Chain Reaction Collaboration

A collaboration between Rhonda-Lee, Brynn, Leon, and Jordan.

For our week long project, we set out to create a work that must be suspended in the air using multiple materials found in the Visual Arts sculpture yard. Day to day we were continuously pivoting on ideas until we came to a result we were satisfied with. Our use of materials drastically changed from beginning to end of the entire process.  This is our documentation of that process and the explanation of why we made the decisions we did.

 

 

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We had toyed around with the idea of suspending a cube-like shape in the air that was possibly holding some sort of wild life. The materials were primarily wooden canvas frames. After humouring the initial idea, we decided it was becoming just a fancy plant holder. Personally (Jordan) thought there was no substance conceptually to the original idea, so the group sought after new materials.

 

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The new materials were much different than the original frames. The form and colours of the rusty bike chains caught our eye, so we toyed around with a chain and spring. Brynn decided to put the spring through the chain to create tension on the chain. We all agreed it was an interesting form, but were not quite sure what purpose it would serve at the time.

 

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Albeit a crude sketch, we had come up with a general idea of what the project was going to look like. The focal objects were a chain (with the spring through it), 3 gears (possibly from a bike), paracord, and a cylinder concrete object (with paint all over). The idea was that we would create enough tension using the chain and gravity to hold up the centre gear sitting freely.

 

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By the end our idea became about the tension of all of these objects working together to keep that single cog balanced. To all of our surprise, setting the pieces up in the final position worked exactly how we had envisioned it. None of us were truly expecting it to work first try, but the structure held together just like the sketch above. We chose our location because it provided the perfect length and beams to act as a base for the entire project. Unfortunately that location happened to have a kitchen behind it, which was a little distracting.

 

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This is the end result, which we all ended up being happy with. Believe it or not, you could push and play with the chain and gears and the structure would hold up due to the tension and weight distribution we created. Overall each of us ended up with something we enjoyed about the piece, whether it was the balancing actually working or the diverse materials and objects needed to make it all happen.