Trace is a pseudoscientific investigation of potential artifacts, specimens, and fossils, of 21st century American culture. This series considers how these findings might be interpreted and valued in the future and what histories or narratives these artifacts might tell. When exploring museums of any kind I find myself lost in thought, imagining the world that these artifacts, specimens, or fossils existed in and curious of the authenticity of interpretation through categorizing collections. This series of work takes the familiar artifacts of our time and turns them into undefined foreign remnants for the future open to new interpretation and cultural appropriation. Archeological findings on land are found embedded in the earth, making clay a sensible construction material choice. Metal castings are also present because of the similarity between casting a metal object and the geological process of remineralization or replacement. Each artifact is imbedded in sediment that gives clues about what natural environment it may have existed in. Larger specimens have structural ruins imbedded in them that seem to be frozen in the moments before complete collapse. Crystals and organic growths representative of earth’s continual and evolving cycles decorate the surface of each sedimentary form. Art display is conceptually important in this series. Pieces are displayed on shipping crates, observation tables, metal specimen trays, or in sorted collections. The selected display device places a value and associations on these specimens.
Eleanor Heimbaugh Fossils of the Future-Bathroom Products Floor Specimen 24"x57"x24" Ceramic and Wood 2015
Eleanor Heimbaugh, Fossils of the Future Collection, 14"x72"x10", Ceramic, Steel, Flocking, and Wooden Shelf, 2015
Eleanor Heimbaugh, The Punch, Ceramic and Steel, 4"x7"x4", 2015
There isn't a part of the ceramic process that I don't love. A part of the process that is particularly close to my heart is the photographing portion. When photographing I often get ideas on how to improve the work both conceptual and structurally. Sometimes when seeing the work through a different lens (literally) a fresh perspective is gained.
Left to Right: Gears, 4x9x9 inches, Ceramic, 2015, The Piston, 9x11x5 inches, Ceramic, 2015, Hammer Head, 14x13x6 inches, Ceramic, 2015, Crushed Steel, 20x15x10 inches, Ceramic, 2015, The Plow, 12x27x17 inches, Ceramic, 2015, Reflection Pool, 40x26x15 inches, Ceramic and Wood Base, 2015
Objects peak out from sedimentary forms that reference evolving and eroding landscapes. Each object was chosen because of its role as a material or tool used for construction and creation. The tray displays what once was a full set of cogs from a bicycle that are now still near one another but separated between strata. The piston appears frozen in the moment before it fell to the ground and the hammer head is suspended in time. Crushed steel droops among the strata and raises question as to what happened. The plow boldly plows onward through a strange and mysterious landscape and the reflection pool stands balanced in quiet contemplation.
Left to Right: Specimens and Container, 10x3x9 inches, Ceramic, 2015, Specimen and Handled Container 17x7x3 inches, Ceramic, Felt, and Steel, 2015, Handled Multiple Specimen Container, 10x13x9 inches, Ceramic and Felt, 2015, Single Handled Specimen Container, 10x10x5, Ceramic and Felt, 2015, Individual Tray with Specimen, 4x9x10 inches, Ceramic, 2015. Note- All these pieces were cone six reduction fired.
The specimen containers display what appear to be fragments of larger sedimentary masses. The containers invite further discovery. This particular grouping of work focuses on the remnants of computer and electronic circuitry. Each fossil is a necessary part selected from a larger whole item.
Left to Right: Marker I, 45x16x10 inches, Ceramic 2015, Live Wire, 37x19x13 inches, Ceramic 2015, Dependent Parts, 38x20x9 inches, Ceramic, 2015
The singular land masses of sedimentary rock are reminiscent of landscapes and the surface finishes are convincing of rock and metal materials. On closer inspection these formations contain fossils from the past in lower strata and proposed fossils of the future in upper strata.
