Rooftop Alternative School extends and enriches the learning opportunities in the classroom by connecting our students to the rich cultural life of the City. “Art Is @ The Center,” Rooftop’s art study theme for 2016-2017 reflects on Rooftop’s location at the geographic center of San Francisco. While the school began the year’s art study with a exploration of mindfulness through the form of the mandala, Kahn’s Negev Wheel invites viewers to take art and mindfulness for a spin through sculpture. To quote Janine Okmin, Associate Director of Education at Contemporary Jewish Museum, “In this gallery, art is literally at the center…” Using sand from the Negev Desert, “blown by the wind for centuries,” Negev Wheel invites a closer look at the invisible forces of rotation and gravity that are constantly at work in nature.
“In his work Negev Wheel, Bay Area artist Ned Kahn explores these metaphors by reenacting the historical drama of tumbling desert sand, contained inside a circular spinning wheel. If a grain of sand is the vulnerable individual, a mountain of sand can have tremendous aggregate power. Thus in the context of The Contemporary Jewish Museum, Kahn’s work raises essential Jewish questions about building a reality of meaning, community, and generation.”
Download: CJM “Negev Wheel” PD Workshop Agenda cjm-pd-agenda-for-negev-wheel
A closer look at the movement of the sand mixture in the interactive sculpture that visitors set into motion. Kahn experimented with three variables to create Negev Wheel: tilt (of the wheel), speed (of the spinning), and viscosity (fluidity of the sand).
Contemporary Jewish Museum “Negev Wheel” Exhibition Resource: http://www.thecjm.org/storage/documents/education/2016/Ned_Kahn_Teacher_Resource.pdf
This resource uses quotes, artist interviews, discussion questions, and suggested activities to examine Ned Kahn: Negev Wheel through five thematic lenses: natural forces; tinkering, engineering, and the artistic process; mindfulness; Jewish content; and art as metaphor. This guide is useful for classroom teachers or anyone interested in a deeper exploration of Ned Kahn: Negev Wheel.
Ned Kahn (b. 1960, Connecticut) is an environmental artist and sculptor who creates installation works that explore, mimic, and play with forces and phenomena found in nature. Kahn’s artworks, at the intersection of art and science, invite audiences to immerse themselves into natural elements such as tornadoes, fog, clouds, and wind currents—or turbulences, as he calls them. A Bay Area resident for over twenty years, his hybrid work, as a synthesis of nature, art, and technology, makes the invisible forces of nature suddenly visible to the viewers’ eyes. http://nedkahn.com/
Watch video artist Benjy Young’s video poem about the entire process of making the artwork; from the inspiration and research of the artist to the finished design of the “Negev Wheel” installed at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Todd Barricklow and his Ned Kahn Studios crew along with Justin Limoges and the Museum’s crew assemble the artwork so Ned can coax the exact perpetual avalanche of Negev sand for his show.