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A Collaboration: “Emotional clocks”, kinetic sculpture, an upcoming show

September 7, 2011

The opportunity to collaborate with another artist is both exciting and challenging.  

Press for video – Emotional Clocks

As an engineer, Jonathan T. Miller has a wonderful ability to think spatially. Continually he moves around his thoughts, feelings, words and infinite numbers in his brain. You can see him sitting quietly contemplating, but inside his brain the movement is intense and imaginative, skillful creating beautiful algorithms and kinetic art.

We met many years ago when both of us wrote and performed poetry together. Naturally from our poetic roots, our collaboration included an expression and discussion of feelings and emotions. Together we looked at how emotion guides the creation of artistic work.

The kinetic piece, Emotional clock, can relate to any feeling or emotion for the viewer, but we together created this piece to speak to the grieving process.   We spent a long time discussing time and grief. We talked about the recent death of his brother, how he was coping with the enormous sense of loss and pain. I reflected his thoughts and related my own experiences with loss and ongoing work with Hospice Caring to help others work through their grief process.

We acknowledged the importance of the passage of time and the belief that time gives us space to feel and think and heal. Time moves continually like his kinetic art. The feelings attached to grief come and go differently over time. We explored, searched and photographed beautiful clocks to place on the sculptures. I printed images sized to work with the shape and movement of the sculpture.

The collaboration process and the art has been a healing process for both of us. The resulting kinetic piece, Emotional Clock, is intended through movement and visual image to express a sense of the soothing that time allows but also allows for the necessary movement and natural flow of emotions that comes in life. Feelings change and move like the part of the sculpture. They go up and down, around and around and come back to center over time. They only thing we know for certain is that as we move and change, as time passes, we will not stop feeling, whether happy or sad, strong or muted, colorful or mysterious. Watching this soothing piece, Emotional Clock, as time moves around on its axis is freeing.

The show opens at the Fridge in DC on October 15th at 8pm. The next blog post will discuss how this collaboration inspired photographs that will also be included in the show.

To see the video of emotional clock

To see more of  Jonathan’s work

To visit the Fridge

To visit lisahelfert.com

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2011 3:08 am

    This is really thoughtful and lovely Lisa Margret. Makes me feel good reading it. Awesome video too!

    Jonathan.

  2. September 23, 2011 2:00 am

    This looks awesome, Lisa! I can’t wait to see it ‘in person’ – and I really enjoyed reading about the process and the meaning in it for you two. Thank you both so much! – Katy.

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