THE WHEEL OF LAW, 2010-2011


The Wheel of Law, 2010-2011.

Commissioned by Elizabeth Streb as part of the Emerging Artist Commissioning Program and performed by Ryan Brewer at the Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (Brooklyn, NY) on the evening of March 4th, 2011.

The Wheel of Law aims to reinvent the wheel and consequently torque the codes of law assigned to it—ancient and modern alike.  This work sought to transform the wheel from a transportation aid operated upon a flat plane into a kinetically rotating aerial mechanism capable of transporting its operator to any number of points in time and space. The Wheel of Law is a flying dreamachine.

Suspended from a climbing truss, The Wheel of Law hovers over a concentric pyramid-ramp installation, lit from within. A combination of black lights and strobe lights illuminate this inner circle, flashing through the pyramid’s uppermost Plexiglas platform and onto the hovering apparatus above. Through the employment of counterweights and swivel bearings, the increasing velocity of the sculpture’s aerial circumambulation intensifies to the point of lift off. Through the exertion and exchange of oppositional forces between the operator and apparatus, the very unity of centrifugal and centripetal forces creates the action of flight. Upon the eventual neutralization of these exquisite forces, both human and mechanical organisms return to the point of the action’s origin: the stillness of the center.  

Installation: Wood, Plexiglas, cast-concrete, steel, aluminum, lycra, nylon tricot, aircraft cable, LED lights, black lights, strobe lights, electrical components, rigging components, miscellaneous hardware.

Dimensions: 11 feet (diameter) x 25 feet (height)


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