Part sculpture, part video, Mechanism explores metamorphosis and the passage of time.
Jim Blashfield's 11-channel moving image and machined aluminum artwork, Mechanism, is installed in the arcade walkway of South Lake Union’s Troy Block. Together, its fixed sculptural form and high-definition video create a virtual kinetic sculpture.Mechanism explores themes of metamorphosis and the passage of time through the history of the site. Its physical form was inspired, in part, by remnants of industrial equipment found and recovered during demolition of the Troy Laundry. Its audio and video components draw upon the neighborhood’s past, tracing a continuum from its ancient origins to its tech-oriented present with references to science, industrialization, invention, and the interconnectedness of the natural and fabricated worlds.
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Combining fact and imagination, the work is “a crucible of ideas, a chronicler of past identities, an interpreter, a jester, a place of both stimulation and contemplation, and an investigator of investigation itself,” Blashfield says. The artist conceived the piece as a “familiar figure in the neighborhood,” to be absorbed over time, rather than as a linear presentation with a fixed narrative.
About the Location
Troy Block For nearly a century, Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood was sparsely dotted in low-slung industrial and commercial buildings. In recent years the area has rapidly transformed into a densely packed hub of social science and high-tech office towers peppered with mixed-use housing and retail. The Troy Block—a full city block on a steep slope with…
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