Nemo Gould

For those of you keeping score at home, it has been just over a year since I submitted my very first bit of writing to this here fanzine. Back in 2006 I timidly asked if I could write something for SF/SF and our esteemed Editrix Jean Martin graciously allowed me to contribute… oh, naive EspaÒa of the dimly remembered past, how I miss you! But anyway, moving right along… the piece I submitted was a short writeup of a gorgeous exhibition at Varnish Gallery by local artist Nemo Gould, which I had stumbled on while visiting that fine establishment during its then-weekly Firefly screenings.

Gould is a sculptor who works in found object creations and kinetic sculpture, and his work has a decidedly pop culture-infused science fictional bent. As his name suggests, squid, octopus and underwater scenes feature prominently as themes in his sculpture, but so do many other fabulous creations including a veritable army of retro-styled robots which he calls ìfauxbots,î and which range from cute little tabletop numbers all the way up to far less user-friendly behemoths that tower over your average puny human. And, in fact, in June both categories were showcased when he won gold for a Giant Squid and bronze for a robot called General Debris in the Kinetic Art Bot category at Robogames.

Now I am glad to be able to say I am looking forward to another Gould Exhibit this very weekend. As those of you who are paying attention may already be aware, Gould has spent the last four months as artist-in-residence at SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc. – also known as The Dump. Which may not sound terribly exciting to non-artists, but which is a much-coveted residency for local artists.

Created with the goal of promoting recycling and conservation, the program gives artists 24 hour access to a 2,000-square foot studio, a monthly stipend, and a exhibition at the end of their residency. But most importantly, they get free access to literally tons of raw material to create from. Dozens of artists have participated in the program and the Sculpture Garden adjacent to the dump includes pieces by many of them.

This Friday evening and Saturday during the day there will be an opportunity for the public to see the results of the last four months of scavenging and creation. Gould has already posted photographs of some of his recent pieces on his blog, and although he promises to keep some back for the exhibition, the results are intriguing so far. At first glance there seem to be fewer robots and more color and diverse use of materials, including rather more antlers that I would have expected.

I can’t wait to head over on Friday evening to see what he’s held in reserve.

~España Sheriff