1:4:9 and 1:4:9 (Small Scale Model) After

Here is a sculpture that I made up on Saunders Farm in Garrison, NY in 2008. I wanted to make a shoddy replica of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey in the same proportions: 1:4:9. This one is twelve feet tall by sixty inches by eighteen inches and is made entirely of quarter inch unfinished plywood and 2″x4″‘s cut to size. I built it over a 5 day period up on the farm. I had to first dig a series of trenches in the ground in order to bury the make shift base that I built for it to keep it from falling over in the wind or when the cows and horses would rub up against it. This was difficult and took the better part of a day because the sculpture was being built on a hill so all 4 corners of my base had to be at different depths in order to make the final sculpture relatively vertical. I was told that I couldn’t leave any open holes in the ground overnight since the cows and horses would come by in the evening and they could break their legs in them. I was under a lot of stress to finish before evening since I ran into difficulties trying to get the base deep enough and I remember, as it started to get dark, looking behind me and through the fog seeing a herd of cows and horses coming my way. Before I knew it one cow had its head in my open car window, and one was looking in the back of my car’s hatch and a goat was standing on top of part of my studio mate’s art piece that I agreed to take up in my car and had carelessly left on the ground. I tried to make them move but they’re big animals when they get close. Luckily I finished burying the base and covering the holes around the time it got dark. In the next couple of days I finished screwing the plywood to the sides and painting it flat black.

I was happy with the way the sculpture turned out and was eager to see how the weather would affect the finish over the three months that it would be out on the farm. I really wanted it to disintegrate over time so that when you get up close it’s obvious that it’s made of cheap plywood and poorly finished. I made no effort to cover the seams or patch over screw holes. From a distance the piece appears to be solid and pristine but up close is a simple structure made of wood and screws.

In 2011 I decided to make a small scale model of this piece that is 6″x10″x10″ (including the base) and used the same techniques that I described in my last post about building the small scale model for 186646591.

Just to clarify, I consider models to be sculptures as well and use titles as a way of differentiating contexts. 1:4:9 (Small Scale Model) After is its title and in no way takes away from its appreciation as a sculpture.

 149 by Brian Higbee and Associated Artists for Propaganda Research 149 Small Scale Model (After) by Brian Higbee and Associated Artists for Propaganda Research

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Filed under Associated Artists for Propaganda Research, Sculpture

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