Installation

Installation

Proper hanging of an Inflection Point Mobile is dependent on many things.  The old adage, “Location, location, location” comes to mind – but then there are other considerations, like lighting, seasonal adjustments and environment.

The most important aspect is safety.  Never hang a sculpture over a baby crib or in a child’s room.  Art of this nature is intended for adults and one should always be cautious of those too curious - wishing to tempt the limits of the materials employed.

Mobiles, gone vertical, are storage devices of kinetic energy.  The relationship is based on the mass and the height of elevation.  So the heavier and higher the piece, the more potential it contains.  Never place one of these pieces higher than you are willing to let it descend – suddenly.  Proper anchoring is paramount. 

As the mobile moves - it encounters a limit.  This ‘hard stop’, in mechanical engineering terms, will wear gently if the piece is softly moving.  If placed in stronger breezes, these stops and metal loops will see more fatigue. The limits of endurance of a piece of metal will eventually be taxed with repeated flexing beyond an elastic limit.  If placed in a high wind environment and buffeted on a continual basis, there is the possibility of a joint failure.  Although I have taken the utmost care in selection of metals used, I cannot prevent an occurrence like this should someone hang the piece with little regard for these constraints.

 If your mobile is to hang outdoors, where do you live?  What are the temperature extremes?  Will it need to withstand high winds?  What about rain?  Personally, I enjoy the outdoor displays the best.  There is something about seeing all the lights dance through my wife’s garden that is like nothing else.  Being the author, I continually adjust, move and modulate where our pieces reside around our home. The glass and the coatings on them tend to survive the outdoor elements quite nicely.  The metals age with time – some developing a nice patina, others just aging gracefully.  High salt conditions will speed any of these processes along.  When weather threatens, I sometimes bring them inside or store them against a wall to wait for calmer days.  You must not ignore these guidelines if you are to hang your mobile outside.

Hung indoors is without a doubt a more controllable circumstance.  There is little argument to the fact that they will survive longer without the exposure to outdoor elements.  The tarnishing of the metal is greatly reduced at the expense of the natural sunlight. Vaulted ceilings, atriums, staircases or skylights are prime locations for the works.  Illumination can take the form of spotlights or floods positioned to accentuate a room’s décor.  The copper in particular tends to mellow to a nice rosy-orange color in our home.

When I have viewed mobiles in museum galleries, I have rarely been allowed to venture directly underneath.  Nor have I been allowed to move the piece – to make it glide.  What could be wrong with making a kinetic sculpture move? Wasn’t this the artists’ intent?  This frustrated me to no end and was part of the impetus to make my own.  Now, as I try to share some of my enthusiasm for the sculptures I have fashioned, I realize the responsibility I owe to the safety of the viewer.  Consider a large work at the MoMA: it is ~ 85 pounds of wrought iron, crafted perhaps 40 years ago and the artist can no longer service the pieces should it require maintenance.  It is little wonder these works are cordoned off and not as ‘mobile’ as they might be. 

The point is to hang your piece deliberately.  Enjoy your sculpture - but be careful!

Proper illumination is done at “normal” incidence to the optic.  The light ray hitting the glass should be perpendicular to the face.  This will allow the movement of the mobile to optimally scan the reflection.

Please contact us if you have questions regarding optimal display. 

Comments