Currently, my work is at one end of a pendulum swing in the sense that I am now more fixated on the work’s method of construction and its physical presence than I had been in recent years. During the winter of 2014, I began a new line of inquiry in my work, which started as translations of paintings into wire-frame drawings; quite literally drawing with wire. But I have developed mechanical connections to make the drawing unstable. So, instead of being fixed within a rigid and immobile plane, the drawing is flexible, dynamic and three-dimensional. This has lead to more improvisational work that investigates the relationship between gravity and structure. The work has a direct connection to modernism and draws inspiration from the linear work of Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt), the planar work of Lygia Clark and the catenary string models of Antoni Gaudí.
The books, 10 Circuits, evolved directly from the wire sculptures and entail a similar synthesis of structure and image. In each book, a single thread is woven between the panels to form a circuit, always returning to the point of origin and being closed with a knot.
The thread and polyester drawings are based on a 19th Century electrical circuit diagram known as the Wheatstone Bridge. The two threads—red and gray—move through the circuit as alternating current would flow, each taking a different route through the diamond shaped parallel branches of the circuit. By piercing the polyester sheet, the threads exchange places—front to back—as they flow in opposite or alternating directions. The ends are left visibly knotted, marking the source of each current flow and revealing the temporality of the work’s manufacture.
All of the current works use humble materials and processes, which are intrinsic to the resulting forms. But a common aspect of all of my work is the tendency to give rise to the questions, “What am I looking at, how do I relate to it and how do I understand it?” Such self-reflexive viewing is my goal, as an artist’s role is to remind us of our capacity to wonder.
—Daniel G. Hill, March 2016