Saturday, October 06, 2012

Intricate spring-loaded mechanical sculptures that DON'T move

Cavity Mechanism #1 w/Glass Dome

Cavity Mechanism #1 w/Glass Dome, 2008, Mixed, 10" x 7" x 7 "

Artist Dan Grayber creates these small, spring loaded, mechanical objects. I would embed a video for you but there is not much point. Read on.

At first sight it is obvious that some serious engineering and fabrication has taken place, but...nothing is happening. Or is it? Indeed, these mechanisms are actively doing something, but in this case a lack of motion is the goal. Using a variety of mechanical devices Grayber's creations will hold themselves up -- even within a smooth sided glass container.

From the artist's statement:

Objects are invented in order to satisfy particular needs, specifically, human needs. With my sculpture I investigate the concept of need when the human is removed from this equation. I do this by replacing the human with the object itself. My sculptures are invented only to sustain themselves, functioning as self-resolving problems. The result is an object that has been invented only to compensate for the complications created by its own existence. The piece alone represents the need and the resolution.

Here are a couple of other examples from the artist's web portfolio:

Cavity Mechanism #5 w/Glass Dome

Cavity Mechanism #5 w/Glass Dome. 2009. Mixed. 6 " x 6 " x 6 "

Cavity Mechanism #2 w/Glass Dome

Cavity Mechanism #2 w/Glass Dome, 2008, Mixed, 6" x 4" x 4"

The fabrication of these objects looks flawless. I love the consistent use of color and material, which helps to bring some very different things into a unified series.

I should point out that not all of Dan Grayber's work involves mechanical object under glass. He has created sculptures that will hold themselves to corners, concrete, drywall, gaps in walls, and between the floor and ceiling of a room.

Check out more of Dan Grayber's mechanical sculptures on his web site.

[ Thanks James! ]

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