Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shannon Slane: Factory

The 400 level section of the Digital Application in Sculpture class I am taking with Andrew Scott has been challenging as well as rewarding for me. I am an artist to whom freedom is a bit daunting; coming from a design background had trained my brain a little but (I didn't say brainwash!) and because of this I find it much easier to respond to a structured assignment, to problem solve, rather than to have the freedom to do anything. Freedom to use expensive machines to produce anything I please is exhilarating, but to the anxiety prone perhaps, it has been difficult to begin to commit to any one idea--there are just so many.

I decided to create a cow in rhino, which I will serial stack using cardboard, and then cover in(second hand) leather. The pole which runs along the top of it will have several smaller cows running through it as if in an assembly line, being moved slowly and individually towards their doom, and the dinner table. However all these cows, as well as the structure they're inside, look exactly the same. They are of and for each other - the meat industry genetically engineers cattle, and they feed cattle parts of other deceased cattle so they'll breed more cattle... there is a cycle of life that is completely overseen and controlled by another species. This is the basis of my work, rather than some impassioned plea for my audience to turn into happy vegetarians (I am one), I wish that people are reflective upon the downright creepy industry that has grown out of the older model, or concept, of the happy and bountiful farm.

In addition to my 3D modeling work, I have been continuing to vacumform things with craft foam, as well as vinyl. I've been concentrating on cows, only because I am working with this concept otherwise. However, I was eating a salad for lunch the last time I was working and had an "ah-ha!" moment while staring mindlessly into my bowl. I took out a piece of lettuce, vacumformed that, and got perhaps the most successful result of all my experimentation that day. I also played around a little bit with space imagery, pulling a "cast" of two astronauts holding the hands of Private Ham, the chimpanzee who was shot into space during the early days of space flight. I could write for hours on how grossly horrible THAT is, but following my rule of bitching about one cause at a time has always served me well.

- Shannon Slane, SCAD Sculpture, 2010

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