Centrifugal Piece
16 feet x 26 feet x 14 feet

"... a large stick contraption with ropes loosely attached to its various ends - the faster the handle turns, the stronger the centrifugal force shaping the plastic [sic. bamboo] and ropes into taut forms." Blue Greenberg, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C.

When the piece is static, bamboo crosspieces hang loosely from ropes tied to the ends of long bamboo spokes. The nature of the piece gradually changes as its speed increases.

The bamboo crosspieces begin to shake chaotically as the sculpture is slowly cranked to life.
As the speed increases the large sculpture gradually grows in size. Centrifugal force and the force of gravity achieve a delicate balance as bamboo becomes propelled high in the air, and floats gracefully above the apex of the piece.

Suddenly, the spinning accumulation of parts becomes a rigid structure as the ropes become taught, pulled hard against the forces that seek to drive the bamboo outward. To the one spinning the piece, the cranking becomes suddenly effortless as the giant structure falls into balance.

Centrifugal Piece (previously titled Bamboo Piece) was one of the largest interactive pieces made by Norman Tuck. Unfortunately, storage problems led to the dismantling of the piece in the 1990’s.

Fortunately, Centrifugal Piece was documented by 16mm film (see vimeo) shot at Norman Tuck's 1977 solo exhibition at OK Harris Gallery, NYC.

The piece is shown here at the Wake Forest Univ. Gallery.


Centrifugal Piece had been exhibited at:
OK Harris Gallery, NYC. 1977.
Wake Forest University, Gallery, Winston Salem, N.C. 1978
City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh N.C. 1992

Centrifugal Piece still

Centrifugal Piece moving