normal

normal is a series of bronze sculptures. Each edition of the series is a set of three small unit pieces, each a bronze representation of a polygon. Extending out a few inches from the geometric center of one side of each polygon is that polygon's face normal. The sculpture is presented with each piece clustered together with the other two in its set, each leaning on their normals.

With normal, I attempt to manifest the immaterial, idealized geometric world of computer graphics as a sculpture in the most material of art mediums - cast bronze. In computer graphics, every polygon has an invisible face normal, a vector pointing a unit distance perpendicular to the surface abstracted by the triangle. This vector is what makes it possible for simulated light to interact with the simulated surface - it is the essence of the material of the immaterial object. Here, it is the very physical vector that keeps the polygon from lying flat on the ground.

Ancient and new, immaterial and material, mediums are themselves the vectors with which we construct our reality. Bronze and computer graphics each to some extent owe their cultural persistence to their instrumentalization by empire, capital, and warfare. Just as bronze was forged as deadly prosthesis in logistical space, graphics are developed as prothesis in strategic space, enhancing the visuality of the battlefield. We see the world through these tools, and the realities they afford. They create vectors, lines of sight, that abstract and flatten into information the multivarious dimensions of the real.

normal represents through its sharp, weighty materiality the paradoxically unbridgeable gap between the interpenetrating realms of the abstract and the real. The sculptures, as representations of abstractions, make clear that though data is material, its material is abstraction, and it is not interchangeable with that which it abstracts.