Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Don't Stop Believing | "Hey, Remember When I Fucked E... »

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Currently Hanging

posted by on November 5 at 14:02 PM

At the entrance to the King County Election Headquarters:

Nola Avienne’s amygdala (layered) (2007), iron filings embedded in paper created on a magnetic drawing machine, 2 by 8 feet

Artist Nola Avienne knew that this piece of hers had gone into a public collection, but she didn’t know it was at Elections HQ. I wrote to tell her this morning, and she responded that it gave the piece an unintended meaning:

I am delighted that all those circles made hundreds of “O”s for Obama.

I hope it hypnotized and subliminally swayed those undecided voters. I finally got a good night’s sleep last night knowing we had hope.

O, Nola

RSS icon Comments


Wow, I really like this piece -- and the serendipitous Os. Do you know how it was made?

Posted by Cindy | November 5, 2008 2:12 PM

@1, looks to me like she used some sort of iron filings and embedded them into paper with a kind of a machine for making magnetic drawings, but I could be wrong.

Posted by Jude Fawley | November 5, 2008 2:21 PM

@2 But I want to see said machine! How are the iron filings/powder attached? Are the circles in some type of relief? I like the piece, and the description piqued my interest is all.

Posted by Cindy | November 5, 2008 2:45 PM

@1: My understanding is that she put the filings on top of the paper and the magnets beneath the paper, and a machine that controls the magnets dragged the filings around in circles, creating circular marks on the paper.

But for the best clarification: Nola? You out there?

Posted by Jen Graves | November 5, 2008 2:47 PM

Nola, if I'm not wrong, was featured in the MFA show at the Henry a year and a half ago, about. The iron shavings would run around the circles because of the magnets underneath, and left these beautifully staining rings over time. It was equally as fun watching people watch the mechanism do its work, as they would point and smile like people admiring little creatures.

Posted by KCip | November 5, 2008 3:38 PM

KCip got it right. This piece was created for the MFA show in 2007 using 17 motors with rare earth magnets attached in different configurations. Paper was placed over the magnet machines and powdered iron filings were placed on the paper. As the motors rotated the filings were dragged across the paper, embedding the iron into the surface. For this particular drawing I moved the paper and motors at different intervals (hence layered) for a total of around 60 hours. I'm working on my website now... Hopefully in the next month you should be able to see video of the piece in action.
Huge thanks to 4Culture for making this possible!
To see more "O" work in person (on black paper! Yay Obama!) visit Catherine Person Gallery.

Posted by Nola Avienne | November 5, 2008 7:38 PM

Someone should send this to President-Elect Obama to hang in the White House!

Posted by Carol | November 5, 2008 8:16 PM

@3 - I didn't mean to be rude, yours was of course a perfectly good question, I just thought it was funny because the caption was pretty detailed in itself about how it was made (as opposed to just "paper and iron").

It is a very nice piece, I should add.

Posted by Jude Fawley | November 6, 2008 5:37 AM

Add Your Comments

Please click Post only once.