Richard Torchia, Grrndr (2019)
cullet, glass, first-surface mirrors, wood, metal, Lexan, DC motor, 300-watt LED lamp;
entire work installed in museum case 8′ 3/4″ (height) x 2’ 10 3/4″ (width) x 13’ 3″ (length)
During 2019, a video live stream broadcasted a real-time view of a large-scale, automated kaleidoscope made in collaboration with Skitch Manion, Glass Studio Manager at WheatonArts for Emanation 2019, on exhibit through December 2019 in the Museum of American Glass.
The video stream was being captured by a camera and microphone placed inside a triangular viewing cylinder (70″ long) comprised of three self-facing, first-surface mirrors that frame a portion of a rotating, backlit drum (20″ in diameter x 8″) filled with waste glass. (The drum is faced on the front with scratch-resistant glass and on the back with white Lexan). It was being rotated at 1 RPM by a motor used by the studio to activate ball mills to grind waste glass into powder as part of the recycling process.
The live video stream was established to ensure that visitors to the museum who are not able to look directly through viewing aperture due to its positioning at eye level (60″ from the floor), can experience the changing patterns of the cascading, disintegrating glass via a video signal transmitted to a video monitor in the gallery.
The webcam inside the mirrors registers the patterns somewhat differently from the views documented by video clips at the bottom of this page. This is not only because the webcam is positioned inside the mirrors but at the apex of their 30-degree angle, whereas the perspective from the viewing aperture, from which the video clips were filmed, is centered within the mirror chamber and cropped by the aperture.
Grrndr is part of Emanation 2019, curated by Julie Courtney, featuring the works and creative process of artists Jessie Krimes, Tristin Lowe, Martha McDonald and Laura Baird, Karyn Olivier, Richard Torchia, Allan Wexler, and Jo Yarrington.
For past recordings of Grrndr, you can visit WheatonArts on Vimeo.