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Proposal For An Advanced Art Project

First off, I need to propose my theme that will encompass the
majority of my art works in my stated media. Out of painting, print making
and sculpture, I am choosing to work with the latter for two main reasons.

One, I’m not that great at capturing visual ideas on the somewhat
two-dimensional surface of paper or canvas. Adding to that I thought that
sculpture would allow me to have a greater release of creativity as my work
can explode into the third dimension with many added features. After
pondering upon ideas for a theme, I hit upon four major factors that I want
to incorporate within my work. Firstly, I want it to make a definite
immediate visual contact with the viewer through use of thought provoking
forms and features. Next, I may wish at times to incorporate audible
stimuli to further draw the viewer into my work.Thirdly, I want some
interaction of the sculpture with the viewer, so that they can make a more
intimate contact with the piece through tactile and kinesthetic action, so
that they thus may “get into it” more and begin to experience some of the
passion ; feeling that I put into my work as it is thus conveyed to and
impressed upon them.

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As a title theme for my year’s work I have come up with “Multifaceted
Interactive Involvement With The Electro- Magnetic Spectrum.” This
includes many different forms of radiation, light and waves. I am also
integrating sound to give an added flair. Some practical project examples
that I intend to carry through and actually construct can be found in ideas
11 and 12. As my topic theme is fairly limiting, this is quite
challenging, but great, as it allows me to create many different forms of
work, all tied in to a common specific point. I thought it also might be
interesting though if I deviated slightly from the main theme and as a
secondary little theme chose something to do with the people in the class
surrounding me. There are six in total, including myself and the teacher.

There are six sides on a cube and this gave rise to idea for a project.

The final result of this co-relates to idea number 9. Soon after, idea 10
followed as I got to thinking about the “average” student of art. This can
also include the teacher, because no matter what level we are, we still may
always learn more.

One thing I seem to find is that by working around the late night/early
morning period, my creative juices just seem to flow better and I get a lot
more productive work done. Also I need many special tools and thus maybe I
will spend the majority of my project time in my room where I have all the
things I need all around me. That way I can also work in bits and pieces,
working whenever I get the inspiration to do so. This way, my art will
benefit in the fact that it was made in the most fruitful portions of my
labour. It can also be made more enjoyable this way, if I know I don’t
have to work within a structured time on the project. Maybe the time I
spend in the classroom can be spend on finishing touches with paint and
other items that I don’t have available to me in my room. Also I can do
sketches and drawings of improvements and modifications to existing

I have had considerable difficulty finding a main mentor, first of all
because I think my style is fairly obscure, and I also use such a variety
of materials, that I couldn’t seem to locate an artist that I could relate
myself and my work to. By a twist of fate, while looking through Canadian
Art magazines, I came across an article titled “The Body Electric.” This
article describes Jana Sterbak, originally native to Czechoslovakia, she
came to Canada in 1968 at the age of 13. She has been educated in New York
and Vancouver, having also lived there and now shifts between Montreal and
Toronto, where she frequently exhibits her work. In a way she reminds me
of Van Gogh in that she creates her work for herself, and then attempts to
impress the vigor and zest that she feels with her work upon others in an
enthusiastic way. She utilizes many different forms of materials, and
likes to use electricity to her advantage to bring some life into the
piece. One piece of her work that I really enjoy is entitled “I want you
to feel the way I do.” This sculpture, while seemingly relatively simple,
is associated with a lot of strong feelings of the artist, and through her
work she is attempting to impress them upon you, the viewer. As you
approach the piece, a motion detector senses your movement and activates
the power to the projector and the nichrome wire that encircles the wire
mesh frame. The projector shows a message on the wall that helps convey
the feelings of the artist while the nichrome wire surrounding the wire
mesh heats up like a toaster, giving off a wave of heated air towards the
viewer. If this doesn’t draw your attention to the piece, not much else
will, and it serves it’s dual purpose quite well.

