Measuring Angst

Birth and death are only a rewind button away. This is a world where meaning is found in a videotape. That videotape can be both rewound and fast forwarded, endlessly replaying the best events again and again. Will the physical world eventually be subject to the same rules?

This sculpture is made possible via a system of armatures similar to those one might find within the prehistoric animal exhibits in a natural history museum. They will differ in that they will be mechanically driven and allow for varying positions of the broken marble pieces. A system of electronic drives, stepper motors, ballscrews, linear shafts and computer software similar to what one might find in a high-tech assembly plant provides the movement.  

We have become accustomed to the ability to pause the video, finding a frame just before the moment of death or just as we please. In a similar fashion, this sculpture will endlessly repeat a specific moment.

Within the world of mathematics it is just as easy to go backwards as it is forward. It is only within human experience that going backwards poses such a problem. We and our perceived physical surroundings are locked into a series of moments where the future is possible and varied but the past is locked and cannot be revisited. Humanity has been slowly eroding the power of time to hide the past. This happened first with language, then with the written word, and now, after progressing through mathematics, to the media, modern technologies and sciences.

We now have tools that allow us to go back and re-understand, reinterpret and re-imagine what has happened. These tools have always been flawed by subjective perspectives and the limits of mechanical reproduction. Nonetheless, we tend to accept these tools and we live in a world where the past is more alive than ever. We have lost our hold on the specific moments in which we live and spend much of our time watching media. Living events are now viewed as if they have already transpired. Will we continue to live more and more within manifested media worlds? This sculpture takes these ideas to an extreme where the physical object has been separated from media's power to rewind, and is finally subjected to the raw linear power of mathematics and science.

Art is traditionally seen as a creative discipline but it is and always will be just as much a destructive one.  This sculpture combines both the practice of creation and destruction keeping the center of the piece right on the edge in between the two.

Science actively seeks the demise of death often ignoring the fact that death is necessary for life. How will we look in a hundred years when science, technology and medicine have extended our lives, re-created our bodies and changed our environment? Will this be beautiful, or will we look like classical sculptures surrounded by a maze of electronic systems and gadgetry, that in the end only promotes itself? This sculpture does not answer this question and was not intended to do so, but is intended to ask this question of the viewer who then can make his or her own decision.

 
 
 

Construction