Monday, February 6, 2012
Mud & Sticks
When I chose circuit boards as an unlikely material, it wasn’t because I had any particular attraction to technical things. I had collected them because I was amazed at the beauty of their graphic patterns, but I’d also collected rock crystals, random splashes of aluminum from a foundry floor, curious pieces of driftwood and so on. It was a period between documentary film projects, and I felt the compulsion to be creative. I had no idea what I would do, nor what material I would use. If there were interesting things that could be gathered from nature I might well have tried that, but the mud and sticks around here are boring. There aren’t even any interesting rocks, and I would know because I’ve built some stone walls. Besides, there were plenty of others creating interesting and often beautiful artworks from such materials, and I didn’t want to be doing what anyone else was doing.
So I started fooling around with the circuit boards that had been sitting for years in my basement, and in a few days I was hooked. It was immediate that the material would have to be treated with some precision, whatever I would make from it. Otherwise the sloppiness would divert attention from the graphic qualities of the circuitry, and the whole idea would be pointless. I have no love of precision except when it’s necessary, but in this case it became central to the concept. It’s why for instance, you can look at one of the chests and imagine having seen something like that in an art museum. That does make it harder to do, but that’s the nature of the beast I chose.