25 June, 2008

Stooky Bill's Dream


Stooky? Stookie? I've seen both spellings used. 'Stooky' is winning statistically, though i'm not sure it matters. Anyway, here he is - first in an edition of eight, taken from the reproduction head in Hastings Museum. He's in his raw form; turned out of a block of Jelutong (the model maker's favourite) by the wonderful Mr John Wilkinson, and not me for reasons too tedious to relate here - although i did do the sanding. He'll be stained jet black, and shellac-ed to a high sheen rather than spray-painted; painted surfaces feel dishonest. I'm hoping, for reasons to do with material symbolism, to make the others from Gutta Percha, the rubber from which was used, up until the invention of vulcanised rubber, for electrical insulation as well as for its wood. It's proving difficult to source though, and I imagine it's environmentally dodgy...

Why the futurist/fascist thing? Well, the Bertelli piece is quite simply one of the most extraordinary pieces of art I can think of, regardless of it being of Mussolini. That's a distraction from the point of the piece, which is about speed and omniscience; it sees everything at all times and projects a field of influence outward. It is also contemporaneous (ish) with Baird's early TV experiments, so Bill had been 'in the air'. It's a metaphor for machine vision, and Stooky Bill knows all about that. This is his dream.