Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gravity is the only “Glue” that holds these structures in equilibrium...

Amazing Stone Balance Demonstration by Michael Grab

This one? Actually, a friend emailed me some links to photos of  this guy's work. I followed a hunch, wondering if he might not have posted some videos showing not only his wonderful work, but equally, and actually I think more fascinating, the artist himself at work, letting us watch just how he does this amazing stuff. My hunch paid off with this video.

Sometimes, too, I go to Google to research the videos if I think background is important and in this case context and history proved very important for me to understand this little miracle, here. Here's what he had to say"

"Gravity is the only “Glue” that holds these structures in equilibrium...
Gravity Glue exists to share my (Michael Grab’s) experience in the art of stone balance… All Gravity Glue images and videos exhibit real rocks that I’ve balanced and photographed myself… The process boils down to contemplative stone arrangement; involving patience, adaptation, slow-breathing, steady hands, and a plethora of other practiced skills…

I began balancing rocks through somewhat of a whim in the Summer of 2008 while exploring Boulder Creek in Boulder, CO, USA. Since then, simple curiosity has evolved into a prolific creative passion, and daily meditative practice. I quickly noticed the unique effect that my creations had on myself and others, often inspiring a sense of magic and peace; a sense that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE."

I think this guy's work is really wonderful. I love that we humans can and do make Art. And I see the wonder of Art as very related to the process through which it is made. The process we see here is so basic and yet so spell binding: find a stream, lift some rocks out of it and balance them, one on another, until fantastic formations emerge - some of the form is dictated by choice and taste of the creator, and some of it, no doubt, created by the rocks themselves as they will only yield and become a structure that conforms to their ability to be combined. It's a mystery that reveals itself as it is solved... for a short while... and then?

I love, too, that this art is playful, yet so reverent. Respectful of the stream and the natural processes that have carved it and exposed and carried the various rocks of its bed. Rocks? or are they Art Supplies? Reverent? Yes, nothing much is disturbed. True, the natural order of things is re-arranged. But is the natural order of things disturbed when a colony of ants rearranges a trillion grains of sand into an anthill? Is it disturbed when a hundred twigs are plucked from the forest by a bird who builds a nest with them? True, those creatures are part of nature and their rearranging it is natural, they do it to satisfy their needs. And is it any different with this artist moving the rocks of a stream bed around to make these magical arrangements?

You know, just coming up with the idea to balance rocks in ways that no-one ever does, and to make something this extraordinary in the very bosom of nature, something that's of nature, but not quite - something so powerful, but so temporary... that, alone would be worthy of note and some awe. But to actually balance the stones as the guy does, that takes the act to a much higher level. The dedication to get into that stream for however long it takes, the concentration to work with natural objects and coax them into arrangements that are so un-natural, so much against their nature, the intuition developed and deployed, the calm required to engage with the world on this level and hang in through various stages of change and success. Amazing, all amazing! But this man transforms his creative act and takes it to another level, yet again, by capturing not only the product, but the process of creating it, and we, his viewers, participate in the magic, too, not only by witnessing what he does, but by witnessing it as a past act, something he's done and will never do again in quite the same way. A balancing act to celebrate and wonder at: stream, stones, gravity, artist, audience, and YouTube! 

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