Tag Archives: 2008

Pure City/ Sigma 6 (Small Scale Model 1,2 and 3)

In 2008 I started working on another cityscape using old computer parts called Pure City/ Sigma 6. I wanted to develop a more comprehensive floor sculpture for Future Living Projects that matched Epicenter City which I made for the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research. I started by collecting some out-of-date computer and ripped them apart to salvage their insides. After pulling out the insides I washed them and spray painted them using a white primer made by Do It. This off-white turned out to be the same white that I would use for all of the artwork made for the Future Living Projects by having the same color mixed in acrylic latex. I made 2 versions quickly so that I could have documentation for a larger version. The first one is 1.5″x6″x6″ and is made using white museum grade matte board as “sides”. The second version is 11″x22″x22″ and was made with a pre-made insertable pedestal that I had made for an earlier piece called The Shadow (Small Scale Model).

After making these 2 models I started collecting as many computers as I could and was lucky enough to acquire a complete car-full from the Brooklyn Children’s Museum which happened to be getting rid of a large quantity of them. (Thanks Glen!) I ripped all of them apart and brought all of the unused cases to a recycling center to be recycled. I kept all of the small speakers and lights, thinking that I could maybe use them for a future project. As a side note, I’ve often thought about using lights and maybe making my floor pieces interactive but have always decided against it thinking that it creates too much of a “spectacle”. I like the idea of using lights though and think of the time that I visited the large model of the Johnstown Flood at the Johnstown Flood Museum in Johnstown, Pa when I lived out there. They use lights and sound on the large model landscape to help explain the timeline of the ensuing disaster to great effect.

After I took all of the computers apart I washed out all of the dust and spray painted them white. I wanted the final version to be huge, maybe 12″x12″ in the end but I also wanted it to be variable depending on the space that it was exhibited in. The piece sat unfinished for quite awhile since I couldn’t get anybody to show it. In 2010 one of my roommates moved out and I quickly scrambled to build a large version of Pure City/ Sigma 6 in the empty space. I have a lot of wood lying around my studio from past projects so it wasn’t hard to put some sides together and a base to build on. I built it as quickly as I could and took photos while I had the chance. I’ve never shown it in a gallery space and the parts now sit in boxes on top of my bathroom. I imagined it as part of a larger installation that would include The Architect’s Tomb, Journey Into the Realm of Reason, From Dusk To Dawn, At the Gates of Dawn, New Dawn Fades, the ICB series and the pieces from I Was A Landscape In Your Dream. Below are the 3 versions that I made.

Pure City:Sigma 6 Small Scale Model (Version 1) by Brian Higbee and Future Living Projects Pure City:Sigma 6 Small Scale Model (Version 2) by Brian Higbee and Future Living Projects Pure City:Sigma 6 Small Scale Model (Version 3) by Brian Higbee and Future Living Projects Pure City:Sigma 6 Small Scale Model (Version 3) Detail by Brian Higbee and Future Living Projects

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Filed under Future Living Projects, Sculpture, Small Scale Model

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