Crushed Cube (White and Copper), 2018

Crushed welded and painted stainless steel
20" x 30" x 24"

Crushed riveted copper
20” x 30” x 24”

All photos: Joerg Lohse

Welded steel or riveted copper cubes (the cube being a shape commonly associated with minimalist sculptures of the 60’s and 70’s) are crushed in a local scrap yard metal crusher. The combination of the force of the hydraulic crushing with the materiality of each (carbon steel vs stainless steel, vs copper) yields shapes that are random, chaotic and unplanned. This is very much related to my other work like Topographic Iterations or Laws of Motion and so much other work, wherein crumpling or dropping the material leads to the final shape as opposed to the artist “composing” it. In all these sculptures I’m interested in using the raw materials of the earth and seeing what happens when they are subjected to gravity and other forces. I’ve been interested in crushing and compression recently, as it relates to the forces that occur inside a black hole or neutron star: a celestial object of very small radius (typically 12 km) and very high density. Neutron stars cram roughly 1.3 to 2.5 solar masses into a city sized sphere about 12km across. Matter is packed so tightly that a sugar cube sized amount of material would weigh more than 1 billion tons, about the same as Mount Everest. (