Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Figures in the Fourth Dimension" - A "Must-have" Book

I am happy to finally be able to announce that the "Figures in the Fourth Dimension"  book is out! And I'm honored to be in it.

The book - thoroughly researched and assembled by fellow kinetic artist, Ellen Rixford - has been published, and it is AMAZING. Ellen has been putting this together for at least 6 years, maybe more, and the thing that impresses me most is her super-thorough attention to detail.  Ellen contacted me back in 2009, and asked not only for great images of my pieces, but also explanations and diagrams of how each piece - and every mechanical component in it - functioned. Ellen, a figurative kinetic artist herself, made sure she understood how every part of a mechanism worked. If there was a question about how a cam or lever worked, I would get an email or a phone call asking me to clarify things. I think her approach was to create a how-to book that would educate a person interested in building mechanical figures - automata, puppets, mechanical figures - but also a beautiful book for anyone interested in the subject. It is awe-inspiring how she, and the other artists in the book, pull back the curtain to reveal how these amazing pieces were created. To my knowledge, there is not a more thorough book out there on this subject. I'm sure anyone interested could spend days delving into the beautiful pages of this coffee table style book - I know I will.

Here are some images for the book ---

The book measures 11.5" x 9", is a whopping 512 pages, and highlights the work of not only automata makers, but puppet makers, and artist who create mechanical figures. Many notable historical pieces are dissected as well......

A page from the section on Chris Chomick and Peter Meder.

A marionette by Phillip Huber.

The wonderful work of Pablo Lavezzari.

The incomparable Keith Newstead.

Ellen's own wonderful work; along with Mayhew Lu.

The creative work of the great Paul Spooner.

As well as the work of other modern artists, many famous historical pieces are also highlighted. This piece by Henri Maillardet at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, is similar to the automaton in the movie, "Hugo". Ellen was fortunate that at the time she contacted the folks at the Institute, the piece was being transported to a show and was in pieces for shipment. While the piece was apart, they were able to take rarely seen pictures of the inside, showing the complete mechanism. There is also a thorough explanation (thorough? 34 pages worth!) of how each and every component functions. This alone is worth the price of the book - amazing.

Here are a few pages of the section on my work. Again, I am beyond honored to have my work recognized in this incredible book. 

My piece "Crescendo".

The inner workings of "Lauren & Jordan".

"Wonderlust" explained.

If you haven't already, you can order this amazing book here. I guarantee - it will not disappoint. (When you go to the page, Click the "Contact/Buy" button on the right.) 

UPDATE - Ellen let me know that, "Already Harvard has 2 copies! University of Connecticut has purchased 100 copies for their bookstore, and the Morris Museum is planning to sell it in their bookstore." Great news.

Thanks for looking!