Ryan Hoover | Sculpting with Satellites

Artist Statement

In his new body of work, Sculpting with Satellites, Ryan Hoover explores multiple modes of space - from the lived space of the his neighborhood, to the abstracted spatial language of GPS, into the Cartesian space of 3D modeling software, and back out into compositional and physical space of drawing and sculpture.

The works in this exhibition – sculptures and drawings on Plexiglas with a laser-cutter - began as walks through the artist’s neighborhood, in which he tracked his travels via global positioning system.  The GPS data was processed through a computer script written by Hoover that plots this data into 3D modeling software, scaling the points within a Cartesian cube.  This generates a path through space, where the width is modulated according to the speed at which Hoover was walking.  Ryan Hoover then translated each digital rendering into a sculptural rendering by using a variety of computer-aided machining techniques.  

Also included in this exhibition are sculptures that are selections from the paths, chosen as studies, and created as physical objects by milling and laminating.  Hoover then continued to work with these pieces in a sculptural manner, employing an aesthetic sensibility that is also rooted in a non-linguistic understanding of space, material, and form.  The result is suite of smooth, white undulating shapes that twist and change direction.  Hoover’s process ebbs and flows between manipulating his materials with his own hand, and manipulating the works through an intermediary tool to better understand space.

Increasingly, we are surrounded by objects that are digitally designed and created.  Assisted by GPS, we travel down roads that were also plotted by GPS.  Unmanned aircraft is the focus of Ryan Hoover’s initial interest for this project.  Navigated by GPS, drones have become a powerful force in US foreign policy, and a growing factor in domestic life.  By translating GPS data into a physical object, Hoover presents the data in a more comprehendible, sensorial space