Ball, Ralph (2001) Power Tower. [Art/Design Item]
|Type of Research:||Art/Design Item|
Power Tower is a lamp design/artefact, which takes the banal and generic components associated with lighting (plugs, sockets and bulbs) and re-configures them in a more ‘poetic’ form.
The tower makes play with the idea of adjustability within a mechanistic rather than electronic idiom. Speculating and inventing a historical possibility (something, which could have predated track lighting) the piece represents an absurd extrapolation into the past. The result is a kind of retrospective track lighting system accessible in an analogue, pre-electronic, pre-digital world. The piece invites paradox being simultaneously rational and irrational. Stripped down to rudimentary pragmatic elements with no intrinsic artifice it is nevertheless a highly decorative confection, ordinary yet conversely decadent and exotic. In this piece the modernist preoccupation with flexibility and adjustability is subverted and specific axioms and texts (Less is More – Mies Van de Rhoe, Decoration and Crime - Adolph Loos, Truth to Materials - Constantine Brancusi) are extrapolated into a formal conundrum.
|Additional Information (Publicly available):||
I define my research activity as critical design practice. My research draws on rhetorical themes and axioms specific to Modernism, Postmodernism and contemporary design. This research is articulated through the generation and realisation of artifacts, which investigate, illuminate and question design culture. I call this activity 'Design Poetics.' Design Poetics forms an experimental, continuously evolving series of objects and collections, which act as commentaries and contemplations on the culture of Modernism, Postmodernism and contemporary design. The work specifically rejects the discrete distinctions of Art, Craft and Design. It explores the conceptual, provocative and lyrical possibilities of the spaces in between. Drawing on rhetorical themes and axioms specific to Modernism and design culture (Form follows Function, Less is More, Decoration and Crime, Transparency, Multi-function etc) object typologies and generic forms characteristic of the modern furniture/lighting genre are re-examined. These rational and reductive axioms are co-opted to endorse paradox and legitimize the invention of formal incongruities, rational irrationalities or poetic transgressions. Ironic iconics: the pieces are self consciously introspective and are made to reflect upon themselves and the culture that supports them.
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design|
|Date:||1 February 2001|
|Related Exhibitions:||‘Home Sweet Home’ British Council touring exhibition, ‘Introspective Furniture’ Plateaux Gallery, London. 1998, ‘Free Radicals’ Konstfack,Stockholm. 2001, ‘Free Radicals 3’ James Hockey Gallery, Surrey Institute. 2003, ’Free Radicals 4’ The Hub Arts Centre, Sleaford. 2005|
|Material/Media:||plugs, electrical sockets, bulbs|
|Date Deposited:||07 Dec 2009 09:23|
|Last Modified:||26 Sep 2011 12:46|
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