Exhibition: Big Deal (2005)
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
San Francisco, California
Curator: Renny Pritikin
Wood, steel, motor, electronic sound circuits, strain gauges, speakers
16'H x 16'W x 5'D (wooden torus)
16' L, anchored on wall 10' up (shaft)
The wooden torus is slowly rolled by a 16' long steel arm that is attached to and powered by a motor anchored 10' up the wall. As the motor turns at .4 rpm's, it gradually builds up torque at the points where the axle's spokes meet the wooden torus. When the spokes torque to their limit the twist is translated to the torus and it takes off with a lurch, rolling quickly across the floor. The piece travels in a 180 degree arc, switching directions when a limit switch is triggered.
The wood creaks at all times. Strain gauges are hooked up to the radial wooden elements. These read the level of deformation of the wood and translate it into a voltage amount that is sent to a circuit in the hub (see "detail" slide). The circuit uses this information to generate electronic sounds that I've designed. The sounds vary depending on the state of tension or compression of the wood pieces that are hooked into the strain gauges. We essentially "hear" the electronic equivalent of the tension and compression experienced by the wood. Because the outer circumference of the structure is covered in graphite, a smudge is left on the floor that traces the arc of the sculpture's movement.