Monday, March 9, 2009


theodolite "the great grey greasy limpopo" magnifying plumb bob

these three images all come from work about surveying. i borrow the terms and the objects and remake them into creatures of my own devising. the theodolite has a mirror and lens added to a basic sighting mechanism that allows a viewer to superimpose his/her own image on the landscape. the drawing shows the area adjacent to the limpopo river -- land my great-grandfather owned and ran cattle on which i have an ongoing proposal to do a perimeter walk and understand the changes in south africa as they read on this piece of land. the magnifying plumb bob is a measuring device altered to a viewing eyepiece, hung at foot level allowing a closeup view of the hands digging in video below the bob. the two brass pieces i made on a lathe and mill -- borrowing further the 18th century technologies of hand production. the map is hand drawn as well. so i borrow and transform past technology, seen as science at the time. surveyers in the 18th century were highly valued and highly rewarded. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, both were surveyors and thus acquired land. the men who worked for them were not so lucky -- hard work and not much credit in wading swamps and throwing chains around.

just a thought on appropriation

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