An Artistic Pastiche


First off, I need to propose my theme that will encompass
the majority of my art works in my stated media. Out of
painting, print making and sculpture, I am choosing to work
with the latter for two main reasons. One, I'm not that
great at capturing visual ideas on the somewhat
two-dimensional surface of paper or canvas. Adding to that
I thought that sculpture would allow me to have a greater
release of creativity as my work can explode into the third
dimension with many added features. After pondering upon
ideas for a theme, I hit upon four major factors that I
want to incorporate within my work. Firstly, I want it to
make a definite immediate visual contact with the viewer
through use of thought provoking forms and features. Next,
I may wish at times to incorporate audible stimuli to
further draw the viewer into my work. Thirdly, I want some
interaction of the sculpture with the viewer, so that they
can make a more intimate contact with the piece through
tactile and kinesthetic action, and begin to experience
some of the passion & feeling that I put into my work.
As a title theme for my year's work I have come up with
"Multifaceted Interactive Involvement With The Electro-
Magnetic Spectrum." This includes many different forms of
radiation, light and waves. I am also integrating sound to
give an added dimenstion. Some practical project examples
that I intend to carry through and actually construct can
be found in ideas 11 and 12. As my topic theme is fairly
limiting, this is quite challenging, but great, as it
allows me to create many different forms of work, all tied
in to a common specific point. I thought it also might be
interesting though if I deviated slightly from the main
theme and as a secondary little theme chose something to do
with the people in the class surrounding me. There are six
in total, including myself and the teacher. There are six
sides on a cube and this gave rise to an idea for a
project. The final result of this co-relates to idea number
9. Soon after, idea 10 followed as I got to thinking about
the "average" student of art. This can also include the
teacher, because no matter what level we are, we still may
always learn more.
One thing I seem to find is that by working around the late
night/early morning period, my creative juices just seem to
flow better and I get a lot more productive work done. Also
I need many special tools and thus maybe I will spend the
majority of my project time in my room where I have all the
things I need all around me and can also work in bits and
pieces, working whenever I get the inspiration to do so.
This way, my art will benefit in the fact that it was made
in the most fruitful portions of my labor. It can also be
made more enjoyable this way, if I know I don't have to
work within a structured time on the project. Maybe the
time I spend in the classroom can be used on finishing
touches with paint and other items that I don't have
available in my room. Also I can do sketches and drawings
of improvements and modifications to existing
I have had considerable difficulty finding a main mentor,
first of all because I think my style is fairly obscure,
and I also use such a variety of materials, that I couldn't
seem to locate an artist wiith whomt I could relate By a
twist of fate, while looking through Canadian Art
magazines, I came across an article titled "The Body
Electric." This article describes Jana Sterbak, originally
native of Czechoslovakia. She came to Canada in 1968 at the
age of 13. She has been educated in New York and Vancouver,
having lived in boh places. She frequently commutes between
Montreal and Toronto and frequently exhibits her work in
both cities.. In a way she appears to be similar to Van
Gogh in that she creates her work for herself, and then
attempts to impress the vigor and zest that she feels with
her work upon others. She utilizes many different forms of
materials, and likes to use electricity to bring some life
into the piece. One piece of her work that I really enjoy
is entitled "I want you to feel the way I do." This
sculpture, while seemingly relatively simple, is associated
with a lot of strong feelings of the artist, and through
her work she is attempting to impress them upon you, the
viewer. As you approach the piece, a motion detector senses
your movement and activates the power to the projector and
the nichrome wire that encircles the wire mesh frame. The
projector shows a message on the wall that helps convey the
feelings of the artist while the nichrome wire surrounding
the wire mesh heats up like a toaster, giving off a wave of
heated air towards the viewer. If this doesn't draw your
attention to the piece, not much else will, and it serves
its dual purpose quite well.
Another mentor, Rockne Krebs, who was born in 1938, has
used different gas lasers to produce another much admired
piece, called: "Day Passage." This work uses several red
helium/neon and blue/green argon lasers and mirrors to
reflect beams. This creates a constantly changing light
show in an L-shaped corridor.
An artist with a similar style to mine is Sebastian, a
Mexican born in 1947. Like myself he is interested in the
production of transformable sculptures that the viewer can
manipulate and change configurations within the piece.
Another artist who also uses light and shadow forms in his
work is Robert Irwin. In 1968, he created an untitled piece
that effectively hides a plexiglass disk within the shadow
patterns of light and color that are projected on the wall
through the use of four lights to provide illumination from
behind the disk.
Len Lye, is anther artist who uses similar techniques and
illustrated movement through art. He created several pieces
that either moved through the turning of cranks by
spectators or by electrically driven motors. At the age of
64, he created a kinetic sculpture with stainless steel
wire mounted in a wood base. The base rested on a motor,
and rocked gently back and forth creating the effect of
grass blowing in the breeze. Thus, the composition is
entitled: "Grass." These artists' use sound, light and
movement in new ways. This could be described, as Kinetic
Here are some random ideas for projects: 

1. An interactive laser system, whereby users may control
various beams of light through the manipulation of motors
and mirrors, to create their own personalized light art

2. A light box with many different openings and cut-outs,
allowing projection of various light and shadow forms and
their interaction upon each other. -Possibly add color
filters and a creative surface upon which these light forms
are to be projected, creating a greater contrast and giving
rise to many imaginative patterns and pseudo-three
dimensional light sculpture. 

3. Is a true three dimensional light sculpture actually
possible using our current technology? Sure maybe with
multi-million dollar real time holographic laser projection
systems, but is it possible to create a compact photon form
relying on using scrap parts and ingenuity? Would it have a
definite projection surface, or could it be visualized in
plain air space, maybe relying upon condensed carbon
dioxide vapour in which to carve traces and impose visual
phenomena upon? 

