Using light, motion, and a palette of basic home supplies and building materials, Nathaniel Rackowe makes sculpture and installations that center on the viewer’s experience of the work. « Viewer », however, is somewhat of a misnomer. Experiencing Rackowe’s work requires one to navigate through anda round his constructs as the components shuttle, rotate, rise, and fall – all slowly and repetitively. This kinetic aspect prompts a psychological respons, as the distinction between subject and object takes an ambiguous turn. Rackowe’s works seem to have agancy : they impinge, occupy, and even threaten. Viewers become responders in this world, like the little figures who negotiate shifting spaces in video games, which Rackowe acknowledges as a source of inspiration.
Extract of ‘Nathaniel Rackowe’, by John B. Ravenal, in ‘Artificial Light’, ed. VCUarts Anderson Gallery, Richmond ; VMFA, Richmond ; MOCA, Miami