ARTIST: William J. Beaty
TITLE: Pond Machine III
MATERIALS: Cellular automaton algorithm, parallel microcomputer array, tesla coils,
gas-discharge tubes
DIMENSIONS: 12' w x 4' h x 4" d
DATE: 2005

Kinetic sculpture; computer/gas-discharge cellular automaton

If "Art is the lie that makes us realize the truth", then art contains far too much lying; far too much of the shallow facade of technical expertise, or with luck, too much of shallow surface esthetics. No matter the acclaim directed at certain works, usually we detect nothing beneath their surface besides our own psychological projections. The Quality within a piece depends almost entirely on the perceiver, and most art is one-dimensional in this way. But is it even POSSIBLE to create Quality which is separate from the Quality projected by a human audience? Let's find out. My goal is to attack the universal trend of art based on shallow facades and viewer-provided interpretation.

The "Pond Machine" series attempts to expose the deep and multi-level esthetics concealed behind the mundane face of the material world. The series is focused upon a single element in nature: the nature of water. Then it explores various ideas phenomena by presenting distorted but active embodiments of the hidden physics and mathematics of fluids in order to make these ideas and phenomena directly visible, or better yet, directly grasped. Rather than the well-explored "art as Rorschach-blot", call it "art as chemistry-set". With luck, something inside you may explode or catch fire.

William Beaty
Seattle, WA
beaty AT chem.washington.edu
billb AT amasci.com