The Alchemy of the Hinge, 2024

Kasia Fudakowski, The Alchemy of the Hinge, 2024, Steel, Plexiglas, acrylic paint, bulb, cabling, Approx: 198 × 69 × 90 cm

Held together by a brass piano hinge, the two Plexiglas wings of a razor clam rest against the exhibition wall. A single light bulb is attached to a thin steel guard, casting a refracted light, which mimics the movement of the clam in sand.

The razor clam, compared to any human technological invention, is an expert digger. The repeated opening and shutting of the clam’s valves turns the hard-packed sand around it into something more akin to liquid. “The clam’s trick is to move its shells in such a way as to liquefy the soil around its body, reducing the drag acting upon it,” says Amos Winter, of MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The need to lay ever more cables in the ocean has led engineers to seek innovation in the field of deep-sea anchoring. Using razor clam-inspired technology to excite the sand looks set to be a far more energy-efficient method than current digging techniques.

When this sculpture (or others from the Gallery Power LTD exhibition) is publicly exhibited, the amount of energy the piece may consume must be limited. This limit is defined by the total Kilowatt consumption of the piece if it were to be turned on for all the opening hours of the exhibition, and then halved. In the event of the artist’s death, the artwork must remain off in perpetuity.