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The Reader

by John S. Lathram III

The creation of this work is based on the integration of an organic structure (tree branches) with mechanical parts of motors and cams to create an entity that appeares to the viewer to be an object of not individual parts, but a complete living structure. In order to achieve this task, I is necessary to give this structure a task of human scale to achieve. The branch and cam structure is placed upon an old wooden chair. As the cam moved the branches back and forth from its main component, another branch reaches out towards a pedestal and turns the pages in an old book of Shakespeare. The end of the "hand" branch which turns the pages, contains a micro camera, which projects the image of the book upon itself and the wall behind it. The sculpture then becomes a tree "reading" a book. The entire installation is one of subtle beauty and grace with the branches slowly moving, the pages being turned by the branches, and the shadow play created by the projection. By using items which humans relate to, i.e., old chair, dusty tomes and tree branches, I am able to induce an emotional fondness for the sculpture. The Reader is an example of how I choose to incorporate human tasks, organic structures and inorganic mechanics into one complete working system, therefor possibly creating another "life form".

John S. Lathram III is an artist. Other works in progress by Lathram include the installation, Twelve Trees which was shown at Acme Art Company, Columbus,2002. This was an installation of twelve trees each which played one note of the 12 tone scale using violins and marimbas and simarly situated in chairs as is The Reader.

thanks and credits:


http://www.columbusalive.com/2002/20020221 (click on Arts->John Lathram's kinetic trees)
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