February at Gallery4Culture: Chris McMullen

Chris McMullen, C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!), 2016

Chris McMullen
C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!)
February 2–23, 2017
Opening: First Thursday, February 2, 6:00–8:00 pm

Chris McMullen’s interactive installation, C.S.E. (Collaborative Stacking Extravaganza!), challenges viewers both mentally and physically as they work together to operate two towering wood and steel cranes—stylized versions of the ubiquitous machines that punctuate the Seattle skyline. This kinetic engagement, the stacking and arranging of materials, encourages face-to-face communication and grounding in our increasingly fractured world.

Based on the mechanics of cranes and lifting devices that were powered by humans instead of fossil fuels prior to the Industrial Revolution, the room-filling sculptures link the disciplines of art, architecture and engineering, speak to the pace of development in our region, and refute the assumption that every problem has a high-tech solution.

McMullen states, Viewers will have to use depth perception, hand-eye coordination, synchronized interaction, and shrewd communication skills to activate the cranes. The object is to overcome logistical difficulties. When multiple operators are present, alliances can be formed and competition may ensue. I’m interested to see how people interact with the work, how they perceive the challenge, and what they ultimately find as a result of their participation. Pushing the boundaries of art, which is so often static, into something that can be touched and moved provides an opportunity to directly affect human relationships.”

About the Artist:
Chris McMullen, a native of Reno, Nevada, has been working with steel in his Seattle, Washington studio since 2000. His practice is characterized by kinetic sculpture and installation that requires human involvement and is informed by his background in graphic communication. McMullen’s work is held in the collections of the City of Seattle, the City of Redmond, and the Science Museum of Oklahoma and has been featured at Bellwether, Bellevue’s Biennial Sculpture exhibition, the Redmond Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Bumbershoot, Maker Faire, Coachella, and Winston Wächter Fine Art. Recent exhibitions include Out of Sight at King Street Station and Metalmorphosis at the Bellevue Art Museum. McMullen is a recipient of 4Culture’s Individual Artist Project Grant as well as Artist Trust’s Grants for Artists Projects (GAP).


Up next: Deanne Belinoff’s Space: Inside/Out