Tony Plaut

  "16 Escapements"
 "16 Escapements" (detail)


  "Monoculus" (viewing port)

  "Monoculus" (landscape image)


Sculpture (mechanical)
I think of these pieces as assemblages (3-dimensional collages) because they are comprised primarily of found materials.

Most of them have a mechanical aspect that is actuated by the human activity of winding a spring-driven motor. The "Monoculus" does not have a spring-driven motor, it uses standard electrical lights; and the "Typer-Piper" uses compressed air.

My hope for these pieces is that they appear, at first glance, to be one of two things: either a pile of miscellaneous junk or a commercially manufactured object.

In both of these cases I hope that closer scrutiny leads to the realization that the sculptures are actually carefully crafted from familiar objects for a particular effect. I want them to thrive like some poems do: with ideas of beauty, a bit of nostalgia, and an unspecified but familiar sense of something important and shared.

The inherent beauty of collage and assemblage work is that it takes items from the ordinary world and allows them to retain their individual associations, yet at the same time creates a new set of unexpected and unpredictable associations.

I use puns and other plays of language as titles for the pieces. These linguistic supplements are, in a sense, another set of collage elements because they pull a piece of language from one use and apply it to another in a way that allows both meanings to function simultaneously.

Some of the artists who have inspired me in these directions are: Edward Kienholz, Jean Tinguely, Red Grooms, Robt. Rauschenberg, Dieter Roth, and Wolf Vostell.