Another mentor, Rockne Krebs, who was born in 1938, has used different
gas lasers to produce another much admired piece, called: “Day Passage.”
This work uses several red helium/neon and blue/green argon lasers and
mirrors which the many beams are bounced off of and reflected from the
mirrors to create a large constantly changing light show in a L-shaped
corridor. While this artist had the assistance of the corporation
Hewlett-Packard for this project, this work was done in 1971, before I was
born, but technology has advanced so significantly since then that I could
put together a low cost similar light sculpture without any additional
help. In fact, I have already designed an interactive light sculpture
whereby the spectator may alter the laser light forms through the
manipulation of controls on a panel.

Next, another artist with a similar style to mine is Sebastian, a
Mexican born in 1947. Like myself he is interested in the production of
transformable sculptures that the viewer can manipulate to change
configurations within the piece. Now that I really look, I see that there
are many possible mentors, and that I can be quite choosy. But I might as
well detail the styles and works of some other artists whom I find
encompass at least one aspect of my personal style. Robert Irwin was born
in 1928, and enjoys using light and shadow forms in his work. In 1968, he
created an untitled piece that effectively hides a plexiglass disk within
the shadow patterns of light and colour that are projected on the wall
through the use of four lights to provide illumination from behind the

Len Lye was born in 1901, and thus is either quite old, or has passed
away since the book that I consulted was published. He was interested in
exploring movement through art, and created several pieces that either
moved through the turning of cranks by spectators or by electrically driven
motors. At the age of 64, he created a kinetic sculpture with stainless
steel wire mounted in a wood base. The base rested on a motor, and rocked
gently back and forth creating the effect of grass blowing in the breeze.

Thus, the composition is entitled: “Grass.” These artists combined, make
use of sculpture that uses sound, light and movement to go a new direction
in art. This could be described, together, as Kinetic Intermedia, and so I
believe I have at last found my niche in the art world.

Here are some random ideas for projects:
1. An interactive laser system, whereby users may control various beams of
light through the manipulation of motors and mirrors, to create their own
personalized light art form.

2. A light box with many different openings and cut-outs, allowing
projection of various light and shadow forms and their interaction upon
each other. -Possibly add color filters and a creative surface upon which
these light forms are to be projected, creating a greater contrast and
giving rise to many imaginative patterns and pseudo-three dimensional light

3. Is a true three dimensional light sculpture actually possible using our
current technology? Sure maybe with multi-million dollar real time
holographic laser projection systems, but is it possible to create a
compact photon form relying on using scrap parts and ingenuity? Would it
have a definite projection surface, or could it be visualized in plain air
space, maybe relying upon condensed carbon dioxide vapour in which to carve
traces and impose visual phenomena upon?
4. A fiber optic (just thought of: possible sculpture title: “Fiber
Optrix”) sculpture, through which many different wavelengths of light could
coarse, in either a steady or a variable frequency oscillation pulsed
state. Could incorporate a fixed or variable speed motor to vary the
rotation of the whole piece of work.

5. Robot head. Either purchase a department store styrofoam wig display
head, or make one from clay? (probably too heavy for purpose, but could be
hollow), or by wadding and taping newspapers into the form of a head. Then
transform it through such methods as silver metallic spray paint or
aluminum foil, to give it a metallic base, and adding found objects such as
electronic junk to create a dazzling three-dimensional sort of surrealistic
artwork. Some of the electronics could be functional, and provide even more
exciting visual, audible or kinetic effects.

6. A sound sculpture made by collecting various materials and objects that
produce different sounds. The work could then be arranged as to be
visually attractive, and could be sort of “played” by the viewer, somewhat
like a music instrument, or could be electrically operated upon the viewer
arranging some sort of built in puzzle that is a piece of the art.

7. “Self Recycling Energy Light” or something. Needs a better title, but
could use the idea of a small light that draws its power from the current
produced by a solar cell. The solar cell could be “generating” current from
the light that was falling upon it from the lamp. So this is sort of a
perpetual motion sculpture drawing upon an impossible concept. Maybe
incorporate something as to convince the viewers that it is really working.

eg. When they cut off the light path from the light source to the solar
cell with their hand, the light goes out. When they withdraw their hand,
the light returns. But this kind of defeats the concept, as even the
simplest theory of this would show that the light would require an external
source to start up the process. Anyway, I’ll spare the details, but the
point of all this, is trying to brainstorm as many ideas for projects as I
can, no matter how trivial or complex. Then later, I can review them, and
either discard them or build upon them to create a viable project design.

