Click here to read and article written about Kit by Van Miller


This is a great time to be a kinetic sculptor. It's the end of an age. With the decline of manufacturing industries, especially the textile mills, there is a supply of interesting materials flowing through scrap yards in the south. I frequently visit these scrap yards to prospect through the rivers of stuff. The majority of it is ugly, dirty, and even hazardous. There may be a toxic fire burning there, men driving heavy machinery right behind me as I lean over a barrel or a box on my belly with my feet hanging over. But I'm drawn to these objects, which are artifacts to me, artifacts with a history.

Somebody designed these things to exacting specifications. There was an engineer who drew up the parts and sent them out to specs. Someone bid on them; they priced, manufactured, and then used them for years. They were worth something back then and they're worth something now - according to the scrap yard, usually about a dollar a pound. But to me, they have a much higher value. I see what it took to produce them; I see the jobs, I see the agriculture, and then once it touches on something like agriculture, it just keeps going back - to cotton, here in the south, and slavery. There's a rich history here. There's often an elegance of simplicity here too, in the design of these objects, just like there's an elegance in the way the universe works. If a thing does its job, you've got to respect that.

For me, it's an endeavor. I'm constantly training myself to recognize intrinsic beauty in these artifacts, and if I see that, then I think of their esthetic potential -- How will they look in space? What would be the best angle to view them at? What can they become with the addition of motion and light? My interest is not the thing itself because, you know, the thing is just a thing.

I find something attractive and intriguing; position it so that it's sensual, almost alluring, and then animate it; take hard, cold stainless steel or another metal and then play off it with light and kinetics and turn it into a warm, fluid motion that envelops you. There's an intimate relationship created as these artifacts speak, together with the movement of light and shadow, of the motions and emotions of life.

I can purchase a 420-pound stainless steel dying spool from a mill out of the stream of stuff in a scrap yard, seeing the hands it has passed through. I can envision it in space, set to rotating at a 22-degree angle by the wind or the gentle push of a person, threads of light emanating through it into its environment. And somehow, the completed sculpture can encapsulate the common experiences of getting up and going to work every day, the relationships within society and cultures, and even the collective unconscious.

These undertakings are adventures to me. I don't know where they'll take me. I get ideas and work with them and some of them fail, but I get something out of them. And a lot of times things turn out better than I expected. There's a feedback from each component of a piece - the material has a say.

It's a speculation on my part - monetary, physical, and spiritual, a speculation that's passion-driven. It's the most rewarding experience I can imagine

Click here for my complete bio

Kit Kube is supported by the annual fund drive of the
Arts & Science Council - Charlotte Mecklenburg, Inc.

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1109 E. 34th Street
Charlotte, NC  28205
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