Studio visit with physicist Timur Sahin, MIT undergrad.
Timur's arrival at CAVS very nearly reprises my October studio visit with Chris Carr, the MIT-Harvard post doc researching Mars. Immediately upon entering the studio, Timur is captivated by the images of the Sculpture flottante.
I briefly summarize where the previous night's conversation with Katharine, Neal, Daniel, and myself has led us: responding to the recurrence formally and thematically of binaries in Pan's work, we propose making a mate for the Sculpture flottante rather than re-creating the orginal sculpture.
Readily acknowledging the soundness of this new development, Timur substitutes the word "conjugate" for our word "mate," asking our question in his voice, "What's the conjugate for this sculpture?" This subtle alteration--from proposing a "mate" to conceiving a "conjugate"--redirects our inquiry away from the romantic archetype of lovers, a binary of subject projected onto and reflected by the (beloved) other, towards the idea of a resonant solitary self. Our prior interest in expressing a "reciprocity" between the sculpture and its context (material+site) becomes instead a deliberation on the nature of "responsiveness."
"Maybe it's growing up in the information age," Timor explains, "I can download anything and mix it up. I'm more interested in what I can't touch. 'Art that ignores you'--that's interesting!"
We bounce ideas back and forth.
--What about the formal hollows, the sensuous negative spaces, in the voluptuous planes of the sculpture? They're so inviting.
"Definitely its conjugate should be something living," Timur concurs. "--What about you floating on a raft next to it?" We laugh, but the joke taps deep questions about the sanctity of the original, object anxiety, the collaborative nature of authorship and spectatorship, the nature of creativity, and the threshold of human consciousness that have motivated the project from inception.
Studio Visit Glossary (in formation)
structure of motion vs motion of a structure
reciprocity vs responsiveness
art that ignores you