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works | analogostalgia | san-rin-sha (tri-cy-cle)


This series of works began with the simultaneous pondering the way we meter time (relative to the millenium's end) and subsequent discovery and aquisition of some old tube-based electronic metronomes that clicked and flashed. They were made in Hartford Connecticut in the early sixties and perhaps the late fifties. I took them apart and reassembled them so they would fit inside units of these sculptural assemblages.

These clean electro-mechanical designs incorporated only one tube run by a small transformer and just a couple capacitors and resistors that caused a neon bulb to blink simultaneously with the activation of a small electro-magnetic solenoid that "tapped" a small metal plate attached to a larger thin sheet of wood/veneer. No actual speaker-type transducer is involved.

The assemblages that were built to house these analogue meters of time evolved from a process of "search and re-stroy" that has become my primary mode of composing. I had skateboards in the stash because they were solicited from my students to mount some 50-pound tube amps onto but I never got to that project.

The ceramic armadillo was a gift about 8 years ago and has been sitting in my office with a set of blinking Christmas lights shoved inside. It is a piggie-bank ("armie-bank"?) so it has the slot-shaped hole in it perfect for the light...as was the hole in the stomach of the Budha-guy (originally for incense?)

The dancing Budha-not-really-a-Budha and the fencing mask are garage sale debris that have been floating around in various personal tableaux for more than a few years.

In short, visual elements of these pieces were determined argely by practical considerations.

While very well crafted, these pieces emit the rawness of step-by-step improvisational construction - as best witnessed by the backs of the boards and the internal layout of electronics components and wiring. For better or worse, I am a sculptor, not an electrical engineer or machinist.

Given the approaching transition between millenniae, and given the indexical richness of possible "readings" of this work due to the unlikely juxtaposition of diverse cultural debris, these works seem to evoke all manner of personal decodings. That's great. As for "the artist's intentions"... it's about time and recycling and recomposing the stuff of life as an improvisational act. What you get is what you see.