Three variations on the theme of revolution (proposal for Rutgers project) (UPDATED! 5/10/07)

May 6, 2007 at 9:23 pm (art, culture, drawing, life, painting, personal, sculpture, thoughts)

Starting tomorrow, I’m gone for most of the week, off doing my fellowship at the Brodsky Center. After ruminating about the different possibilities for a printmaking collaboration with them, I finally settled on something that I feel really good about. I don’t know how this will change once I get into the space and start talking to the printers, but I’m pleased that I’ve come up with a project that I’m enthusiastic about.

Pleased and… tired. You know how sometimes you think a certain project will take you a few hours tops, and then it winds up taking you days and days? Welcome to my weekend. It was kind of grueling and awful.

But, I think it was worth it in the end. Here’s my proposal.

Title: Three variations on the theme of revolution
A box, three objects, and instructions to be editioned. Everything mentioned – the box, the objects, and the instructions – is each a work of art onto itself, which I will explain in a minute…

Box: The prototype that I made is 4 1/2 ” x 6 1/2″ x 10″, but I hope that the final one will be just a tad smaller; the size, as it is now, connotes a shoebox and I don’t care for that. Covering the complete outside of the box is a drawing that I have made (which will be made into a print). It features a nighttime sky with three little girls looking at it. The stars have come out and constellations are forming. A banner up top reads the first six words of the title (variations on the theme of) and the stars form to spell the last word (revolution).

Objects: I have created three objects (as in, three 3-d objects made out of paper drawings) that involve the idea of “revolution,” as interpreted as “things that revolve”:
1. A zoetrope (this was the killer that nearly destroyed me – zoetropes are damn hard to make!) featuring an animation of a bird wrestling joyfully with a worm.
2. A mobile of the solar system
3. A teetotum, a five sided top with fortunes and drawings on each side.

Instructions: Instead of making up a written sheet of instructions as to how to play with each of these objects, I made three drawings that relate the bigger issue of “revolution” to the objects.

This one shows how to use the zoetrope and relates the object to Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson (that’s a tracing of the Jetty below, from a plate from the book Art Since 1900).

This one shows how to install the mobile and relates the object to The True Artist… by Bruce Nauman:

Ok, the last one is a little obscure, but you get +10 art history points if you guessed it. It shows how to use the top and relates the object to the site-specific installation that Robert Gober had at Dia in 1993:

Here’s to hoping they really, really like it and want to go forward with it. I hope, hope, hope.


So yes. Yes. Yes, we’re going ahead with the project as planned. And man, I am so tired, it’s insane.

Here’s a quick pic of a preview of a plate. It’s going to be a photo-lithograph, edition of 30.


Ok. Off to sleep. And then, back to the Brodsky Center for my last day of the residency…



  1. bryan said,

    holy smokes. I have to go to sleep and am trying to take this in. will hit it again in the morning.

  2. alison said,

    this looks amazing. like bryan, i’ve got to spend some time with these, and hopefully get some more a.h. points.

  3. Andrew said,

    Looks good. Lots of ideas to work through. The finished product should look killer!

  4. rachelcreative said,

    Wow – sounds great!

  5. bryan said,

    that box in the third one seems a little small?

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