What exactly is interactive art? How does Andrew Carson blend mechanics and aesthetics? What does he convey through his kinetic sculptures? These are the questions Andrew ponders throughout his career as an artist.
Andrew creates his sculptures to interact with people and solve riddles of landscape both interior and exterior. Using a varied palette—electronics, illustration, the camera and mechanical systems he works very hard for elegant solutions for demanding problems of space. It is not always easy to blend functionality with form. Only a few of the kinetic sculptures he dreams of are actually realized.
In 1974, as a young boy, Andrew became fascinated with the 100 m.p.h Chinooks of his Boulder, Colorado origins. In his fascination, he hand-built electronics to measure these devastating blasts of weather.
Through his teens, he studied the experimental turbines of the Rockwell wind energy test site near his home, and he designed, engineered and built whirligigs inspired by these unusual, functional windmills. All his engineering and fabrication skills he used to create his whirligigs came from repairing broken bicycle frames at the local bicycle store at which he worked from junior high through college.
In 1994, eight years after he graduated from the University of Washington, he began combining the idea of creating an elegant weathervane using what he had learned while building his whirligigs. A major influence on his creations were the weathervanes of James Eaton, who proved that industrial processes and interchangeable components could be wonderfully artistic. Today, Andrew’s work is installed in all fifty states and beyond. His pieces include public and private commissions and work for a cornucopia of high-profile patrons, who find his distinctive sculptures a perfect complement for their homes.
Fabricated by hand:
Each design starts as a rough sketch on paper which evolves into an intricate drawing. Andrew then methodically sizes the parts, calculates the mechanics, perfects the rotations on paper and eventually develops a prototype. He engineers and makes the parts with a combination of industrial processes and hand working, this includes every piece: pillars, metal elements, glass cups, hubs and transitions.