Stationary Effort at VAE, Raleigh

Stationary Effort

Emily Moorhead-Wallace

January 4 – February 1, 2019

Originating from a desire for unattached musical enjoyment, Stationary Effort is a series of human driven audio players. In Stationary Effort a performer pedals a bike that turns a front flywheel, which hits an idler wheel, whose energy is transferred through bearings and gears to another idler wheel that spins a record platter.

Similarly in Stationary Effort 2 a performer drives skis backward propelling a central flywheel, which hits an idler wheel and bearing system that transfers the energy to a pulley system to spins a cassette supply reel. The riders attempt to regulate the musical rhythm. The audio record and cassette spin inconsistently causing perceptible distortions; familiar songs, tones, and pitches are altered.

This discordant absurdity veils the observable lack of human control over the machine and uselessness of human as accurate timekeeper. There is a push and pull between recognizing the futility of the performer’s efforts and the humor found in deformed sounds.

The future of this work is to perform the kinetic sculptures together. Each structure’s flaws will emphasize audio deformations in the futile “man as machine” stereo system.