Sad Wave
Sad Wave, 1991
Plywood, wire mesh, cow tails, cow hair, steel tubing, air spouts, blower
3'6"-6'6" x 12' x 28'
Commissioned by The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, for the exhibition "Mechanika." The Robert J. Schiffler Foundation Collection and Archive, Greenville, OH




In this work, I was interested in making an object about a constantly shifting, fluid mass-the ocean-using a material that was once living but is no longer. The hair of 3,000-5,000 cow tails is attached to create the wave form suggestive of both the active surface of a choppy sea and of an enormous multi-strand braid of hair. A tubular steel railing through which air is blown surrounds the piece, and the moving air is directed at both the wave and at viewers through thirty-six regularly spaced air spouts stripped from commercial aircraft. In planning the installation, I thought of the air symbolically resuscitating the hair, or keeping it fresh. After it was installed, I realized that the air also can be understood as a mechanically produced sea breeze which plays on the viewers as well as on the surface of the wave.

Sad Wave