Artisans Express: Concept Chrome


     A submission for the upcoming fundraiser to benefit Cabell Huntington Hospital's Hoops Children's Hospital!

Learn more about this exciting city-wide arts initiative and fundraiser here...

     A 6' fiberglass train engine model (in either style, or both...?) will be professionally chromed with quality mirror finish chrome, creating a highly reflective gorgeous gem that will shine in the heart of its home city Huntington, West Virginia. 

     "Concept: Chrome" is about more than an object, a surface treatment, or spectacle... it is about the heart and soul of a city; its people. More importantly, it is all about enabling people to capture their city, and their vital role in it, in context. Every single photograph of this piece will capture not only the piece itself, but also the reflection of the sky, surrounding buildings and monuments, people, even the photo-taker his or her self! It is the kind of artwork that is conscious of those around it, that gives back more than it takes, that shares the stage; it will welcome all to be a part of the magic to which public art aspires, and is all too often found wanting. 

     Inspired by Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" at Chicago's Millenium Park, the concept has been in practice daily since 2006, and the sculpture has since become nationally and internationally renown. Why? It certainly is a phenomenon, it is strange and beautiful, it is many things... but in practice, each and every boy and girl, every man and woman who "looks at" the sculpture, sees his or her self; in the city, of the city, they are part of the slipstream. Their gaze and presence breathes life into this static object and animates it, and it in turn animates them, they reveal unknowns to one-another. Each needs the other, such a sculpture speaks to relationships, and our human longing for connection; it is poignant how with such a simple concept, our innermost desires can be laid bare. In this way, we are connected to one-another, and therefore to our city, for it is no more, or less, than us. This is the kind of art that reminds us of that very fact; "Concept: Chrome."

Cloud Gate Photo Attribution
"Cloud Gate (The Bean) from east'" by Of photograph: flickr user biskuit; of sculpture: Anish Kapoor - cropped from http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/1538113210/. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cloud_Gate_(The_Bean)_from_east%27.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Cloud_Gate_(The_Bean)_from_east%27.jpg


Material Study


     A study in copper, lead, and galvanized wire, with silver-solder assembly. This is a maquette for a scaled up version intended for outdoor/sculpture garden display.

      Approximately 11" tall; 50 kinetic components suspended in a grid


Morsels & Minutiae: Apartment Earth Gallery, Charleston...

Material Studies
Copper, Lead, Silver-solder, Galvanized wire
    Here are some bits and pieces for a kinetic material study you should come and see... at Nik Botkin's Apartment Earth Studio and Gallery.
     A new kinetic work will be displayed among what are doubtless some of the finest of the fine/edgy/moving works in the region, and beyond.
The opening:

"Morsels & Minutiae"
     Thursday, December 18,
     5:00 - 9:00

Find the event on Facebook...

An exhibit of work small in stature but large in talent. The only theme to the show is that the pieces can have no dimension larger than 12 inches. The idea is to get as many great artists in one space that I possibly can.

Ironically this exhibit of small art will be the largest invitational exhibit I have put on to date. Right now it is looking like there will be at least 70 artists involved and it is still growing. They range from all over the United states and will feature local artists as well.

I like that this Minutiae show is Nik's largest to date...


Don't miss it; see you there!


Apartment Earth
     Studio and Gallery
     223 1/2 Hale Street
     Charleston, WV

Typical Hours:
     Fridays & Saturdays
     11:00 - 6:00

or on Facebook


All Aboard! Artisans Express... Spaceshuttle Huntington!!


     A submission for the upcoming fundraiser to benefit Cabell Huntington Hospital's Hoops Children's Hospital!


Learn more about this exciting city-wide arts initiative and fundraiser here...

     The basic concept, displaying the 6' fiberglass train model vertically, with booster rockets and fuel tanks attached, mirroring the retired space shuttle program which captured the imagination of the country, and accomplished incredible scientific endeavors... Whatever the future holds for our space program, it will be set soundly upon the foundation of the world's most ambitious space program; just as the City of Huntington's bright future will be built upon the sound historical footing of a vibrant industrial past and present!
     With appropriate sponsorship, the finished model will include an understated launch stage and launch structure to further support the rocket in it's vertical orientation. With access to electric, black-lights embedded in the stage will illuminate an image of nebulae reminiscent of full color Hubble Space Telescope imagery (an image painted in phosphorescent paint, which will be invisible in the daytime, and visible only at night under the black-lights). Furthermore, the shuttle, tank, and boosters could be embedded throughout with fiberoptic cabling, illuminating a star-field from within, complimenting and creating a backdrop for the Hubble imagery painted on the exterior... and providing plenty of opportunities for concealing the Hoops Family Children's Hospital logo!

~J. Deacon Stone


The Hallmark


Suitcase, Analog tape delay, Speed-control, Equalizer, Amplifiers, Wiring, Speakers, Natatorium (site-specific installation/performance)

     Described in the video, the analog tape-delay takes in the sound of a space, amplifies, and pushes it out into the same space, resampling and looping. The feedback is controlled by the delay, as well as an equalizer which emphasizes or deemphasizes portions of the audio spectrum. In this way one is able to eaves-drop on a conversation between a space, and itself from a different point in time. Timeand sound are looped and tangled.
     Based on rough studio experiments, the video stands as documentation of the performance and phenomenon. Therefore, the video is not the finished work; audio quality is fair, but far shy of as immersive as it is in any given space. Furthermore, the installation and performance changes (sometimes dramatically) depending upon the size, shape, and quality of the space in which it is deployed.


