Space to Live, Space to Die
Cloth, motors, microcontrollers.
This kinetic installation causes cloth strips to be moved from a tight, closed circular arrangement outward, traversing and encompassing the space of the room before they return again, collapsing into their original position. It has been conceived for a gallery 25 feet by 25 feet (8m x 8m), but a slightly smaller or much larger space could also be used.
Concept: The movement of the cloth strips parallels the way in which, as we grow physically and personally, humans expand into ever more space -- learning, knowing, going places. As we near death, the opposite process prevails -- our spatial expanse shrinks, withdrawing to the narrow space of our bodies. Viewers experience an analogue of this cycle as they walk within the artwork.
Materials: The 12 moving strips are made of cloth -- cheesecloth in the video, which will soon be replaced with silk. The six motorized units are bolted to the walls about 6 feet (2m) above the floor; six non-motorized units with an idler wheel are attached to the opposite walls. Thin plastic lines suspend the strips between the attachment points, and microcontrollers choreograph the movement.
Safety considerations: Although a 110V/220V connection is needed for the power supplies, there are not more than 12V DC present in the piece, ergo, it is harmless to visitors. There is no risk of injury from moving parts, since these are only small motors which develop little force, just enough to cause the strips to move across the room.