circumstances by leslie a. grossman ‘erosion/accumulation’ amercian artist leslie a. grossman presents ‘circumstances’, an exploration into the subtle differences found in seemingly controlled systems. the work is an investigation of chance as much as it is a playful explanation of reflecting the moment when systemic processes create order. the mark-making devices in the body of work records the conditions of specific circumstances and are created with a ‘what happens when…’ approach.

by documenting little nuances of the environment in which they are put to work by yielding images unique to moments in time, a series of drawings are created by harnessing variables of wind, water, and light to function as energy or a catalyst in the production of each piece.

these drawing machines reveal not only the unpredictable behavior of nature, but also the futility of general assumption. by framing circular forms within squares and rectangles (symbols of order, conformity, and stability), the shapes together expound a balancing act between spirit and body, heaven and earth, mobility and foundation, and potentiality and inherence. each set of images reflects specific intensities of its system’s impetus. for instance, the device used to create ‘gusts (and lack there of)’ only functions properly if wind gusts exceed 10mph. if weak winds cannot energize the device, data cannot be collected.

leslie a. grossman: circumstances  ‘erosion/accumulation’  watercolor cakes dissolved by the rain and accumulated on linen

circular watercolor cakes are left to dissolve in intermittent rainfalls throughout the course of a single day. as the rain dissolves them, the liquefied pigment drips onto a sheet of white cotton fabric. the attempt to retain the circular form is thwarted by the inability to control  the location each raindrop will hit, the bleed of pigment on the fabric, and inconsistencies in the makeup of the pads.

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘erosion/accumulation’ process detail

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘impact(s)’ – 16 graphite prints made by a spudguna nylon pouch filled with 100g of graphite powder is launched from a pneumatic cannon 16 times. each round’s impact leaves a unique impression on a clean sheet of paper. the pouch is shot from the cannon by the release of 25lbs of pressure pumped into a pressure chamber. because of the smooth barrel and instability of the pouch’s shape, control over the projectile’s tumble is impossible.

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘impact(s)’ detail of spudgun

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘impact(s)’ (4 of 16) graphite prints

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘impact(s)’ print detail

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘gusts (and lack there of)’ 16 prismacolor marker drawings made by wind-generated drawing machine

a prismacolor marker is inserted through the face of a gear. when set outside on a day with gusts of wind exceeding 10mph, the pinwheel rotates the mechanism. as contact is made between the tip of the marker and a sheet of paper, wind sets the pinwheel and gears in motion, as the felt traces a circular path onto the paper. if the wind calms, the pinwheel comes to a stop and the marker remains motionless, thus saturating the paper in one spot. the larger bleeds of ink reveal longer periods of calm winds.

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘gusts (and lack there of)’ (4 of 16) wind drawings

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘mostly sunny/partly sunny’ 16 cyanotypes exposed by a clock-driven sunshine recorder

a clock-driven sunshine recorder produces evidence of cloud coverage in the particular location it is set up. the hour hand of a clock is taped to an opaque 12” circle. a hole in this shield (which moves in line with the hour hand) allows light to pass through, exposing a sheet of light-sensitive cyanotype paper. as clouds pass by, blocking the passage of sunlight to the material, the surface remains unexposed (leaving breaks in the otherwise exposed line).

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘mostly sunny/partly sunny’ detail (1 of 16) showing breaks in line which are evidence of cloud coverage

leslie a. grossman: circumstances ‘state proofs of sun exposure’non-lightfast craft paper is mounted underneath sheets of lexan covered by black contact paper and left outside in direct daylight for 80 days. a section of the contact paper is removed every 10 days, exposing a new section of craft paper to ultraviolet rays. the result is the slightest gradation of sun bleaching of the paper.