Seven Minutes on David Letterman
Abandon it in a garden and it may never catch anyone’s gaze.
Lost in plain sight, it could be mistaken for an odd stone or the tip of a dark root protruding from the earth.
The steel egg is alien, not beautiful in the way humans have decided is appropriate for display in art galleries.
There is no decoration, no fanciful embellishments, none of the accommodating winks that give away normal artisans.
The smooth surface is interrupted by the scars of welds, the dents of hammers, abrasions where sharp edges were filed away.
The metal shines in areas, polished by the fingers of curious children, burnished by the lobes of eager ears, buffed by transport in pockets.
Its shell is sealed, welded shut, closed to protect you from the secrets within.
No, it isn’t the type of art you would expect to see on a pedestal. And yet, if you were to pick it up, your effort would be rewarded.
Roll it in your hand and there is a tinkle.
Hold it to your ear and listen.
Wind chimes in a stiff breeze.
Hail clanking against a metal roof.
The crackling of footsteps on fresh snow.
Icicles falling on untuned banjos.
Tiny spoons clanking against champaign glasses.
Marbles trapped inside a perpetual motion machine.
The slack of chain links pulled tight by unseen prisoners.
Memories of lost baby teeth rattling in glass jars.
Drill bits, piano wires, tuning forks, screws, and nickels cleansed by a fist-sized washing machine.
A symphony of church bells echoing across tiny cities.
Or the official name given to the sound sculptures, Stardust falling to earth through dark skies.
Were these the thoughts that Reinhold Marxhausen entertained when he was making his art?
Were seven minutes on David Letterman enough to uncover this treasure?
Or does an artist’s career end without a sound? Abandoned in a garden. Hiding in plain sight, wondering if a passerby will notice. Waiting in silence for you to lift it to your ear and get lost in the beauty.
Thanks for reading. I write every Saturday, sometimes about my heroes, sometimes about creativity, sometimes about technology. If my words caught your gaze, follow me, share, and help my art make a sound. Stay creative.