Mōtiō,Wynn Earl Buzzell Jr. + Demiurge
Designed by: Wynn Earl Buzzell Jr.
Fabrication + Installation: Demiurge LLC
Materials: Aluminum, Flagging Tape
Location: Denver Art Museum, Martin Plaza, Denver, CO
Dimensions: 96’ L x 12’ H x 20’ D
Part of the Denver Art Museum's Exhibition
In Motion: An Outdoor Installation
June 4 - September 25th, 2016
The Concept and Brief
Mōtiō is an embodiment of motion inspired by the three elements of dance, the stage, the body, and the costume. It's position in Martin plaza, occupiability, and sense of drama create the stage within and around which people can move and dance. It's structural frames are an abstraction of the human form and create the body. Finally it's colorfully patterned adornment of patterned and woven ribbons create the costume.
Mōtiō is the physical manifestation of the human body's movement through space, inspired by the imagery of stop motion and long exposure photography of dancers. The human figures that create the structure trace an imaginary series of movements through the plaza. They bound and kick and sway along a fluid path leaving a wake of motion. Mōtiō's figures exist at a variety of scales and capture the beauty, drama, rhythm, and repetition of dance. Just as they are in dance it's movements are at times fluid, abrupt, graceful, inspiring, and seemingly impossible for the human body.
Mōtiō was created using stop motion photography images of dancers and gymnasts. The figures from a series of these images were diagrammed at each of many steps along their paths of movement. These diagrammed human "stick" figures were then brought into a 3D modeling program where they were used to create a three dimensional version of the movement diagram. From these 3D diagrams path lines were created at the ten major joints of the body. A computer script was then written to create three dimensional surfaces between the lines which could then be digitally sculpted into Mōtiō's form.
Mōtiō consists of twelve 8' sections, giving it a total length of 96'. At it's highest point it reaches 18' and at it's widest approximately 20'. There are nearly 1000 individual custom CNC cut aluminum parts of varying widths that comprise the 96 figural frames. The frames are held together with approximately 2000 structural rivets. Almost a mile of aluminum rod snakes it's way along the frames through custom shaped CNC cut holes. The rods are then welded to the frames making the entire assembly a large rigid moment frame. Steel base plates and tabs provide the needed weight to resist wind loads since the sculpture is not anchored to the plaza in any way.
Mōtiō rests in Martin Plaza, strategically placed in front of the DAM's Movement Studio. It's location was meant to serve as a backdrop for the dance and movement related activities occurring in that space all summer. In the plaza Mōtiō's placement was constrained by fire lanes and pedestrian activity. It is meant to allow visitors to move in and around it freely.