June 18, 2014
David A. Lang
I build interactive kinetic sculpture. It is both whimsical and serious, graceful and awkward, understated and at the same time conspicuously complex.
The work is gas welded from steel wire, rods, fabricated into something often resembling vehicles, portrayed on very delicate wheels, some large and some quite small. The wheels themselves represent the passage of time. Motion and movements are very subtle and elegant. Everything in this work is slow and understated. I use miniature motors, hand made gears, levers, pulleys and almost any material that could heighten the visual sense of unlikelihood. There is a balancing point between the machine and the observer, who in fact becomes an active participant in its existence.
Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:
What made you want to participate in this project?
You, Sally Taylor!
Without going back to the art I sent you what do you remember about it?
I remember understanding relationship, caring, caress, dance, spirituality, playfulness and nurturance.
What was your first reaction to the art? (thoughts, emotions, memories, tastes, smells etc?)
The hands were responding to one another as they were in relationship. I was taken by the quality of that relationships. I watched video twice and then I didn’t look again.
If you had to choose one word to sum up the art I sent what would it be?
What emotion did it elicit?
What was the art about in your mind? (Did it tell a story? Paint a picture? Etc.)
The story was about caring nurturance and tenderness. It prompted an emotional response. I liked that it was gritty, warts and all. It was available and not romanticized.
Take me through each step of your process from getting the art to the creation of your work.
What I saw from the hands was dragonflies and how they relate and complement each other’s movements. Within seconds the piece in my head was done. The building of this piece has taken me longer than anything else I have ever built. It’s been a production. Working with Greg Paul has been very important. I researched theremins and back up systems. We found these ultrasonic sensors. With Greg’s work we heve had to learn and relearn and relearn. He has the patience of a saint.
What did you title your work and why?
“Courtship”, because of the dragonflies and the way they play out their courtship dance. They mate in mid air. They have tiny little brains but they can do all these things and everything about them is so elegant. But in their quest for perpetuity they have to find a way to mate in the air. It’s just to elegant and all the actions that make them do what they need to do is so elegant.
What part of your work came to you first?
Dragonflies courting and damsel flies courting.
How do you normally create? How was this experience different?
I try to be present in the moment. Everything that is connected in my life is connected to everything else. Teachers in many school systems teach to the test and then you move on to the next class, in a system that seems very linear. I hop lanes sideways all the time. I try to see things in connection with everything else all the time.
What techniques/tools did you use to help you express you’re interpretation Greg Paul’s mind and sense of humor and his persistence.
I didn’t even think about anything else. He just had a sense of mission and inspiration and went with I.
David came to me and said I’m thinking of doing this and I came up with 2-3 approaches. Some old school and new school approaches and we wound up in the middle. Basically he asked me how to make an apple talk to a toaster oven. David said he wanted to do something and it’s kind of like a theremin and these wings that are relating to each other and he’s showing me these hand gestures and I’m trying to interpret what he means. We’re using a mixture of technologies that are not supposed to be used together. We’re adapting things that are used for other things and using them for art, and at the same time I’ve got my own vision and voice.
Are there certain choices you made which mean something specific to you that the observer might not know?
The observer will tell me when they find out. I’m always the last person to find out what my work is about.
Extra credit: Did you enjoy this project? More you want to say about your experience?