Labia
Latin for “lips,” Labia is a spherical assemblage
of 360 CDs, 33 inches in diameter. The pink suggests an inner organic warmth
contrasting with the hightech metallic reflective rainbows of the exterior.
And yet, the overall spherical form is a round womblike enclosure.
This is one of a series of pieces I am making which assemble common
household items into novel geometric arrangements. The viewer is invited
to reconsider the CD in this new context and to be reminded of the sculpture
when next encountering an isolated CD.
The CDs were each cut to make slits of the appropriate angles and
depths. Then they were slid into each other and glued. There are almost 2000
slits altogether. Although there are 3sided, 4sided, and 5sided openings,
all of the CDs that lie flat on the surface are cut with the identical pattern
of eight slits. Below is my initial computergenerated model, which
shows its geometry.
The form is based on a polyhedron mathematicians call the “rhombicosidodecahedron,”
consisting
of twenty triangles, thirty squares, and twelve pentagons. The polyhedron
is classical, first described in a book by Archimedes before 200 BC. However,
that was lost and in the Renaissance, the artists Daniele Barbaro in Italy
and Wentzel Jamnitzer in Germany independently rediscovered the form.
The astronomer Johannes Kepler then studied it mathematically. The fact
that there are 360 degrees in a circle and 360 CDs in the sculpture is just
a coincidence.
copyright 1999, George W. Hart
