Jennifer Townley (°1983, Nederland) specializes in mechanical sculptures that move slowly. Driven by a small motor, the sculptures make the same movements over and over again. This generates patterns that subtly interact with the spectator’s mind. Townley’s work is a result of her fascination with science, and in particular with physics, technology and mathematics. She’s also inspired by the geometric patterns in Islamic art and with the mathematical drawings of the Dutch artist Escher. Particularly intriguing to her are machines’ regularity and obedience. They appear robust, heavy, and seemingly invincible. She is fascinated by how a machine can transform a simple, circular movement (with a rotating motor) into a complex pattern.
The gears in Townley’s work here have an uneven set of teeth. This affects their rotation speed, therefore constantly changing their respective positions. The white string emphasizes the constant transition by ‘drawing’ an ever-changing quadrangle. It takes several weeks for the composition to return to its original state.