Before his death in 2014, renowned film editor and educator Professor B.J. Sears created a series of “Technological Rarities,” functional mechanical sculptures evocative of the steampunk aesthetic and made of wood, brass and copper, and found objects. Eleven of these unique sculptures, each imbued with its own story, will be auctioned by Wright in Chicago on April 16. The auction will also feature an enhanced online showcase that explores the world Sears imagined each creation to belong to.
Sears with the Electrophonic Anachroscope.
The Electrophonic Anachroscope was Sears’ first piece in the collection. It displays a film clip of Henry Adams contemplating the struggle between art and industry at the Paris Exhibition in 1900. Constructed in 2006, Sears’ story for the artwork purports that it was made in 1857, and modified by different inventors through time including the addition of a time-travel fuction. It’s companion piece is the Satellite Monitor.
The Electronic Anachroscope, left. The Satellite Monitor, right.
Also for auction is Reddington’s Phonelescope, an animated artwork made in 2012 where a pierced ball or compass slowly rotates while light beams are refracted through a sphere to create a light show. There is an audio component that can be altered by the user.
The Cartesian Kiosk and the Lyndhurst Unit were made in 2012 and 2007, respectively. The Kiosk displays a video referring to Edison’s inventing of the lightbulb, while the name and the Latin ‘exertus ergo sum’ printed on the underside of the copper enclosure suggests that the credit for the invention should belong to Nikola Tesla. The Lyndhurst Unit is a free-standing object made of mixed media and found objects, and was the third sculpture in the series.
The Cartesian Kiosk, left. The Lyndhurst Unit, right.
More information on each piece, and its backstory, can be found online.