February 24, 2004

short sketch of future piece

Meditation on Movement: Eccentric Rotation


Small box of questionable dimensions. Box , Glue and tack construction, with proportions roughly that of a cigar box, hinged lid, nice hardware. Inside, velvet(-ish) covered, specifically made cushion insert formed to hold one allen wrench (first object) and one socket wrench socket (second object). Instructions on inside of lid.

First draft instructions:

1. Insert the short arm of the first object fully into the six-sided opening of the second.
2. Hold the second object upright, as to allow the first to rotate freely in the opening.
3. Use small stirring actions to twirl the first object around.
4. Count the revolutions. Do only ten more than you ever have before.
5. When done, replace the objects, close the box, come back to it another day.

Surface, decoration and screenprinting:

At the moment the outside should have a line drawing of some sort, echoing a hand carved surface. It should be ornate and the top image should incorporate representations of the individual objects inside. One side might incorporate the title. Prints on all sides but the bottom. Some finish and/or stain. Screenprinted instructions in similar style on the inside of lid but with an eye to readability. One pictogram on inside illustrating the proper holding of the objects, maybe with an arrow to imply movement.


When the objects are twirled, they produce a ringing sound. This sound is much like a bicycle bell, tiny ringings in fast succession to create a sustained sound. I find this clears my mind, covers other audible distractions around and gives an audible cue for visual and mental focus. The limitations on rotation count encourage reflection. You might want something more when you can't have it. But this, like other forms of meditation is dependent on self-discipline. Counting focuses attention on the full rotation and hand action of the movement rather than just going for a limit on time, which would have people watching the clock. The instructions ask the participant to come back another day. I want this to get away from the isolated incidents of my previous pieces in some respects. More performances of the meditation by an individual breeds greater knowledge, higher levels of observation, and greater levels of tactile, and kinesthetic acuity. The compact kit form combined with these other characteristics allows the participant to have any level of privacy that they wish. They don't have to be inhibited by feeling as if in a performance. It's all in the wrist, baby. Imagine a stuffy, stereotypical french maitre-de with a thin, pencil line, handlebar mustache. Imagine the mildly insulting hand movement he would make while making that french "hunh-hunh" sound. That's what I want. The movement, not the maitre-de.