I attended the opening reception of the Move Me exhibit last night. I had the great pleasure of seeing this piece in person and hearing Arthur Ganson speak about it.
The piece features a motorized cam spinning slowly. A cam follower rests on the cam and rides its contours. Attached to the follower is a long arm which reaches across the piece, its end right next to the head of a plush, human figure. The contours of the cam cause the arm to sporadically poke the poor figure in the the back of the head. The figure can do little about. As the artist explained, the piece represents The First Noble Truth of Buddhism, which basically boils down to "there is suffering in the world". The entire thing -- not counting the hand-sewn figure -- is constructed in that inimitable Ganson style: blackened metal, whirring motor, springs, wire-formed worm and screw gears, spoked wheels, tiny spot welds, and a hint of oil. Delightful: a machine demonstrating one of the most human of concepts.
Arthur Ganson hinted we may be seeing more pieces in this theme, perhaps dealing with the other three Noble Truths. Having recently adopted a mediation practice, I for one, can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
I also had the chance to see sculptures by several other talented artist currently showing at AXIOM. I will feature more of them in the days to come.
See more about The First Noble Truth by Arthur Ganson at the Cabaret mechanical Theatre web site.