Commissioned Works

Paula Matthusen: work divided by time

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Commissioned by Wesleyan's Center for the Arts, work divided by time was created by Assistant Professor of Music, Paula Matthusen. The sound installation engaged with the cultural concepts of power, energy, and time. The installation derived its inspiration in part from the intricate work of the Bily Brothers, who, having never left a 35-mile radius of their home nestled within the Czech community of Spillville, Iowa, constructed enormous mechanical clocks depicting the world reflected to them by newspapers and other printed publications. work divided by time creatively evoked the work of the Bily Brothers – clearly of a different era – to form an intimate and reflective space about the different manifestations of energy. The installation featured a series of handmade, wooden instruments modeled after Christmas pyramid toys that played recordings of the music boxes within the clocks and the sounds of the clock mechanisms. The space, the instruments, and the sounds emanating from within the installation units pay humble homage to the work of the Bily Brothers.

This installation was placed in an empty office space in the University’s astronomy observatory, a non-traditional setting that physically brought the arts into other parts of the campus. The show was on view from May 2 – 13, 2012 and during commencement weekend on May 25 and 26, 2012.

work divided by time was commissioned by the Center for the Arts as a part of Feet to the Fire: Fueling the Future, made possible by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and with support from The Bily Clocks Museum in Spillville, Iowa.

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