Altered Landscape


Landscape (oil painting), galvanized wire, low RPM motor, spring, nail, lamp cord
     The low RPM motor rotated a spring-loaded nail, which would pluck the galvanized wire which supported the removed portions of painted landscape... the pieces would in turn dance alternately.
     This piece is in a private collection; the collector who purchased it said in a letter he sent to me following the acquisition, "...as a young man I shot bow and arrow with my father, the sound of the piece reminded me of the sound the  bowstring would make when an arrow was released...



Medical stirrer, soldered galvanized-metal grid, ball chain

     Echoing the counterintuitive condition, the earth orbiting the sun... appearances can be deceiving. The stirring plate is bolted to the gallery space, and the base (normally still) now swings. Perhaps it is still still... we, the gallery, the earth and everything are moving around it, and once still chains curve in its wake.


Swinging Arms


Computer Power Supply, Galvanized Steel Rod, Low RPM Motor, Neon Lamps, Projector, Camera, (infinite loop, interactive)

Neon lamps swing at the end of long galvanized arms, creating interesting possibilities for long-exposure photography... when a projector and camera are added, both aimed at the same portion of wall occupied by the piece, an infinite loop with a slight delay is created. Observers enter the space between, and therefore become part of the loop, their presence echoed into infinity...


Breathing Machine


2x4's, Metal Rod, Scrap Metal Weight, Scrap Metal Rods, Clamp, Inner Tube, Air Hoses, Inflating Nozzle, Wire, ZipTies, Compressor (off-site)

     Based on a rough studio-exploration, this sytem-in-cycle would "breath," filling with air via the fill-nozzle, until the inner-tube lifted it off of the fill switch; at which point it would lift off the switch and stop filling with air. The pressure in the inner-tube would bleed off, lowering the weight, actuating the fill-nozzle, and staring the system all over again. Its cycle sounded very much like a breathing machine; yet instead of a machine breathing for someone, this one breathed all by itself, for itself...

Ludicrous Machine


Latex Surgical Tubing, Forceps, Monofilament, Pins, Nails, Styrofoam, Sewing Pins
     In this unlikely arrangement, surgical tubing filled with compressed air is suspended from pins and monofilament, filling the gallery with an illuminated "breathing" creature... its time slowly ticking away as the air pressure trickles out through a pin-hole, driving several small foam pin-wheels on the wall; attached by sewing pins.
     As the air pressure trickled out, once expanded portions of tubing would contract in violent and sudden throes, and do so completely randomly. This pictured campus gallery (Cranbrook Academy of Art's Forum Gallery) was open 24hr; the piece ran for nearly 3 full days.
     (Sound in the video is from another piece of mine, on display in the same gallery... "Breathing machine")


Undergrad Kinetic Artworks

A few of my foundational kinetic works from undergrad at Marshall University...

Eastward In Eden God Planted a Garden
Mixed Media: Electronics/Iron Filings/Dvd

The Living Creature
Cast Paper, Plaster, Wire, Low RPM Motor

Rivers of Eden
Salvaged Science Lab Equipment (wooden beaker holders, Plexiglas, Wire, Xerox Transfer Prints (contour maps, topographic), Motorcycle Sprocket/Chain, Low RPM Motor

Driving Machine (Pictured Above)
Mixed Media: Salvaged Equipment, Auto Seats, Cameras, Televisions, Rearview Mirror




Glass Ampules, Rubber Sheeting, Nails

Contents: Magnetic Audio Tape (with recording), Air, Lead, Ball-chain, Rubber

Rivers of Eden


Salvaged Science Lab Equipment (Wooden Test-Tube Holders, Roller-Wheels), Furring Strips, Brackets, Drywall Screws, Plexiglas, Xerox Transfer Prints (Contour Maps; Topographic), LowRPM Motor, Motorcycle Sprocket/Chain, Epoxy

Kinetic (See my Undergrad Kinetic Artwork for VIDEO of This Piece In Action!)

Eden's Gate


Plaster (cast in a wedge-shape, in plastic bags), Cast Lead, Glue



Circuit Boards from Fire/Smoke Detector System, Copper Wire, Structurally Soldered

When Turtles Flew


Deer Skull, American Snapping-Turtle Bones, Nails, Galvanized/Copper Wire, Springs, Sawblades, Low RPM Motor

     There is an Arabian proverb that says "Grinding one's teeth does not fill one's belly..." The sound this piece produced was that of grinding teeth, and smacked of the same futility as the failed aspiration behind the assemblage. Breathing life into things long dead does not make them live again, at least not as they did.



Pencils, Pins, Rabbit Fur, Stainless Steel Dishes, Silver Solder

     An exploration in material juxtaposition, and manipulation; Pencils turned in a proprietary studio-made "lathe" are pinned as though specimens, atop a field of rabbit fur. The entire vignette is enclosed in two plates soldered shut; a hole ground in the bottom of one to create a viewing window...

Through a Glass Darkly


Concave Mirror, Found Silvertint Photograph, Antennae

     What do we leave behind if not some vague reflection of ourselves in the memories of others? As a viewer moves to look at the piece, they see their surroundings, even themselves reflected, but never their own face. Regardless of angle, an observers face is obscured by the image of another, a photograph of a woman long gone, and familiar, but unknown...