“In the midst of such uncertainty, I cling not to what I know, but what I feel.”
~Heidi Julavits
The Folded Clock: A Diary

198 Responses
  1. I really love your art, so intuitive, simple, but difficult to master. Remind me ancient way of thinking…a way to enjoy nature without external forces, just using imagination, hands and patience. Like carving the rocks similar to the faces, starting from one that already show a human profile.

  2. I FEEL that rocks shouldn’t be standing up as they are depicted above. It goes against my experiences of a lifetime. (I also think that there is no local potential energy minimum associated with the points of contact with the base rocks below that would allow this to happen.) Rodney, you have shared other similarly amazing photos, but I still find it difficult to understand! Are you sure that there isn’t a hole in each upright rock and corresponding holes in the base rocks, with steel pins extending into the holes? In that case, gravity WOULD hold everything together.

    1. “Every man takes the limits of his vision for the limits of the world”

      perhaps it’s time to open ur mind! This is all just balance. Ur comment is more a reflection of what u think u know. If it was what u really feel, then there is a contradiction between that ‘feeling’ and ur lifelong intuitive ability to stand upright on two legs, in BALANCE. There’s no pins holding u up is there? Didn’t think so. Balance is really not so hard to believe.

    2. Wow! I never expected this kind of response to my comment! I appreciate the beauty of the scene and the skill that went into making it. However, I am also an engineer with a curious mind, and many of the black stones do not appear to be in stable positions (e.g., center of gravity not over point of contact, point of contact on an inclined surface). My preception is based on a two-dimensional photo. Gravity Glue, I know you said that it’s just a matter of balance, but is there more to this in the third dimension that is obscured by the rocks themselves? Sol Flower, entiendo la poesia, pero tambien tengo un lado analitico y la curiosidad de un ingeniero. BTW, my daughter’s name is Mirasol, and your Timeline is BEAUTIFUL!

    3. i would think the best way to understand this is to have a go. I have done this on the beach a few times.. none as great as these beautiful creations by Gravity Glue. But I understand that when you get the rock in just the right position of balance you get the feeling that gravity is gluing it in place.. then you know its time to let go and have faith the rock will stand. its subtle and beautiful.

    4. Arturo Riojas, gracias! I think I understand your discomfort at something so counter intuitive but I wish you could see a video of this artist in action. At first you watch in disbelief as he chooses an oddly shaped stone and proceeds to balance it upon another at an ‘impossible’ angle.

      He takes his time, he really takes his time as his hands search and sense the stone’s *center of gravity*. He never takes a chance. There’s never an oooops moment….He simply finds it and after a moment his hands retreat, and you breathe again. Astonishing.

    5. I’ve been there and seen Michael in action. I assure you it’s real and simply based on balance and friction- there are no tricks, wires, holes or rods. I think it is not only amazing technically, but creates some of the exquisite and elegant (albeit ephemeral) art.

    6. Sol Flower I looked up and viewed the video, “Gravity Glue 2014,” and it was very interesting. It demonstrated some of the instability I would expect of all of the “balanced” rocks. You mentioned “center of gravity.” A line connecting the center of gravity of the rock to the center of the earth should go through the point of contact, and it does not appear that this is the case for many of the balanced rocks. Also, in the video, there were rocks that were balanced atop other balanced rocks, but off to one side, so that if the center of gravity was in line with the point of contact originally, it certainly wasn’t after the additional weight of the other rock was added to one side. There is more involved here than just balance … more forces than just gravity, and friction is certainly one, as Robb Hirsch suggests in his comment above. I noticed in the video that water was also involved, so that surface tension and possibly transport of fine particles that would fill in gaps and expand the pont of contact into a larger surface could also play a part. In any case, it is interesting, and the results are stimulating for the eye and the brain–a beautiful, natural art form.

    7. Arturo Riojas Why are you surprised your comment produced so many replies? I could tell immediately that you were an engineer from your original comment, before I read it farther down the page. Your rigid thinking and scientific expectations made it very obvious. You are still searching for the answers in very structured places. Gravity is obviously part of science, but art and the ability to create it, cannot be written into text books, numeric equations or solid facts – which is where your comfort zone lies. Exhale for a moment – breathe in the beauty and be awed by what you, with you scientifically intelligent brain, cannot understand. Let it be the magic that it is. Let it be art – to please your senses and broaden your mind. The world needs engineers and mathematicians, but the world craves the artists and the beauty they create. Both are required to reach balance in the universe. ~Peace ~

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