Sculpture And Gravity
Gravity is the cosmic force that is responsible for the consolidation of form, the movements of the celestial bodies and determining the eventual fate of the entire universe. As a terrestrial environmental factor this cosmic force, the "gravity constant", is hardly considered as essential to the creation of art, yet it has profoundly influenced and determined both the conception and the perception of sculpture since its beginnings.
Because they are created in a terrestrial civilization, all sculptures have a "resting point" - a point of contact in which their mass interacts with the gravity of the Earth. Sometimes sculptures are fixed to a base so that their appearance seems natural in our gravity dominated environment. Others stand, rest or are fixed to some supporting structure. Even balloon or air-filled sculptures that may float in the air are positioned by the forces of gravity.
Consciously or unconsciously, artists conceive and carry out their sculptural creations with the "gravity constant" determining the eventual resting point of the work, and, by so doing, they pre-determine how the sculpture will eventually be perceived by the observer. This "gravity constant" has much to do with our perception and appreciation of sculpture - as our response to its aesthetic "rightness" is based on our own experiences in our terrestrial environment. Thus, the creation of every physical sculpture or three-dimensional artwork ever created has been influenced by gravity.
When imagining human civilization extended into outer space, it is obvious that the art of this civilization will take advantage of its new environment. The qualities specific to this environment will have a fundamental effect on both the conception and perception of the artworks in it - much like the gravity constant has had on the evolution of terrestrial art. In the zero-gravity (zero-G) environment of outer space, the gravity constant disappears and sculptures become weightless. As a consequence, the conception, the perception and the appreciation of an artwork will be altered in such an environment.
A sculpture floating in a zero-G environment could be viewed from an infinite number of perspectives or angles. This free floating aspect also enables a kinetic dimension to such artworks-resulting in their seemingly independent motion.