Constrained Flight Structure (2008)
84" x 48" x 24"
Steel frame, acrylic, bird wings, motor, electronics
The Aeolian Electric Project is an exhibition of wind powered sculptures and devices investigating the potential for small scale wind energy devices to be inviting, beautiful, or even just playfully pique our curiosity. Six artists from around the country were invited to attend a turbine design clinic and then to spend only four weeks fabricating devices and sculptures.
This sculpture is both a working wind turbine made from cheap ready-made materials, and a strange and perhaps poignant kinetic gesture. The elaborate structure supports small and fragile disembodied bird wings and slowly re-animates them with the power of the same air they once flew through, but they are forever amputated and trapped. Yet there is an intrigue and beauty in the hybrid form and its effort to live. Our imperative to innovate and obsession with controlling, harnessing, emulating, and interweaving with the natural world produces new categories of creativity and engineering that can be both fascinating and unsettling.
First exhibited in the Aeolian Electric Project, 2008, at Solar One, New York, NY, curated by Elliot Montgomery. Part of the Toyota Heya innovation project.