precarious layers, part II


Here we see the “completed” version of my stack from a previous post; I put completed in quotes because this version is, to me, less aesthetically appealing, less resolved, and less important. However, it is greater in one obvious aspect: height.

This is the natural result of any instance where I make something that should be precarious but isn’t. I immediately go to the idiot test of height; how tall can I realistically make my work before it collapses? My understanding of stability always falls short of reality; things that should collapse withstand stupid loads and poor centering, while configurations that seem foolproof come cascading apart after the addition of some tiny element. My sense of curiosity and wonder only ever grows with my own knowledge of my materials; I should be closer and closer to understanding what I’m doing here, and yet it seems to be the opposite. Maybe my unconscious is truly more in tune with balance than my rational mind; I may work instinctively within my framework of instability, creating work that supports itself with a more obscure interior pathing than my “obviously stable” work, which may suffer from a structural laziness due to the straightforwardness of its balance. Who knows.

Side note: there were more people standing around watching this time than usual; a slew of kids from different families and park groups were constantly asking when I was going to push it over. Of course, with every over zealous set of children comes a set of over protective parents, trying to keep them safe from the madman and his deathtraps of stone. I can’t entirely blame them for their worry, but I think they would be better served by playing with their kids among the rocks themselves, instead of merely  yelling and nagging at the kids to stay back where it’s “safe.” After I had photographed the work, I got a long piece of driftwood and had the kids hold onto the end; I helped them use it as a means of interaction with the work – we used it to knock the tower down together, with the log acting as a spacer which kept all the kids “safe” from whatever was supposedly going to happen to them. With the piece destroyed, the parents felt at ease, meaning I could leave without having to endure any glaring or reprimands.

Here are a pair of photos that were taken by a pair of the children who were watching me stack. They desperately wanted to try using my camera, so I let them each take a shot.

One thought on “precarious layers, part II

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