Friday, February 22, 2013

Adze break

While you might have thought Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and the rest would quickly become central to making art, it's taking longer than you might expect. Video followed the same stuttering path until becoming a standard part of the repertoire. The rule seems to be that change takes longer than you expect and when it does come, it happens faster than you could imagine. But it is happening. Take sculptor Joe Sheehan. His work often references analogue communication (Carousel projectors, old TVs, cassette tapes) but he found a recent inspiration for a major work via eBay.

Browsing "remote controls" he found a collection for sale. And we're not talking a couple of old TV channel choosers but 700 remote controls with a photo of a small sample of the Motherload. “They were laid out like artefacts. I still don’t know why I didn’t buy them.” But later Sheehan did snap up a collection of 400 and used their shapes, buttons and markings to carve works in stone that hovered between remote controls and adzes. “The first one I made was pure adze with lots of buttons so the whole project became getting the right side of wrong.” Sheehan titled the first set of these carved ‘artefacts’ The quick and the dead.
Images: Top, Joe Sheehan’s work space. Bottom left, the remote control collection and right, the beginnings of new work. Sheehan paints the stone before carving it to make the drawing visible while he carves.