KATIMAK (2010-2011) - BUOYANT SCULPTURE
RESEARCH COLLABORATION WITH DR.CHRISTINE WU, MECH. ENG.,
GRAHAM LEVERICK, THESIS RESEARCH SS PROTOTYPE GRANT
Katimak - Under Water
Katimak - Motion Demonstration
This project has been driven by a wish to lift significant sculpture weights using buoyancy as a passive energy source. Further the intent was to fabricate and test a sculpture that would release bursts of energy sufficient to create explosive and seemingly unpredictable and chaotic movement of the sculpture.
I wanted a quality of movement that referenced the way whales breach the surface with water cascading from the rapidly rising form. I also thought of ships being launched and settling precipitously into the water for the first time or great shards of ice falling from icebergs into crystalline waters.
The first set of tests was successful with respect to lifting the weight and establishing the likely parameters of movement. It was clear however that the next work period should explore ways to alter the trajectory to and make the movement dramatic. In the second series of tests the moment that was the most promising occurred in the final ascents when some of the weights were removed to increase buoyancy and significant lateral force was applied just before the rising sculpture burst above the surface. Water sheeted from the top as the sculpture was launched two thirds of its length up out of the water. It fell awkwardly back into the pool buffeted by bursts of escaping air and the greatly agitated surface. It was this last brief, but exciting, burst of movement that came closest to realizing the intent of this stage of the work.
GORDON M. REEVE