JACOB TONSKI

Balance From Within

source: jacobtonski

Balance comes from within. It’s a delicate act, and sometimes we fall down.
A 170 year old sofa balances precariously on one leg, continuously teetering, responding internally to external forces. A meditation on the nature of human relations, and the things we build to support them.
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source: vimeo

Jacob Tonski is a pragmatic optimist whose work explores dynamic balance through kinetic metaphors.
A self-adjusting platform makes everyone the same height, probing ideas of equality and the origins of power. A larger-than-life top spins about the room, wobbling through themes of pleasure, danger, youth and decay. A sofa teeters, standing on one leg, musing on the stability of the social structures we build.
These and other human-scale objects, both amusing and threatening, find an uncanny identity between toys and tools. The forces of time and gravity serve in these works as foils for those things we are powerless to direct in our lives, and with which we must instead dance and negotiate.
Tonski holds an MFA from the Design | Media Arts department at UCLA. He studied computer science at Brown University and worked as a Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios. He was a 2010 fellow at the Carnegie Mellon University Studio for Creative Inquiry. He is currently an assistant professor of art and interactive media studies at Miami University, Ohio. His work has been shown in Brazil, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, China, Finland, The Netherlands, Online, and throughout the United States.
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source: fileorgbr

Abstract:
Balance is delicate, and sometimes we fall down… A 170 year old sofa balances precariously on one leg, continuously teetering, responding internally to external forces. A robotic mechanism emits a periodic low groan, softer than speech, as the piece struggles to remain upright.
Relationships are balancing acts, and delicate ones at that. This idea turned into a balancing sofa as I was thinking about how all of our social interactions can be found on these humble, ubiquitous pieces of furniture: dinner, chatting, sex, job interviews, even death. Is it surprising that we construct such a solid footing to support the delicate dance of relationships, so prone to losing their rhythm and falling down? These ideas of foundation and fragility seemed so distinct and yet inseparable; I became interested in trying to illuminate that a bit.
I began wondering if anything or anyone can balance on a rigid point, which was the technical point of departure for research. I learned that while it’s possible, it requires enormous energy and has significant limits beyond which recovery is impossible. This fact, for me, further enlightened the metaphor. As in life, the risk here is real, rather than illusory. The piece can fall and break to pieces, which must then be picked up, possibly repaired, and put back together one at a time. To regain balance, once lost, requires outside help.

Biography:
Jacob Tonski is a pragmatic optimist whose work explores dynamic balance through kinetic metaphors. Tonski holds an MFA from the Design | Media Arts department at UCLA. He studied computer science at Brown University and worked as a Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios. He was a 2010 fellow at the Frank-Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. He is currently an assistant professor of Art and Interactive Media Studies at Miami University, Ohio. His creative work has been shown in China, Brazil, and throughout Europe and the United States.
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source: fileorgbr

Abstract:
O equilíbrio é algo delicado e, às vezes, nós caímos…Um sofá de 170 anos se equilibra precariamente em um perna, oscilando constantemente em uma reação interna a forças externas. Um mecanismo robótico emite um gemido baixo periódico, mais suave do que a fala, enquanto o sofá luta para se firmar.
Relacionamentos envolvem ações delicadas de equilíbrio. Essa ideia surgiu em um sofá instável, quando eu estava pensando sobre como todas as nossas interações sociais podem se espelhar nessas peças de mobília simples e onipresentes: jantar, conversar, fazer sexo, entrevistas de trabalho e até a morte. É surpreendente que nós montemos um apoio tão sólido para a delicada dança dos relacionamentos, tão propensa a perder o ritmo e cair? Essas ideias de alicerce e fragilidade pareciam tão distintas, mas também inseparáveis, então fiquei interessado em tentar esclarecer isso.
Comecei imaginando se algo ou alguém pode se equilibrar em um ponto rígido, o que foi o ponto de partida técnico da pesquisa. Descobri que embora possível, isso requer uma energia enorme e tem limites definidos além dos quais a recuperação é impossível. Para mim, esse fato esclareceu melhor a metáfora. Assim como na vida, aqui o risco é real, não ilusório. A peça pode cair e se partir em pedaços, que então devem ser juntados, se possível consertados e recompostos. Recuperar o equilíbrio perdido requer ajuda externa.

Biography:
Jacob Tonski é um otimista pragmático cujo trabalho explora o equilíbrio dinâmico através de metáforas cinéticas. Tonski fez mestrado no Departamento de Design | Artes Eletrônicas da UCLA. Estudou ciência da computação na Brown University e foi diretor técnico no Pixar Animation Studios. Em 2010 foi pesquisador no Frank-Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry na Carnegie Mellon University. Atualmente é professor-assistente de Estudos sobre Arte e Mídias Interativas na Miami University, Ohio. Suas obras são expostas na China, Brasil, Europa e Estados Unidos.