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James Crosby

Page history last edited by James Crosby 13 years, 2 months ago

1) Project Presentation

a) Title of the piece:to be determined as the work develops.

b) Detailed description of the intended project: The original ideas for this project will undoubtedly evolve and change during the making process so this is a proposal of where I plan to begin..  I intend to build a mechanism that will repeatedly write a word until the word is altered. The word will decrease in size and or clarity over the course of the show. The letters/cams will be cast in concrete and the cam/readers will be steel. My hope is to create and document a compromise between the two materials, resulting in the forming of a style or signature.

• major components: Camshaft, found objects, steel writing implement.

• materials: Concrete, steel, found objects.

• the visitor interface: to be determined as the work develops.

• how the artwork will be displayed: possibly facing the wall.

• challenges and solutions thus far: Major challenges so far include design of the mechanism, its been extremely difficult to envision how this project will work without actually building it. I'm also finding that sketching ideas are not particularly helpful at this stage.

• anticipated challenges and solutions: getting the cams and 'readers' to work smoothly will be the most difficult. Im hoping to figure out the messy stuff by trouble-shooting moquettes. 

c) Include your objectives and intentions in creating this artwork: My intention is to create a work that demonstrates an adaptation over time. I want to witness and record the mechanisms adaptation. 

d) Articulate how you hope to engage the viewer: to be determined as the work develops.

e) Discuss how this project is relevant to your current art practice: This project is currently relevant because it will help me further explore a new making process, working with found objects and personal belongings. This project will also build on a body of work already established.

a) Please prepare sketches and/or images to help illustrate your project

b) Include show installation considerations (space requirements such as walls,

ceilings, light and power) Ideally the piece will be positioned in front of a wall but that may change.

c) Present any components of the final project you have fabricated or aquired.



The title of this exhibition, 'Uncanny Valley', comes from a graph devised by Masahiro Mori. The graph illustrates the varying degrees of unease felt when we encounter something unexpected. For instance, if we expect to shake a human hand and grasp one that looks perfectly normal, but find it is cold and spongy, we experience a feeling of revulsion. When we anticipate stillness, movement is disturbing. An inert object, like a cupboard, can be frightening if it moves. The most terrifying experience, at the very bottom of Mori's 'Uncanny Valley', is a moving corpse.



Mori's description of our responses to the unexpected was one of the major inspirations that set Tim Lewis on the path to creating his idiosyncratic machines.

Tim Lewis examines this notion in his work, creating automated sculptures that explore the relationship between mankind and our sometimes disquieting manufactured world.


Tim Lewis's sculptures include a variety of machines that react to the people and environment around them. Large scale 'stroboscopic' artworks spin and explode with movement and colour. Familiar items such as chairs walk with crutches and mechanical rabbits, once cuddly, take on a more sinister quality. These works defy easy categorization but are inspired by the traditions of kinetic art, the development of photography and genetics. The artist's preliminary drawings and maquettes will also be on display, to provide an insight into Lewis's distinctive creative process.



inspired by....


Jean Tinguely's writing machines








For twenty years, Tim has endowed objects with properties they don't naturally possess, especially the ability to walk. Some, like the Bentwood chair, are "ready-mades" that undergo fundamental changes in his hands. Others, including the blue chair in Pet and the writing arms, are built from scratch. Some pieces are abstract, like the spinning forms, but references to nature, whether feathers or the galaxy, persist.


Here's a piece titled Pony, which was shown at a recent Kinetica Art Fair.




Aesop may well be the earliest storyteller we know of to take full advantage of this peak. By casting his fables with talking animals, he was able to accomplish two important things. Stereotyping the animals—the sly fox being the best-known example—gave him and his listeners a quick shorthand characterization. Perhaps even more importantly, by eschewing humans, especially particular individuals recognizable to his audience, he could create enough metaphorical distance both to provide perspective on the lessons conveyed by the stories and to escape the retribution so many rulers in history have visited on those who would spread unpleasant truths.



Doctor Masahiro Mori’s uncanny valley and its environs are fascinating terrain, offering an elegant and captivating explanation for the foundations of human ideals of beauty and ugliness. Their implications for the author, filmmaker, and artist reach far beyond the original focus of industrial design, yet include it as well, and they provide all manner of creators with signposts, aiding in the effort to achieve just the right impression for a character and to avoid missteps that could put off an audience. Last of all, others might find it just as useful, opening still more doors on as yet unknowable possibilities. Ω





Wooden robot in the 19th century (Karakuri Ningyo)

2 min - Jun 22, 2006 - Uploaded by xx774xx
This doll shows you how to write a Kanji character ... Karakuri Ningyo Wood Doll Japan calligraphy ...
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Automaton Harpist by Vichy






So far I have the cam follower and linkage made and or designed. The table portion is made as well but I'm still scavenging for building and drivetrain materials. 


heres a pic of the cam follower mechanism.



Comments (1)

north said

at 8:41 pm on Oct 4, 2010

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