Kinetic sculpture exhibition interprets time, space themes

he drawing is a causality light cone. It's a common way of describing how cause and effect work in a universe where light has a speed limit. The cones describe a flash of light as it expands across space over time,” said Hans Hallinen, one of the artists who is part of the “Notions of Time” gallery.
he drawing is a causality light cone. It’s a common way of describing how cause and effect work in a universe where light has a speed limit. The cones describe a flash of light as it expands across space over time,” said Hans Hallinen, one of the artists who is part of the “Notions of Time” gallery.

UAA art students Hans Hallinen and Scott Pugh will open their Student Union Gallery Show, “Notions of Time,” Feb. 18. The show features kinetic sculptures done by the two. Pugh describes “Notions of Time” as “oversized” and “interactive.”

Kinetic sculpture combines movement and art. Sculptures are able to move and morph, changing the nature of the sculpture itself. Kinetic sculpture takes a new look at what sculpture really means and defies the notion that sculpture captures only one moment in time. It also emphasizes that from different angles and perspectives, the way something is seen changes.

Kinetic art began in the early 1900s with artists who tried to convey movement in their artworks, such as Marcel Duchamp, Vladimir Tatlin and Naum Gabo. According to Oxford Art Online, artists after them “began to develop their color organs and projection techniques in the direction of an art medium consisting of light and movement.”

In the 1950s, kinetic art began to expand with the works of artists Pol Bury, Jean Tinguely, Nicolas Schoffer and Harry Kramer, who lead the beginnings of mechanical movement in art. Then in 1960, following published works about kinetic art and large exhibitions of kinetic artwork in Europe and the United States, kinetic art was finally able to become a legitimate art style.

The “Notions of Time” show will feature this dynamic style of art.

Hallinen says, “There’s a great deal of wood involved, mirrored surfaces, some mechanical and electronic components, procedurally generated animation. There will be some sound components as well.”

“Notions of Time” will indeed be very different from any other show featured in the Student Union Gallery and will likely make many question what can be considered art and what art is defined as.

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“I often feel we have little opportunity to really push the bounds of what is possible for art today and in the now. I looked at this show as an opportunity to explore what is really possible when constructing physical objects that not only occupy space, but sometimes travel through it,” Pugh said.

Pugh’s main piece for “Notions of Time” takes a look at time and what will happen with endless consumption.

“It’s a conversation on the price of humanity’s endless desire for consumer goods and what we are losing from the natural world as a result,” Pugh said.

The piece Pugh is discussing is a large eagle constructed of reclaimed wood that will slowly fall apart throughout the showcase to reveal the inner steel skeleton of the eagle.

Hallinen and Pugh have been working on “Notions of Time” for over a year. The two were inspired by movement and time. They tried very hard to make the two the focus of the exhibition and would like their audience to think about their own perceptions of time.

Hallinen was also inspired by a variety of influential men in both the art world and the science and mathematics world, such as Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, the American architect famous for designing the geodesic dome; HSM Coxeter, a prominent mathematician of the 20th century, who focused on geometry; John Cage, composer famous for coining indeterminacy of music, or the “ability of a piece to be performed in substantially different ways”; and James Turrell, an artist famous for his light and space works, such as the Roden Crater in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“Notions of Time” is the first of its kind to come to the Student Union Gallery and will be an interesting new take on movement, time, space and light.

“Notions of Time” opens Feb. 18 and will be open until March 7. The opening reception is from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Student Union Gallery. The midday reception is from 1:30-3 p.m. Feb. 19 in the same location.