Steve Daniels: Device for the Elimination of Wonder

  • ©2012 – 2015, Steve Daniels, Device for the Elimination of Wonder


    Device for the Elimination of Wonder

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Creation Year:

    2012 – 2015


    Steel, aluminum, brass, motors, electronics, pen and paper

Artist Statement:

    Device for the Elimination of Wonder tells a Sisyphus-like tale of our preoccupation with mapping, grids and ordering the world. A simple kinetic system obsessed with quantifi cation, it is ultimately a feedback-loop manifesting itself as a machine. The device rolls back and forth along the length of two parallel cables that span the gallery and selects a location to begin taking measurements. It then lowers a metallic bob until it makes contact with the surface, measures this height and then represents this measurement as a grey scale on a page, finally dropping the page with its graphic data to the floor below. Eventually the paper sheets build up in height while the tone of the image lightens, reducing the gradation from dark gray to none at all. It then moves on to the next spot. Daniels has created a mechanical device that instrumentalizes the gallery, and in turn reifies our obsession with data. With objectivity fixed within the system the device stops, measures, exhausts its interest in the site, and then moves on. Its behavior could be considered the antithesis of liveliness, nonetheless the irony of the narrative is inescapable as we witness the futility of the device’s mission.

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