Artist questions nature of chaos, machinery structure
Tuba Parlak ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Artist Selçuk Artut (below) says that he wants every single visitor to have as much fun while visiting the gallery that presents his sculptures.Selçuk Artut defines his kinetically programmed sculptures currently on display at the CDA Projects gallery as a minimal and perfectionist series of works examining the structure of chaos and machinery from a different perspective. The artist created the sculptures using smart motors, magnets, computer mouse balls and “the software he has so easily written.”
Artut is a versatile artist. He is the drummer of the Turkish experimental rock band Replikas, and he also teaches at Sabancı University’s Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design Department. A graduate of Koç University’s Mathematics Department, Artut has a master’s degree in sonic arts from England. He is currently completing his doctoral degree in media and communication philosophy.
“I am calling them sculptures but I do not know whether they really are. I do not care whether they are, frankly speaking,” said Artut. The majority of the work on display consists of computer mouse balls being moved around on a big white Plexiglas box by a mechanism hidden underneath, which is integrated into a software program. In the work titled “Forever Snap” the ball moves on a wall, and in the work titled “Forever A/B” it moves linearly between A and B.
Artut said the software program only determined the speed and rotation directions, adding that in some of the works which way the balls would move was unknown to both him and the program.
“In my work titled ‘Forever Opposing,’ the two balls rotate on a circular plane on which they are located to face each other. As they rotate they never change their opposing positions. Therefore, I define the movement as ‘stop and move circular movement in tandem.’ In the work titled ‘Forever Nonsense’ the balls are moved manually. But of course they do not move at the user’s command. They either resist the movement forced when the control button is pushed, or they move in the opposite direction. When I was making this work I wanted to make something that looked like nothing else. I wanted it to be resilient, I wanted it to defy and disobey its beholder.”
The most expressive work in the exhibition is undoubtedly the sculpture titled “Forever Ordered Chaos,” consisting of “nine spheres in random movements.” “To prepare the software program that would control the movements was a piece of cake for me,” the artist said. “Where I had the biggest difficulty was building the sculptures. I had to make minute measurements of the thickness of the Plexiglas so I would not disrupt the attraction between the magnets. And mathematical calculations would not suffice on this subject, they could not replace the trial-fail method, because on the whole, the ideal object mathematics bases its assumptions on do not exist. In the end, it took me two months to build the sculptures.”
Nevertheless, Artut finds the ultimate meaning of his work not in the technical process but in the quality of the time the viewer has before them. “We shot a video while I was preparing one magnetic mechanism. My 8-month old son Kaya was sitting on my lap before the mechanism and burst out with laughter in every rotation movement. And I want every single viewer to have as much fun while visiting the gallery.”
Artut believes the work in the exhibition helped create an artistic language for him, but he still considers it boring to do the same thing over and over again. “Therefore, for my next exhibition I want to work on motors,” he said.
“Forever” will close at the end of December.