Images Have Legs, 2018
Kinetic sculpture activated by audience participation
Steel, digital C-type prints on aluminium dibond, paint, fixings
Size variable, approx 350 x 200 x 200 cm
Royal College of Art, degree show (23rd June -1st July 2018, Kensington. )
All work and photographs © Lucy Gregory
About the artist
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About the work
Lucy Gregory’s kinetic sculpture Images Have Legs lies in waiting, ready to be brought to life by a passing gallery-goer as they enter the environment. The crank handle is turned, and photographic cutout of larger than life-size legs spin round in a mesmeric spiral against a buzzing orange background. The momentum gathered beyond the initial activation feeds the sculpture with a constant whirling energy until it finally dissipates.
On the floor sit bear-traps – their jaws wide open. Both the spectator and the legs share the same aim to avoid the traps. The limbs are reminiscent of a Monty Python graphic—a surreal collage projected into actuality, where the irrational laws that govern the cartoon world dominate.
It is as if entering into an animation, the automaton references a history of early image making and motion-capture techniques such as the Edward Muybridge Running horse, or pre-film animation devices such as a Victorian zoetrope.
Gregory’s title is a quote from W J T Mitchell’s formative essay What do Pictures Want: The Lives and Loves of Images, which explores the transient nature of images in contemporary digital society and their agency. Driven by desires, needs, appetites and demands, similar to other organic ecosystems, images travel through digital networks, entering and departing from the material world through methods of re-printing, re-photographing and re-purposing. They become unhooked and floating - the scale in which they proliferate and the speed in which they travel has never been greater.
Text source: Artist website