Monday, September 22, 2008

Goldfish bowl

A few posts back I posted a bit of writing about a vision - if you will - that I had while meditating (yeah, I'm one of those guys). That sitting was inspiration for me to create a kinetic sculpture. Here are some early sketches of my idea:

The idea is to create a sculpture that in a way is like a giant Weeble or Bozo Clown Bopper (in principle, at least - Weebles wobble but the don't fall down). A goldfish bowl will sit on top of a rounded, bottom-heavy stand. To one side, a motor will raise and drop a hammer (probably made out of rubber; if not, out of some other soft material), which will fall to hit the side of the bowl, causing the whole sculpture to wobble about. Somewhere in the piece I hope to have a light, normally turned ON, connected to a tilt switch, that will flicker ON and off when the sculpture is moving (a tilt switch is an electronic component with moving parts inside that will complete and break circuits depending on the orientation of the switch). I am not sure yet whether or not I want the lamp to be hanging above the bowl or to be illuminating the water from below. The hammer will hit the bowl most likely 1 or 2 times every minute (maybe even less, like once every two minutes - it will all depend on the wobble). The whole sculpture will be plugged into the wall to get its power.

This piece is about the difficulties I have in finding calm in my life. The goldfish bowl is an inspiration taken from the shark tank vision, a moment of almost total control over my peace of mind. The literal imbalance of the piece is the imbalance of my emotions and thoughts. The hammer will swing consistently but slowly, allowing the object to come to a rest and for the light to stop flickering before upsetting the balance once again.


Gandhiwars said...

Cool sketch out.
The only thing I would worry about it that sculpture is how the fish would do throughout the whole thing.
Being immersed in a small bowl of water and having a hammer hit it on a steady rhythm seems like it would kind of fuck up the fish.
Just thinking about the fish. (yeah, I'm one of those guys.) :)

Food for thought. Or Fish for food.

BenBertin said...

I have thought of this, obviously. If Nick were subjected to this constantly, then yes, I think it would harm him. But I will only be showing this during a class critique, and theoretically afterwards in a gallery setting, which is very theoretical at this point. It is important to the piece that there be an actual living thing to react to the imbalance.