“The branch upon which the blossom hangs may be long or short, rough or smooth, strong or weak according to our expectations, but the redness of the blossom is irrevocable, and the word “red” tells us next to nothing about it. There are thousands of colors in the world and only a few hundred words to describe them, and these include similitudes like teal and peach and turquoise...So, the names we put on colors are hardly more than proper names, like Smith or Rodriguez, denoting vast, swarming, diverse families of living experience. Thus, when color signiﬁes anything, it always signiﬁes, as well, a respite from language and history - a position from which we may contemplate absence and death in the paradise of the moment.” -Dave Hickey, Air Guitar
We treated this installation like a series of experiments - an examination and interpretation of humanity through anthropomorphism and color. Finding the fantastic in the systematic. What do our desires to personify computer parts express about us? It all began with an old computer motherboard. At first it was a city scape, then a vast mechanical microcosm, with circuits leading this way and that- a garden of forking paths if you may- immediately immense and endless. Aggregating in intense exchanges of information- where color became landmark and organization revealed a scale of part to whole most basic in its arrangement, yet complex in possibility. It's efficiency a testament to its time. Technology of foreign pieces. But what did we want to do with it? We wanted to give it life to understand it. Aestheticize it until it could be more than a commentary on the mechanics of things. Through sculpture, the conventional exformative connections are disconnected.
The logic of repetition remained. A colorful echo of networking paths is the only visual connection to its motherboard. Repetition of material and geometry recreate its form - excessively characteristic of the mechanic, while it's organization hints at its condition of possibility. Geometry reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller is structurally efficient until it is not. The 5000 buttons are each an self-sufficient display unit, complete with a devices for hanging and protection; at once a painting, one pixel of digitally sampled color, and an entire portable museum. They are minor figurines, used over and over again to compose the major chimerical figure - an encrusted scape of colorful scales. Each one is hand made and unique yet part of community. The life inside the machine, the beast or beauty of it's growth. Anthropomorphic with it's life like qualities- namable now. It's crustacean shell shiny and rich with color. A plant possibly? Almost alien, but somehow not.This project was made possible through the generous support of: The City of Urbana Public Arts Commission and The Urbana Business Association.