“Current Recorder,” a new project by MFAST Alum and Adjunct Faculty member, Billy Friebele, will be on view at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC till December 29th.
“I am interested in the invisible currents that pulsate around us: traffic patterns, rhythms of inhabitance, subtle breezes, and gusting winds.
I am interested in what washes up on the shores of the city as a result of these currents: a pair of crutches, scraps of metal, shopping carts, hubcaps left in alleys and parking lots.
I collect and repurpose these objects, creating kinetic sculptures that respond to the currents. If motion occurs, a line is drawn. If there is stillness, the marker rests, and a dot forms. The longer the period of stillness, the larger the dot grows. Orbital drawings are created daily.
The drawing process begins in my studio, where motion sensors trigger a series of fans that activate the machine to make marks on paper. These drawings mark the passing time and reveal my bodily presence as I develop the work.
The sculpture is then deployed into urban spaces, to record wind patterns and create site-specific drawings. The cart travels in a circle around the city, charting wind currents in open spaces such as parks, forts, and other leftover slices of land.
This process will extend into the gallery. The movements of the viewer through room will trigger the motion sensors and cause the machine to draw. Over the course of the exhibition the invisible rhythms of human presence in the gallery will appear on the wall.
This project is inspired by the writings of Heraclitus: “The sun is new everyday” and “[n]o man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.”‘
– Billy Friebele (MFAST ’08, faculty member)