The cage

This had a prior existence at New Genres Grid where I still have it in place underwater at my island ShapeShifter.

I have known of Johan Bayer's amazing celestial atlas for a long time and have always wanted to do something with it - a type of remediation, if you will. However, regardless of my awe for the beauty of its spreads, the atlas has always oppressed me. Or I should say that the entire notion of a clockwork universe is something that I have a hard time with. These contradictory feelings of unease and awe are what led me to make the cage.

Although I sometimes also work with a specific end in mind, I should admit that more often than not I do not arrive at these conclusions consciously while I am actually making stuff, but only much later. I mostly just start playing around with things and somehow one thing leads to something else - my hand and my eyes are way ahead of the game in relation to my brain. I just do something. And that is how the cage also came about. I did not deliberately plan on making a cage in which a bunch of avatar sculptures were caught like flies in a spider's web to represent the idea of a mechanistic universe from which there is no out, in which the stars and constellations and the planets hold our fate.

What happened instead was that I had all of these gorgeous textures which I had gotten from the Linda Hall site (to the best of my knowledge the atlas is in the public domain) and I wanted to put them on something, to see how they would look mapped onto 3D objects. So, I made a whole bunch of avatar sculptures to this end. Once the sculptures were made I saw that they needed some kind of structure to cling to. Initially I made many poles, and then it seemed that the poles needed cross bars to pull together. And, that was then the cage.

I was happy with how it looked - more or less, and I also liked the cage symbol that I had inadvertently come up with; but still I had a niggling feeling that something more was needed, that what I had made was not complete...