Q&A with Artist Aundrea Frahm
Aundrea Frahm, the artist of We Revolve Ceaseless, is a BYU alum back on campus for the installation and opening of this exciting new exhibition. We visited with Frahm about her work, what it took to create this piece, and the role of collaboration in bringing We Revolve Ceaseless to life.
Q: We Revolve Ceaseless is based on ideas of time, seasons, and the cyclic nature of life and death. What was the genesis and inspiration behind this work?
A: I have been thinking a lot about the nature of time—its invisibility and impermanence. While doing research, I stumbled across an excerpt from a Buddhist text suggesting that we live in a cycle that revolves ceaseless. I considered the notion that time is like the seasons, continually transforming and devoid of permanence. I also reflected on events that can change a person’s whole life in one instant, and how we can never really hold onto any moment.
The work reflects the ideas of cycles and the passage of time in both the gallery space and within the kaleidoscope. Outside of the piece are projections of a passing day—sunrise, sunset, moonrise, etc. The inside of the kaleidoscope represents the seasons and their perpetual cycles.
Q: Can you briefly describe the process of creating this work?
A: I had a vision, but I didn’t know how to make it happen. Challenges arose that compelled me to become an inventor, director, and advocate for an artwork that had not yet been born. When I envisioned the piece, I know that I would need guidance with its engineering and assembly. So I built a model and took it to the BYU Department of Engineering to see if the project were even feasible.
I worked with a sculpture student, engineering faculty, and a brilliant manufacturing engineering grad student to configure the assembly of the piece. I found myself in new worlds—a metal warehouse, milling shops, and auto body shops—to get specific parts constructed. I began working with motors, pulleys, and the inside substrate of the kaleidoscope. The whole process was such an adventure!
Q: What is appealing about working collaboratively?
A: I am one person with one mind and skillset. Working in collaboration with others expands possibilities that I might not see from the perspective of my own narrow paradigm. I love bringing people into this experience—friends, colleagues, and even individuals in disciplines completely unrelated to the art world. The work becomes richer because of their involvement, feedback, and expertise. For me, the process becomes a performance where the journey of making the work is as important as the piece itself.
Q: What do you hope that viewers who see your installation will experience and subsequently come away with?
A: I hope viewers’ experiences are meditative and inspiring—that they come away with a sense of wonder, even reverence. The work is meant to be a personal, intimate experience. Especially as one looks inside the work, they will see their own reflection into infinity, melded with the video images. As the viewer walks around the installation, their own shadow is incorporated into the imagery. So the individual becomes the embodiment of the piece as they reflect upon the quality of their own time as its passing.
Thank you Aundrea! You can read more and learn more at the new exhibition We Revolve Ceaseless, opening Friday, September 22 at the MOA! Aundrea Frahm will also be giving a special guest lecture on Thursday, September 21, after which attendees will have the opportunity to preview the exhibition.
For more info about the exhibition, click here.