Device Gallery

Artists at Device


Theo Kamecke

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Theo Kamecke

"Tree, rivers, circuits, seashells, bucky balls, trilobites: I’ve always thought of technology as just another form of nature, a newly evolving kingdom of life. We have a somewhat comfortable symbiotic relationship at present, but at some point we will have to separate ourselves and decide which is us and which is them. In a way, that’s what I’m about: foraging for future fossils in the forest of technology—and what are circuit boards if not the trilobites of this emerging kingdom? Of course a true paleontologist would try to reassemble the bones in order to decipher the original form and function of the creature. I seem to be doing the opposite. Treating them as simply another natural material like wood or marble, I find that I’m intentionally perverting their intended function, trying to recover something that is timeless, indefinable and distinctly human."

Theo Kamecke was for many years a filmmaker of award-winning documentaries whose subjects ranged from astronauts to coal miners, rodeo cowboys to nuclear scientists. He was in NASA’s Mission Control during the first moonwalk and has been attacked by wasps in the heart of the Amazon. In the course of making films he often encountered physical objects and materials that fascinated him, and he usually managed to bring some back from his travels, with no particular purpose in mind. While perusing some stacks of electronic circuit boards one day, that changed, and the purpose was found.

In the spirit of treating a “manmade” electronic circuit as simply a newly evolved form of nature, Kamecke began creating sculpture surfaced with the graphics of circuitry, using the traditional techniques of marquetry, which in another century might have been employed with fine veneers. Though the material itself is the essence of hi-tech, the created works deliberately make no reference to that, hinting instead at ancient or familiar human cultures, and at the feelings that separate us from the machine.

His circuitry sculpture is in private and museum collections internationally.

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