Oftimes, those who view artworks wonder how the idea for a piece originated. For me, germination typically occurs with emotion stirred by facts, yet sometimes I allow myself to begin a project by selecting a material and simply working with it to coax from it what it has to say. One of my recent forays using this method brought forth Culti-facture.
Culti-facture was born of a block of polystyrene foam and a knife. I began cutting thin, rectangular wafers, then other forms and joined them. I buried the piece, complete with sprues, upsidedown in sand. Using a displacement method, I cast the piece in aluminum. After cleaning it and removing excess material, it still wasn’t fully realized. I placed a cutting wheel on my right angle grinder and simply indulged myself. The blossom emerged and with it the symbolism inherent in a metal flower—the idea that technology of cultivation may drive us beyond the natural order.
Plant-based beef, 3-D printed organs and CRISPR babies portend the artificial creation of everything. Might chemically induced emotions be next? Natural cultivation is quickly yielding to manufacture or robot-facture.