Illustrated Exhibition Catalogs:
PhantasieMechanik - Maschinen erzahlen Geschichten
phaeno Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany
February 23 - June 29, 2008
Norman Tuck's kinetic installations fuse poetic motion with scientific phenomena. His sculptures reveal a playful access to art and technology, they can be experienced directly and immediately, are fun and kindle curiosity about how things work. Tuck devises simple mechanisms with moments of surprise - this will become apparent in the FantasyMechanics show in nine of his fascinating sculptures.
Norman Tuck lives and works in San Francisco, but grew up in Florida. As a child, he built model aircraft and model cars, and in his younger years he tinkered around on British sports cars. After his art studies, he was drawn to New York and found work there as a mechanic with the British sports car manufacturer MG.
His professor a the University of Florida had encouraged him to combine his passion for tinkering with cars with sculpture: in 1996 [correction-1964] Tuck created his first kinetic sculpture. With his various works he made a name for himself in Soho, New York's artistic centre. One of his first exhibitions was staged in the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center [incorrect].
It was only in the mid-eighties that his creations were also discovered and recognized by science museums. His one-man show Art Machines could be admired in all [sic] the major Science Centers across North America. He worked as artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and in the New York Hall of Science. English Text: Page 4
Timeless is a chronometer that is guided by gravity. It reacts with high precision to the slightest movements. The clock mechanism is driven by hanging weights in a five-hour rhythm - too slowly to observe the silent, vertical fall with the naked eye.
In Double Helix two delicate spirals wind themselves around each other in a meandering dance-like motion. When the spirals, driven by tiny motors, gently touch each other, an electric circuit provokes a counter-movement, an almost casual disentwining. English Text: Page 6
Alchemy from Norman Tuck demonstrates the mystery of electricity as an endless loop: the installation generates precisely the quantity of electricity that it consumes. The mixture or zinc and seawater in the copper basin generates electricity which sets the pendulum in oscillation. English Text: Page 7
The Duchampian Motor is an homage to Marcel Duchamp. His ready-made artwork "Bicycle Wheel from 1912 is the first kinetic sculpture in modern art. In contrast to his hand-driven forerunner, a simple copper coil accelerates the wheel in Tuck's work with the help of small magnets fastened on the wheel rim. English Text: Page 8
Lariat Chain. This kinetic artwork from Norman Tuck illustrates the spread of waves On contact, the wave runs through the chain. As long as the chain is in motion, the wave appears to stand still. Lariat Chain is a permanent exhibit at phaeno, like the other four works from Tuck that illustrate the phenomena of science. English Text: Page 9