Steve Roden «The Surface of the Moon» 2001.
The Surface of the Moon, 2001
approx. 24" x 1" x 840"
wood, wire, wax, gesso, pencil, tin foil.
The Surface of the Moon was inspired by a list of «craters, mountains, and other objects» on the moon from a turn of the century map in an astronomy book called Celestial Objects for common Telescopes.
The number of objects (sculptures) that make up the work is 490 - the same number of land formations on the list - all that were known to exist around 1910. Each object's height is determined by the number of vowels in its name. the vowels in each name also determine the materials that were added to the wooden structure (the wood is the consonant). a= wax, e= wire, i = tin foil, o= gesso, and u= pencil. Thus land formation #33 "Berzelius" would be four inches tall and would be made of wire, tin, and pencil along with the wood. Once these parameters were determined, the sculpture/object was made intuitively, drawing on a number of different sources of inspiration. The total work is approximately 70 feet long.