Monday, November 05, 2007

mobile art

least resistance
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
I've always been fascinated with three-dimensional art. I've also always been fascinated with how concepts of one artistic medium are borrowed and implemented within another medium that requires entirely different techniques to exploit the concept. Perhaps I should say, how one medium stylistically reflects techniques that were not necessarily meant to be more than technique.
The concept of the mobile is fascinating to me. Here is an object that was hung above our cribs when we were infants, and for me at least, it has never lost it’s magic. It is a finite piece of work that contains infinite perspectives and perceptions. Though the materials from which is constructed don’t change, we constantly view it, and each element from different vantage points and the affect of the whole constantly morphs. Even a simple sculpture provides a bit of this possibility.
Music has explored this dimension with mobile music concepts from the composer’s and performer’s perspectives. Though the listener would have no affect on how the music is heard, and the composer has control over only what elements are possible, the performer chooses in what order the material will be heard. Of course, this is not unlike the manufacturer of the mobile who cannot decide how it will be view, and of course, the observer who is at the mercy of breezes and such as to what will be seen and what perspective will be given.

As I looked through these whitewater photos, I thought of my words about the sounds of the rushing water. I thought about the differing tones and timbres that the ear could focus on. I thought about how they seemed to morph according to my position on the rocks. The interesting thing is that the formations themselves are perceived in exactly the same way. The same rocks seem completely different from different vantage points. Their sizes seem relative, their tones, even their shapes seem to morph.