“Nana korobi ya oki” fall down seven times and get up eight. A hollowed out tree trunk gleaned from an abandoned garden was the starting point for this self righting rocking sculpture akin to a Daruma doll.
In his autobiography mathematician Norbert Wiener, who contributed much to the thinking about feedback systems in the early part of the 20th century, which had profound implications for subsequent developments in engineering, systems control, computer science, biology and philosophy, writes:
We are so used to feedback phenomena in our daily life that we often forget the feedback nature of the simplest processes. When we stand erect, it is not in the manner in which a statue stands erect… Human being stand erect, however because they are continually resisting the tendency to fall down, either forward or backward and manage to offset either tendency by a contraction of muscles pulling them in the opposite direction. The equilibrium of the human body, like most equilibria which we find in life processes, is not static but results from a continuous interplay of processes which resist in an active way any tendency for them to lead to a breakdown. Our standing and our walking are thus a continual jujitsu against gravity, as life is a perpetual wrestling match with death.
Wiener, Norbert. ‘I am a mathematician’ 1956 MIT press, Mass. p.268 – 269
This sculpture is designed to be moved in some fashion, and to offer a form of resistance. While the term resistance is laden with a political burden, it is also resonant with many other areas, electrical resistance, resistance training and so on. In these works I investigate the strength to resist embodied in stubborn matter and the longing for equilibrium.
‘Against Gravity’ was shown at the CACSA ‘new new’ survey 2010, and Greenaway Gallery in a solo exhibition ‘Polygon wood’ in 2011 and is now in a private collection.