects of the culture contained within the city. I am not only lucky enough to be helping with this event as part of the site team but I will also be exhibiting as well. I can’t promote this event enough, with the tremendous quality of artists, musicians, performers and poets all coming together to create a spectacle that can appeal to everyone.
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