I thought of this while I was minding the pop-up at Bleachspace. I had an old piece of dowel from a construction I’d pulled apart some years ago and I was wondering how its circular profile could be used to indicate a wave motion. I was thinking of the circle that a piece of flotsam describes as a wave passes under it.
I had the idea of putting a little dot on its edge, so when you roll it you see the dot going up and down as it travels, but before doing anything I put on the floor and gave it a little kick, just to see.
I discovered that the dowel itself is slightly bent. When it’s set rolling (by kicking it) the bend causes it to tap the floor with each rotation, so you get an aural indicator of the wave motion. As a visual artist I don’t think in terms of sound, but this elegantly achieved what I was looking for. And since I’m also looking to ‘unexpect the expected’, it’s doubly satisfying.
Another aspect of what I’m going for in my work is the concurrence of representation with action. The rolling motion of the dowel both represents and constitutes wave motion, so what you are apprehending is both signifier and a real thing. It’s not rocket science, but that’s partly the point. There’s no motor or technology involved at all, you just kick it. You have the power, not the system.
VIDEO: View here
Bleachspace, Factory 49 Group Show 2021