Portfolio > Graduate Thesis


A silver pail is suspended three and one half feet from the floor. It slowly drops to one half foot and then ascends back up to three and one half feet by means of a motorized pulley system I have constructed. There is only one light source on in the room and it is directly above the pail. I sit and watch the shadow, which is cast on the floor by this light. I am watching this shadow slowly dilate and attenuate as the cycle repeats itself in thirty-second intervals.
My right hand is numb but warm. I am nearly finished. I am essentially placid, though completely alert at this point. I am aware of everything. It is as though I have come to understand the entire history of this room through my senses alone. The floor is hard and cold, yet I am comfortable.
I rest the last penny on the tip of my thumbnail and index finger. I close my eyes and wait. I am doing my best to listen with my whole body. My hand becomes tensed. A small burst of energy releases the penny and for a split second, nothing exists. The penny hits the floor and I hear it spiraling around looking for a place to stop. I keep my eyes closed. I am trying to listen with my whole body, yet I am not sure what I am listening to or for.
A few minutes go by and I open my eyes. It is as though I am seeing the room for the first time. I am experiencing this space unconditionally. Each sense is distinct; everything has such incredible clarity. The light is clean as it plays off the silver and copper. The motor is quiet and reliably steady. There is a consistency to the random pattern of the pennies about the floor. There is fullness, not emptiness, in the spaces where there is an absence of light. I have attained a particular state of being in the same way that water finds its own level.
Though I have finished, I feel as though I am still pitching pennies. It is as though I am finally on dry land after having been in a small boat for a few days. I don’t want to leave this space so I stay for a couple of hours more. I sit and think of nowhere and nothing but right there and everything. I am slowly pulled out of this experience the same way that water is pulled out of pavement after a summer shower. The rest of the next few days, I notice things. I pay attention. I walk easily, understanding the unimportance of destinations and appreciating the rarity of the moments, which I have captured.

Pennies (Additive Process)
Pennies (Additive Process)