Crafting and installing Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow was a seemingly endless task, in part because of the complexity of the installation and its many bespoke parts. Every part of the installation was either built by our artist team, or closely overseen (with help from pals, like our welder Rob Reuser, or our programmer Paul Jarvey).
Our brass downpipes were machined by our team, care of Wayne Garrett (who has a history, conveniently, as a Red Seal Machinist).
The install was tricky. We were installing above slate stairs, and needed to straddle very different ceiling heights using scaffolding. Our grid structure required a Building Permit from the City of Calgary, which necessitated official Engineer Drawings to be approved (although we would have pursued these anyway – for peace of mind).
The density of hanging downpipes made for a tight squeeze (not dissimilar to the film Entrapment). Particular lengths of downpipe needed to hang in particular orientations to allow space for a thoughtful composition of hourglasses.
Electrical was wired through the wall from a nearby breaker box, and wires were snaked over the grid to a series of microcomputers along the West wall of the space.
Our yokes (the brass armatures for holding the hourglasses) were initially intended to be welded and brass plated like the forks. However, we radically re-designed them at the last minute to avoid costly plating.
We designed a flat yoke which was water-jet cut from sheets of brass. We then “folded” the brass to shape around wooden forms. This design, if anything, was more aesthetically pleasing than previous iterations of our yokes – an elegance born of necessity.
Many other odds and ends were built, assembled, or prepped before the hourglasses were even brought to site. Pulleys were painted. Cap nuts were machined. Brass was polished and waxed for longevity.
Every element took careful consideration – Wayne Garrett stepped up into the role of orchestrating these design efforts. We’re lucky to have a team of collaborators with diverse skill sets. This project would be too big for any one of us alone. Together is better.