8. Some sort of novel supreme interface, where there is no physical
sculpture at all, but merely a hookup that allows the viewer to connect
themselves to it, and adjust the controls for maximum overall visual
effect. Would provide visual phenomena without the use of photons as it
directly stimulates the optic nerves via self-structured neural impulses
coupled either inductively or conductively. Similar in theory to what
researchers have call “flashing of the brain,” in which we may thus produce
intricate colour fractal like patterns in the form of phosphenes. Maybe
aid the work with a powerful audio soundtrack to assist in visualization of
desired objects. This is probably the highest form of visual medium,
because it paints extremely detailed pictures in your mind with your own

9. A sort of modified “Rubix Cube”, with the six faces of the people in
class pasted on each of the six sides. Although this does not quite fit
into the main theme, it has aspects of it, as it is certainly multifaceted,
and allows interactive involvement as the viewer may pick up the sculpture
and turn and rotate the columns and rows in each of the three dimensions.

(See figure 3, attached)
10. The pictures of the six people in the art class transferred onto
acetate or similar, so that they may be projected onto a screen through the
use of an overhead projector. Now we have pictures one through six, and
they may be layered down on the projection surface one at a time until they
all are aligned with and over each other, thus showing a combined image of
the six of us. Here many common physical characteristics blend, and we see
what might just be the “average” student in our class. As this idea is not
very time consuming, it could be combined with idea nine as well as a
possible third idea to create one project.

11. This “Interactive Digital Sculpture” or IDS for short, relies on the
effect of human body capacitance to vary the frequency of a tone as the
user molds the mountain-like form of a putty-like substance. This
incorporates a device similar to that made by RCA in the 1930’s to produce
eerie effects for movies and concerts. I have thought about what substance
to use inside the elastic form, so that it would be sort of like those
stress buster nurd things you see in some stores now-a-days. I would want
it to slowly creep back into its original form after handling. Several
things came to mind as a filler, including: silicon, not unlike that used
in breast implants, a mixture of cornstarch and water to form a colloidal
suspension, play-do, to even mashed potatoes. Perhaps I shall settle with
some form of putty as the others are either impractical in their cost, or
they may rot. Although I know some art isn’t made to last, maybe mine
could only last the length of time it took the filler material to go bad.

The attached sheets will enable you to visualize the final product.

12. This sculpture gives the illusion of a rotating ellipse around a
cylindrical form. The mechanism is hidden from view through the usage of a
clever backdrop, and the motor which controls the “fall rate” of the
ellipse has a variable speed control. Refer to attached sheets.

13. A sort of “cyborg” robot form, constructed with mixed media. The
materials intended to be utilized will include: circuit boards, chicken
wire, wire, styrofoam, plastic, aluminum foil, paper, and anything else
useful that I may find lying around. Some enamel and spray paints will
also be applied in the finished product. This sculpture may or may not
move, but most probably will include some aspect of electricity. Refer to
attached sheet.

14. A spherical or elliptical bottle filled with multicoloured undulating
globular spheres, similar to that of a lava lamp of time past. In this
modification to the original design, the globules will change color through
the use of colour filters, and the light which provides illumination to the
bottle will have a variable frequency rate from approximately one to sixty
hertz. It should be noted that a frequency above about fifty-five hertz
gives way to flicker fusion, and the lamp appears to be constantly on.

Possibly an audible beat could accompany the light pulses.

15. A high-tech futuristic weapon, sort of like those constructed for use
by the army corps in the movie “Aliens.” Would be mixed media, including
PVC piping to give the effect of the multi-barreled weapon. Now I know how
to put those spent CO2 cartridges to good use. Some silver and black spray
paint would finish off its appearance, to look futuristic, but heavily


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