Steve Silber

“Balance Series” 2009

Slack lining has become a part of my daily studio practice.  It is similar to walking on a tight rope, but rather than a thick rigid braided wire, one uses a much thinner, looser length of nylon ‘webbing.’  A slack line is less rigid than a tightrope and different than simply walking on a narrow surface.  There are many movements underfoot.  Any body motion off center not only creates a shift of balance within the body, but also the surface that is being balanced upon.

In the search for balance, constant but fluent motion and readjustment is essential.  As Agamben cites in his definition of aion as part of his analysis on play: ‘each moment exists independent from the last or the next, becoming simultaneously temporal and eternal.’

This very simple idea resulted in a series of simply constructed 2x4 structures, made with the intention that they be activated through use.  The action they are intended to invite is one that causes the viewer to become consciously aware of the relationship between body and mind.

A participant uses Buckminster Fuller’s theories on tensegrity. Their body weight pulls the rope attached to the end of the 2x4 in opposition to the amount of body weight that is pushing the same 2x4 over.  The result is a living sculpture that can only exist in its truest form when being interacted with.

The continuation of this work resulted in my works ‘Jungle Gym’ and ‘Posture Series.’

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