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These Cubes Keep Leaning (Week 12)

Rob Robbins told me to work with wood for a while.  It’s faster and way cheaper.  All I need is a miter saw and a hot glue gun.  I was also told that perspective needed to be accounted for a bit more accurately.  This is a thought that has run through my mind with the steel constructions and a few solutions have come to mind.  I’ll discuss those later on in this post but, first I here are some photos of the first wooden leaning cube and its production.  

This was really quick to make.  When constructed identically to the steel versions all I have to worry about is the angles of the cuts.  It was way faster than grinding all the angles of the steel pieces to 45 degrees.  My next experiment took far longer than 30 minutes.  Around 5 hours for my first attempt.  I imagine the next attempt taking far less time.  For this next test I had to adapt everything to correct perspective as all the angles need to be accounted for if this was going to work optically.  Many notes taken from Roxy Paine: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor involving a lot of forced perspective.  His show in Beeler Gallery is really special and sits in my mind, close to the top.  It is up until March 10th, 2017 and is one of the most incredible experiences in person. Go see it!

This was a challenge in the way that it is a challenge to cut crown molding correctly.  Escher is coming to mind more and more.

Once I figured out how to make one plane of the cube, I made a few corrections to my method and did it two more times.

The next step was the vertical pieces which became another problem.  My first attempts did not fit the form correctly as these pieces are not exactly square in the cross section when they lean away from the viewer at 45 degrees.  They had to have a cross section that was a diamond shape.  Once I figured out how to do this, the corrections to the vertical pieces made for a rather successful optical illusion that was way better than any of the predecessors.

Thanks Tyler Davis (instagram: (black) tyler davis b__td) for the above photo.  I’m going to need to acquire a miter saw so I can cut lengths of wood in Battelle and then cut and assemble cubes in my studio in AMF.

I also had the chance to talk with Tim Rietenbach about my work from the semester thus far and he pointed out a few artist who are currently having shows in New York.  Carol Bove was one of these artist.  She is having a show at David Zwirner called Polka Dots.  Tim challenged my intentions with the work through her example, asking whether I wanted the hand to be present in the work and in my eventual thesis creation.  Many of the images from this show preview were impactful when I pondered this question and it brought up others.

The absence of the hand allows these objects to feel held together by some sort of force like magnetism.  They exist entirely separate from the artist because of their construction and the removal of the hand.  The other major observation I made was the illusion created via the object relationships and the space in which they exist.  Scale is easily distorted and shifted when objects are viewed through the grid from different points in the gallery.  This effect is also accentuated by the use of grey which, the walls and floor are painted.  The minimal evidence of a shadow cast from the grid allows it to float up from the ground and lose dimensionality.  If I light a cube correctly I may not even need to suspend it.  

This show is only up until December 17th but I kinda want to make a trip to New York to see it.

Another part of the discussion with Tim challenged my attempts to blur 2D and 3D space with the use of these cubes and grids.  His suggestion is to create a cube with very thin material and see how that effects and fits in with my goals.  I’ll give this a whirl soon with some ⅛ inch diameter steel.

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