Custom wire and cable in art? One usually doesn’t think of custom cable and art in the same thought. But from time to time Calmont is contacted by artists looking for custom wire and cable for their art projects which are usually in the way of sculptures. Often times the custom wire is part of the art piece. In 2007 Claude Zervas an artist in the Seattle area needed an extremely flexible wire for an electronic art piece he was working on. The flexible custom wires needed to be placed in a way to be aesthetically pleasing and not to take away from the art piece as the wire becomes a part of the art.
“Since the wire is often exposed and becomes a formal part of the sculpture it needs to have certain physical properties such as color and flexibility. The high flex silicone insulated wire is perfect since it resists kinking and drapes like string or rope” says Claude.
His challenge was “off the shelf” wire was too stiff and could not be draped and arranged properly. The wire Claude chose is a silicone insulated wire with a high strand count conductor. This is an extremely flexible wire which was easy to incorporate into the art piece. Silicone insulation is used in a variety of industries and applications requiring super flexible wire, high voltage or high temperature.
The silicone wire was used in a sculpture commissioned by the King County Arts Commission for the exhibition hall at the Brightwater Treatment Facility (pictured top, right). Happy with the performance and look of the wire, he has been using the silicone wire for other art pieces as well.
The photos below illustrate the layout and a close up of Claude’s sculpture. The silicone wire plays a part in the design and function of the art piece. Not only does the wire have to carry the voltage to power the sculpture it has to have the right color, texture and placement so as to not take away from the piece.
Here’s a video of Diatomoton 5 in action:
Claude Zervas’ artwork uses technology and a variety of media to explore representation of landscape, social ecology, and memory. He creates 2D, 3D, and time-based work using video or custom computer programs. He has stated, “I grew up in a rural part of Whatcom County and I have been greatly influenced by the physical landscape, the social topology, and the transformation of this region. I am interested in how the idea of place evokes emotion, the way emotion affects memory and how memory in turn affects perception.”
After attending art school at Western Washington University Zervas fell into a career as a software engineer, eventually returning to art full-time. He leverages many of the skills acquired from his engineering experience to produce his art. Click here to see more examples of Claude’s art.
If you have questions or an application requiring custom wire or cable contact Calmont for assistance. Please feel free to comment or share this article.