Duchamp’s Pendulum: Restraint Is My Friend: 698 Miles

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"Duchamp's Pendulum: Restraint Is My Friend: 698 miles" 2009, graphite, acrylic, cable, light, wood, 698 miles from Dallas to Austin to Marfa, 58"x48"x12"

This piece was developed after several conversations about the how my art is affected by the traveling across the Southwest with the RJP Nomadic Gallery. The premise is based on the idea that all art is only the remnants of an artist’s action. We only see the marks of the process and can only guess as to what actions took place and in what order. In the last 60 years there have been several artists experiment with action based art works.

The pendulum concept came from reading a Umberto Ecco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum.” The first chapter discusses the fixed point from all action draws it’s patterns and behaviors. The fixed point, naturally, becomes sacred and the pattern of motion becomes a reflection of the larger forces of the cosmos.

I set up restraints (side walls) on the piece so that it would be limited in range. This development came from a quote attributed to Marcel Duchamp: “Creativity is born of restraint.” I could not philosophically agree that the piece should be free to swing anywhere as it does not seem to reflect human nature, destiny, or the principles of travel in the nomadic gallery.

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