4. A fiber optic (just thought of: possible sculpture
title: "Fiber Optrix") sculpture, through which many
different wavelengths of light could coarse, in either a
steady or a variable frequency oscillation pulsed state.
Could incorporate a fixed or variable speed motor to vary
the rotation of the whole piece of work. 

5. Robot head. Either purchase a department store styrofoam
wig display head, or make one from clay (probably too heavy
for purpose, but could be hollow), or by wadding and taping
newspapers into the form of a head. Then transform it
through such methods as silver metallic spray paint or
aluminum foil, to give it a metallic base, and adding found
objects such as electronic junk to create a dazzling
three-dimensional sort of surrealistic artwork. Some of the
electronics could be functional, and provide even more
exciting visual, audible or kinetic effects. 

6. A sound sculpture made by collecting various materials
and objects that produce different sounds. The work could
then be arranged as to be visually attractive, and could be
sort of "played" by the viewer, somewhat like a music
instrument, or could be electrically operated upon the
viewer arranging some sort of built in puzzle that is a
piece of the art. 

7. "Self Recycling Energy Light" or something. Needs a
better title, but could use the idea of a small light that
draws its power from the current produced by a solar cell.
The solar cell could be "generating" current from the light
that was falling upon it from the lamp. So this is sort of
a perpetual motion sculpture drawing upon an impossible
concept. Maybe incorporate something as to convince the
viewers that it is really working. e.g. When they cut off
the light path from the light source to the solar cell with
their hand, the light goes out. When they withdraw their
hand, the light returns. But this kind of defeats the
concept, as even the simplest theory of this would show
that the light would require an external source to start up
the process. Anyway, I'll spare the details, but the point
of all this, is trying to brainstorm as many ideas for
projects as I can, no matter how trivial or complex. Then
later, I can review them, and either discard them or build
upon them to create a viable project design. 

8. Some sort of novel supreme interface, where there is no
physical sculpture at all, but merely a hookup that allows
the viewer to connect themselves to it, and adjust the
controls for maximum overall visual effect. Would provide
visual phenomena without the use of photons as it directly
stimulates the optic nerves via self-structured neural
impulses coupled either inductively or conductively.
Similar in theory to what researchers have call "flashing
of the brain," in which we may thus produce intricate
colour fractal like patterns in the form of phosphenes.
Maybe aid the work with a powerful audio soundtrack to
assist in visualization of desired objects. This is
probably the highest form of visual medium, because it
paints extremely detailed pictures in your mind with your
own imagination. 

9. A sort of modified "Rubix Cube", with the six faces of
the people in class pasted on each of the six sides.
Although this does not quite fit into the main theme, it
has aspects of it, as it is certainly multifaceted, and
allows interactive involvement as the viewer may pick up
the sculpture and turn and rotate the columns and rows in
each of the three dimensions. 

10. The pictures of the six people in the art class
transferred onto acetate or similar, so that they may be
projected onto a screen through the use of an overhead
projector. Now we have pictures one through six, and they
may be layered down on the projection surface one at a time
until they all are aligned with and over each other, thus
showing a combined image of the six of us. Here many common
physical characteristics blend, and we see what might just
be the "average" student in our class. As this idea is not
very time consuming, it could be combined with idea nine as
well as a possible third idea to create one project. 

11. This "Interactive Digital Sculpture" or IDS for short,
relies on the effect of human body capacitance to vary the
frequency of a tone as the user molds the mountain-like
form of a putty-like substance. This incorporates a device
similar to that made by RCA in the 1930's to produce eerie
effects for movies and concerts. I have thought about what
substance to use inside the elastic form, so that it would
be sort of like those stress buster nurd things you see in
some stores now-a-days. I would want it to slowly creep
back into its original form after handling. Several things
came to mind as a filler, including: silicon, not unlike
that used in breast implants, a mixture of cornstarch and
water to form a colloidal suspension, play-do, to even
mashed potatoes. Perhaps I shall settle with some form of
putty as the others are either impractical in their cost,
or they may rot. Although I know some art isn't made to
last, maybe mine could only last the length of time it took
the filler material to go bad. The attached sheets will
enable you to visualize the final product. 

12. This sculpture gives the illusion of a rotating ellipse
around a cylindrical form. The mechanism is hidden from
view through the usage of a clever backdrop, and the motor
which controls the "fall rate" of the ellipse has a
variable speed control. Refer to attached sheets. 

13. A sort of "cyborg" robot form, constructed with mixed
media. The materials intended to be utilized will include:
circuit boards, chicken wire, wire, styrofoam, plastic,
aluminum foil, paper, and anything else useful that I may
find lying around. Some enamel and spray paints will also
be applied in the finished product. This sculpture may or
may not move, but most probably will include some aspect of
electricity. Refer to attached sheet. 

14. A spherical or elliptical bottle filled with
multicoloured undulating globular spheres, similar to that
of a lava lamp of time past. In this modification to the
original design, the globules will change color through the
use of colour filters, and the light which provides
illumination to the bottle will have a variable frequency
rate from approximately one to sixty hertz. It should be
noted that a frequency above about fifty-five hertz gives
way to flicker fusion, and the lamp appears to be
constantly on. Possibly an audible beat could accompany the
light pulses. 

15. A high-tech futuristic weapon, sort of like those
constructed for use by the army corps in the movie
"Aliens." Would be mixed media, including PVC piping to
give the effect of the multi-barreled weapon. Now I know
how to put those spent CO2 cartridges to good use. Some
silver and black spray paint would finish off its
appearance, to look futuristic, but heavily used. 


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