New Jersey artist Joshua Kirsch has just completed work on his latest interactive sculpture, Concentricity 96which was on display at the Grand Rapids Art Prize earlier this month. The wildly futuristic device presents the viewer with a glowing white handle that can be moved in any direction resulting in a fantastic, close-quarters light show. Reed switches embedded in the sculpture’s circuitry sense the magnetized handle and translate its movement into a massive array of 96 red/white LED lights. Over the past four years Kirsch estimates he’s spent nearly 800 hours on the piece, machining almost all of the aluminum and steel components by hand.
Kirsch has previously created other interactive artworks including Sympathetic Resonance, a musical device using marimba components that has been shown in various configurations since 2009, a beautiful donor wheel for the Arts Council at Princeton University, and early explorations of the concentricity series such as Oculus. Via phone he says much of his work stems from a desire when entering an art museum to touch and interact with the exhibitions which is generally not possible. In that light, ahem, his artwork exists in stark contrast to the “no touching” rule in that it can only be experienced fully with direct physical manipulation. Concentricity 96 is not currently on display, so if some curator would like to bring it to Chicago so I can play with for a few hours, beers are on me. Seriously.