Left to Right: Specimen #04232015, 3x20x10 inches, Ceramic, Photograph, and Wood 2015, Specimen #04272015, 2x16x8 inches, Ceramic, Photograph, and Wood 2015, and Specimen #04252015, 7x23x14 inches, Ceramic and Photograph 2015
Specimens photographed in their natural environments. These pieces model the idea of a sedimentary rock multiple moments frozen in time being viewed in the present. The viewer is invited to discover the relationship between the photograph and the specimen. There is a documented adventure and discovery present in this work that creates a stage set.
This ceramic specimen was photographed in a stream, possibly where a fossil of this nature would be found in the future. On closer inspection the fossilized circuitry from a computer tower is revealed on top of the specimen, perhaps from water erosion.
Photographs of Ceramic Specimen #362015
Left to Right: Geological Wirlpool, 17.5x19x20 inches, Ceramic, Wood, Paper, India Ink, Stains, Reduction Fired, 3/3/15 Monolith-Past Present and Future, 40x18x21 inches, Ceramic with Cryolite Glaze, Reduction Fired, 3/3/15 Sedimentary Echo, 22.5x15x20 inches, Ceramic, Wood, Paper, India Ink, Stains, Reduction Fired, 3/3/15
This series of ceramic strata reference sedimentary rocks from the future. Like each rock in this series the surface details, such as those in Geological Whirlpool, reward viewers who allow themselves to be sucked in. Fossils from the Mississippian settle to the bottle of each form while mechanical gears or antique glass bottles float above in the next layer of sediment. The final stratum of each piece is encompassed by the remnants of computer mother boards and other electronic parts. There is a rhythm present that echoes horizontally outward towards the viewer. Almost as if these monoliths are lighthouses, enlightening the viewer on what has come and cautioning the viewer as to what may come. This series was technically challenging for a variety of reasons. Construction involved designing a visually pleasing exterior that also allowed for an arch reinforced interior. Transportation was a challenge because of the weight and scale of these pieces; more than one than one person was required for movement. The glazing and firing process required attentive research of glaze materials such as cryolite and perseverance through personalized Blauuw kiln firing programs.
From Left to Right: The Final Cut, Abundance, and Memory Garden
I was most satisfied this semester with the Still Life Work. The vase with real flowers in it symbolizes to me life, death, and the process of aging. This process is begun with the scissors which hang prominently in the middle of the piece. The middle display of fast food signs talks about what I perceive to be abundance in American culture. Many of us have a lot of things, access to a lot of things, or want for a lot of things. I drew parallels between the abundance of dead animals in Dutch still lifes and super sizing in the fast food industry. The third piece Virtual Reality Memory Garden is an attempt to depict the difference between a look alike and the real thing. I find a disturbing difference between holding a real book in your hand and holding a tablet or reading device. Just as I get much joy from holding and reading a book I also enjoy growing and displaying flowers and the thought that this may cease to exist is disturbing to me. All these pieces are merely thought bubbles, or starting points for conversation on topics that I have an interest in and feel others should too.
Strata of Infrastructure Tryptic
Abandoned or neglected structures are also a form of pollution. The sides of old buildings are riddled with filled in windows and doors and often have paint peeling away to reveal former layers of industrial strata forming deposits of structure and disorder. These remnants of layers are the origin of place and without them how do we define location and identity? What happens when what you identify with ceases to exist or becomes something else entirely, the object or the person itself taking on a whole new meaning or association? The answer to this question is as dense as the layers of decay in an abandoned house or factory.
Advances in technology make for an increasingly complex world. The future builds on the past and with solutions come new problems, restarting the cycle of awareness and change. Contamination of the water supply is a daily, often hourly occurrence. The Earth as the Erlenmeyer Flask series is a continuation of research on water contamination. Herbicides, pesticides, biocides, and drugs can never be completely filtered out of the water supply and will always have a presence as residuum. These contaminants are constantly mixing within the earth, making the earth comparable to the Erlenmeyer Flask. The raw earth toned pinched clay tops symbolize man’s molding of the earth and are contrasted with the clear glossy water like glaze that appears to be contaminated by a leaching substance from above.
A variety of perspectives on the Earth as the Erlenmeyer Flask series.