The other night I came up with an idea for using colored pieces of wood to create sculptural projects. The concept was born out of a comment that I made about how I thought that the art viewing public would be more interested in what we were doing if we made a large sculpture of a wave using colored blocks. This was said half in jest really but the idea stuck with me for a couple of days. I’d been thinking about another way of visualizing information and stumbled across the idea of using strips of colored wood. This is nothing new really but I decided that I wanted to develop it anyway to see where it leads me. I quickly realized that this could very easily become public art which I usually despise and I find is mostly rooted in the solving of design problems and not art problems. This idea (using colored wood strips) could very easily be about solving design problems and develop quickly into a gimmick but I’m a little desperate at this point to get work shown. This creates a bit of an integrity issue and I think that the only way that I feel comfortable approaching this project in any serious way is if it’s a little tongue-in-cheek which is why I’m stealing the title A Theory of Progress from my previous small scale model. They might share it in the end or they might get sucked in together under the same project title. They are similar in idea but are also slightly different in their approach.
The concept that I’m most excited about is the covering of a telephone pole using this technique. This is something that I can do outside of my studio on a telephone pole on my street over a long period of time; I can add to it at my leisure and decide when it’s finished later. The black disco ball idea came from a dream that I had and I thought that I could make small colored streaks coming out of its center circumference. The first idea involved the illusion that the colored strip were coming out of a gallery floor. Another idea was to have them coming off of a wall. I bought a lot of strips of tiny balsa wood today to make a small scale replica of the telephone pole piece and another idea for making a perfect column. Here are some of the sketches that I made.