Cast aluminum, dimensional lumber, chain, paint bucket, swing seat


Pendulum is a sculpture in the PlaylGround, a body of work which presents machines that are playful and open in both design and function, encouraging investigation and manipulation of the machines.  PlaylGround suggests a relationship between play and technology that is cooperative rather than antagonistic; a model for tools and their users that is empowering instead of restrictive; and a partnership between the manufacturer and the operator that is collaborative, not authoritarian.

Pendulum is an oversized clockwork mechanism, in which the pendulum is replaced with a swing.  By playing on the swing, the user becomes part of the machine, controlling the unwinding of the clockwork mechanism.  The act of play, often considered chaotic and unproductive, is becomes a source of order in the machine.  Additionally, Pendulm presents the viewer with two disparate elements— a swing, which, like other playground equipment, signifies a safe space for play; and a heavy cast-metal mechanism, literally looming over the user’s head, commanding fear and respect.  As the viewer considers these elements, they are forced to evaluate many of their preconceptions regarding play, work, and industry.

Like all the machines in the PlaylGround, Pendulum exists both in a finished/display form (as seen in the gallery) and as a kinetic sculpture kit.  The finished form is a site-specific installation, incorporating the particularities of the space into its structure.  It is built using the Pendulum kit, which includes special cast aluminum mechanical elements, important hardware, and exploded diagrams to aid in assembly.  The goal is to add another type of play to the sculpture: the play of creation.  Like a Lego or Erector set, the kit invites galleries and collectors into a collaboration with me, taking my vision for the piece, playing with it, and ultimately making it their own.