This is the first work in a series of glass wall sculptures called ‘Evanescent’. The artist’s goal in creating this series is to experiment with various forms and motions that probe the limits of what the glass apparatus is capable of as it continues to exist and operate. The title “Evanescent” alludes to a fleeting shape that embraces fragility.
Six distorted glass blown gears enclose different shades of red ecoline, when they rotate the red dilutes in shades of orange. At rest the orange will gradually return to red. Two glass chains, along with two stepper motors, operate these gears using two stepper drivers and an Arduino. The gears are held in place by the glass frame which is connected to a round wall plate. This wooden white wall plate is holding the sculpture at an angle of approximately 15 degrees. On the floor below the wall sculpture is a semicircle that forms the canvas for the drops of ecoline.
This project was developed as part of the Summer Sessions Network for Talent Development program made possible by V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media and was first presented at ARS Electronica 2022 (Linz, Austria) as part of the Rotterdam Garden Exhibition.
[Materials] Borosilicate glass, wooden frame, metal nuts and bolts, polylactic acid (PLA), 2 NEMA 23 Stepper Motor, 2 TB6600 Stepper Driver, Arduino Uno, ecoline.
[dimensions] 115 x 115 x 60 cm, ⌀ 115 cm.
The sculptures show a glimpse of our environment in which our devices look radically different. Not just a tool, but an end in itself, constantly evolving and just as vulnerable to us as we are to them. “I don’t see people and technology as two separate entities, but as two parts of a whole. While we determine what technology will become, technology will determine how we will be human and how we experience the world.”
The machine seems to self-destruct, powered by a stepper motor, the glass parts threaten to get stuck in twisted shapes. When elements or gears jump, the machine cannot solve these vulnerabilities on its own. In itself it is helpless, vulnerability is inherent in the work. When it breaks, ink is released, which is collected on the round wooden surface on which the construction is attached. This ‘imprint’ of the deconstruction, unlike the device, will be permanent.
Like Symbiote, the wall sculptures are a deconstructive performance. During exhibitions, the works will slowly decay until they may no longer work. Exchange and co-evolution are an essential part of the work. As an assistant, the artist will be present at regular intervals to repair the work where necessary.
The flame surrounds and shapes me,
I flow and rest where she’ll let me.
I know our work will never be done.
I watch her,
I love how we work late into the night.
I cherish our ever-evolving state.
I find myself in a different place,
I am surrounded by humans.
Something pulses within me,
I know this won’t last.
My elongated distorted forms turn,
I might break.
But I am more than this ephemeral exoskeleton.
All eyes are on me,
my transparent body shimmers.
I embrace my fragile existence.
I see her,
she assists me with a smile on her face.
I made that, I think, as I slowly decay.
Fleeting thoughts is a poem written from the perspective of Symbiote, who ponders its changing existence, relationships, and environment.