Upcoming: “Trajectory” in San Antonio, TX

Ryder Richards: solo exhibition

Friday, July 2- 30, 2010
OPENING RECEPTION: First Friday, July 2, 2010, 6-9 pm

I was offered a chance to exhibit at the Cactus Bra Space; an independently owned and artist run gallery in San Antonio, TX. The space is roughly 14′ x 16′, which is great for creating a really focused exhibition or installation. (I don’t know if I am capable of that focus, but I will try.)

I would love to do an installation… Right now I am thinking of building a curving wall into the space and making a drawing that moves through the space. More updates to come as I begin construction.

_____UPDATE 1______

Feb 20, 2010:
I have built the gallery space in Google SketchUp so that I can plan out the show.

And here is the initial graphic plan for the curved wall installation… I designed it in Adobe Illustrator, mapping it out for an 8’x 16′ space. It is based on the trajectory of a .243 Winchester rifle. (or roughly Kinetic Energy with built in variance for environmental contingencies:  KE = 1/2m*v^2 )

Graphic plan of a .243 Winchester Ballistic Trajectory. 8 x 16 feet.

_____UPDATE 2_____

March 6, 2010:
I bought a heat gun so I can begin curving plastics… I am not sure exactly how this will work yet, but I want to build a sculpture that is also a drawing. So, plastic being light weight and not as easily damaged as paper seems to be a fun material with which I can develop complex forms.

All I know now is that it works well on plexi-glass, but drawing on plexi has several problems i would have to work out.

Here is the new gallery install plan…

It is a double curve that would resemble the barrel of a gun.

It seems a bit too narrative and I think it blocks off the exits, so I will have to scrap this idea for now.

_____UPDATE 3 (April 25, 2010)____

A lot of experimentation and a little progress has been made.

I tried a new material out called Sintra, which is essentially PVC in a 8′ x 4′ sheet form about a 1/4″ thick. It is usually used for mounting outdoor signs and such, but I picked it up for the chance to heat form a shape.

I originally wanted a drawing mounted to a large TRAJECTORY form. In this way the trajectory and attached drawing would be three dimensional in the space. I sort of got ahead of myself… I was seduced by the malleable material into heat-forming one end into a spiral, just like a bullet path. This looks very cool and slick, but it made attaching a drawing impossible.
So, I could have drawn on it first, but I would have had to prime it for it to hold anything and the primer burns with heat forming.

So, now I am on to building the form from flexible ply-wood. This Sintra stuff is cool, but I am baffled by what to do next and my craftsmanship is not good enough to let it exist on it’s own.


I have also started the large drawing.

It has been through 3 evolutions as I have changed the gunpowder, masking materials, and the method of burning. Since the piece is quite large the gunpowder has a way of exponentially burning hotter, which fuses the masking materials to the paper. (very frustrating)

Attempt 1: nice pattern, but too uniform for what I want now. I will have to find a way to recycle this into more pieces.

Attempt 2: the masking fused to the paper making this about impossible to clean up.

Attempt 3: nice

____UPDATE 4: April 28, 2010____

Antelope head designs
5″x7″ studies for a 4’x6′ piece.

More completed version of the trajectory image:

_______UPDATE 5: May 9, 2010_______

It has been a good weekend for art making. Started with a sinus infection, but once that relented I got some studio time.

Below is the completed wooden Trajectory (after I scrapped the plastic Sintra) and the beginnings of a larger grid composed of sticks of poplar.

Below is the beginning of the 7’x5′ Antelope with pattern element. It is constructed from ash plywood that has been primed and cut with a jigsaw:


I have yet to explain why I would make any of this…

Trajectory is essentially a path with a predetermined conclusion. I am interested in predetermination due to social and cultural constructs. The ability for a condition to be mapped based on it’s initial velocity is astounding and I am curious as to the ability to map humans in much the same way. Will I be like my father? If I am not, what an enormous amount of force must be harnessed to rupture the determined path.

The trajectory is a form of entropy, with a peak and a eventual decline. As such, breaking the decline requires a recalibration away from norms and the proposed structure/architecture of the system. What would allow a transcendence of the predetermined arc? Does resetting a path rupture the system? I certainly hope so.

As a focus, or beacon of hope, I have started work on a large antelope. This focus will be worked with gold and gunpowder in order to provide a fusion of power and deity. It also, necessarily, refers to the ‘Golden Fleece’ of Jason and the Argonauts which was originally a golden-haired, winged ram. (This golden fleece is the symbol which restores us and our legacy upon attainment.)

Also, the antelope is my ‘spirit animal’ according to a Native American card game similar to tarot, lauded for it’s wisdom and curiosity. I have a conflicted relationship with my spirit animal as I killed several antelope in my teens.

________Update: May 15, 2010________

Some final images before I leave for the Portales, NM residency today. (The residency will last 2 weeks, so my next update on the “Trajectory” exhibition will be sometimes around mid-June.)

_____UPDATE: June 14, 2010_______

I finished the antelope last week. It is created using gold leaf, gunpowder, and graphite on the white acrylic surface with which I primed the wood. I think it turned out great, but it was amazingly time intensive.

I have now begun on the curving wall. I have primed some masonite and cut out the Trajectory arch. I am currently building the supports that will allow for the curve and house some fluorescent lights. (cause lights make everything cooler.) The wall will be 16 feet long, almost as long as the gallery, and will curve away from the existing wall, as if attempting to alter the nature of it’s course.

Show install is in 2 weeks… I better stop blogging and make some art.

_____UPDATE: June 15, 2010_____

Ok, so I have more time to blog than to make art. And it is hot outside.

SO, I have prefabbed the curved wall for the exhibit. I cut up some masonite to have the trajectory arch as negative space showing the 2×4’s that hold up the wall. As the wall curves I have made the support structure become more ad-hoc or improvised. This actually took  a whole lot more time than a precisely constructed curve, which is essentially the point of the piece: a tremendous amount of energy is necessary to disrupt the mathematical norm.

I feel that in a life where we are inundated with methods of progress, success and technology an individual ‘feeling’ their way, operating on instinct, is a difficult and inefficient enterprise. Although far more rewarding and interesting than the prescribed lifestyle.

_________UPDATE: June 20, 2010______

“.243 Rifle” and “Destruction/Deity 1 & 2”


cactus bra SPACE
106 C Blue Star
San Antonio, TX 78204



3 thoughts on “Upcoming: “Trajectory” in San Antonio, TX

  1. well, it looks to me that they should let you have at least three show at the cactus bra this next year so you can execute all of your ideas! the experimentation looks excellent ryder, and the space is cozy. you are taveling down a excellent trajectory – remember : Kinetic engery = 1/2 * mass * velocity squared.

  2. Pingback: Trajectory « Ryder Richards

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