Is There in Truth No Beauty?
Is There in Beauty No Truth?
Wood, Whimshurst machine, antiquated child safety seat,
This represents my first audience participation piece.
This piece was conceived of after discovering the horrors perpetrated in many
animal testing facilities. For example, the breaking of a dog's legs with
a sledgehammer for the purpose of measuring how long it takes for the animal to
You may remember the Whimshurst machine form your grade school
science class. It is a simple demonstration of static electricity.
By rotating two insulating discs (plastic) in opposite directions and collecting
the resulting static electricity on metallic "sectors", one can build
up enough charge to jump a small air gap. The result is a tiny lightening
bolt between the two electrodes (positioned over the chair). On my
Whimshurst machine, I replaced some of the metallic sectors with recognizable
forms, specifically human skulls on one of the disks and the public health
symbol on the other. It is difficult to see in these photographs but the
skulls have the names of cosmetic companies (which have at one time or another
used animal testing for their products) etched into the surfaces, just as the
public health symbols have the names of common diseases etched into them.
Hence we have two opposing sides of the same philosophical issue rotating in
opposite directions and creating friction. This friction causes static
electricity to form, which in turn becomes the method of torture for whatever
creature should happen to be strapped in the chair.
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