Sometimes I make a thing because there is a possibility that its manifestation might surpass the idealism of its imagining.
The Day Breaks, 2013
Continuous large format LightJet print. 50 x 577 inches (127 x 1465cm). Edition of 3
Array assembly: salvaged enlarger lenses, ABS pipe, copper fittings, rubber O-rings, fibre-optic cable, aluminum extrusions, wood, clamps, hacked scanner, and hardware, 44 x 13 x 26 inches (112 x 33 x 66cm). Edition of 1, unique
Using a hand-made scanning apparatus built from salvaged enlarger lenses, plumbing supplies, a desktop scanner, and fibre-optic rods, The Day Breaks presents a time-lapse "photograph" of the changing light captured over the course of a day onto a single image plane in real time. I had already been thinking of producing an array of sorts to divide the sky into a series of aligned yet discreet sections, and the salvaged enlarger lenses were the perfect vehicle for this, once I embedded them inside some ABS plumbing pipe. From there I needed a way to channel the gathered light into a flat plane and onto the surface of a desktop scanner, which was only possible with fibre-optic cable. The array, once completed, was mounted atop scaffolding 2 storeys above the ground. Each scan was ganged side to side like fence boards in the order they were taken to make one continuous image. This image was then enlarged to match the paper width (50"), the result being a large format response curve of the changing light intensity and colour of one full day.
Carbon Black Hole No1, 2013
Carbon Black Hole No2, 2016
Kerosene soot on Ultramount foam core.
Carbon black, more commonly known as soot, is one of the most light absorbing natural materials; a beautiful substance with incredible visual properties. As one moves around the work, it changes shape and appears to vibrate.
Empty Moon (for Yves Klein), 2013
Double-walled aluminum bowl, automotive paint and mirror polish, milk, drip vessel, 6 snooted narrow-beam LED lights. Dimensions variable. Edition of 1
Empty Moon (for Yves Klein) merges two iconic photographs, Yves Klein's “Le Saut dans le Vide” (Leap into the Void) from 1960, and MIT engineer Harold Edgerton's stroboscopic image “Milk Crown” from 1938. Klein’s use of photographic darkroom illusion for a newspaper broadsheet was published as evidence of his ability to undertake unaided lunar travel and a denunciation of NASA’s own upcoming lunar expeditions as hubris and folly. What the image also made apparent was the camera’s unique ability to stop time and present a false version of “real”, or Sontag’s evidence of “presumption that something exists, or did exist”. Likewise, Edgerton’s pioneering fast-motion photography picks up where Muybridge left off to illuminate the unseeable, by capturing a literal split-second moment on film. The “Milk Crown” image was one of over one hundred photographs of a single falling droplet of milk. In both of these photographs, this stoppage of time imbues the images with anxiety; we can’t help but want to see the next moments.
Rememoration Piece #1, 2004
Industrial lamp, full spectrum bulb, mechanical timer, ring planter, seed grass, soil. Dimensions variable, Edition of 1
Rememoration Piece #1 deals with the troubled effects of light on the growth processes of, in this case, lawn grasses. A standard industrial bay lamp is hung very near to the floor, surrounded by a large, circular planter of lawn grass grown from seed. As the grass seed grows, it is photo-tropically drawn towards the lamp on a horizontal plane. The lamp is controlled by a mechanical timer set to replicate the rising and setting of the sun for which it stands in. Also at play here are the confusing labels of “natural” and “artificial”. The obviously industrial nature of the lamp is called into question by the use of a full-spectrum (sunlight) bulb, and the old-world notions of landscape and Nature conjured up by the planting of lush seed grass are undermined by the use of genetically engineered seeds. Sub-textual in the work is also the newly recognized effects of urban lighting on the natural growth/dormant stages of sessile organisms.
Rememoration Piece #3, 2010
Pigment Ink Print with Gold Spike and Bronze Plug. 39 x 44 inches (96cm x 112cm). Edition of 5. Produced at the Banff Centre for the Arts 2010
Based on research at MagCap Engineering and MIT into the potential for trees to provide electrical power, Rememoration Piece #3 utilizes “the voltage difference between the inner parts (xylem) of trees and their soil” to power a single, wide-dispersion LED. A number of spikes of an anodic metal (24K gold) will be temporarily driven into trees, connected to the LED, which in turn is linked to a cathodic aluminum rod driven into the ground. A self-made peak limiting LED drive circuit (booster) will assist with current draws to briefly illuminate the LED. The entire apparatus will be photographed at dawn as it flashes, balancing the ambient light with the output from the LED.