USB-NA by Heather Miller

Title: USB-NA
Not For Sale**
Year: 2010
Size: 13″ x 13″ x 27″

USB-NA was created using wood, lamp wire, USB extension cables, epoxy, copper pipe fittings, two steel rods, caulk, resin, and acrylic paint.

The Story:

USB-NA was created for my senior thesis exhibit in college.  It was one of many pieces created for a large concept-based installation work.  I personally do not like concept art.  The art department in the college I attended, however, was in love with concept work.  Rather than argue about it (again), I took the opportunity to prove that I do, in fact, understand concept art and can create it.

In my previous college years, prior to attending art school, I studied religion & psychology.  I was encouraged during my BFA application to ‘play up’ that fact.  I decided to take that advice and apply it to my thesis exhibit.  I could technically write a small book about the project, or create an entire website about it (which I did at one point).  The site no longer exists nor will I write a small book to explain it.  Suffice it to say I deconstructed the biblical Book of Genesis and twisted it in on itself.  The devil was recast as the anti-hero of the story.  Technology played a large role – as in ‘what if the “tree of knowledge” was god’s massive data center?  What if it became known as a tree only because primitive people had literally no word to describe a data center and its giant masses of cabling running floor to ceiling throughout the structure?  You get the idea.

USB-NA was my visual representation of what happened when Adam & Eve “ate” the apple.  Only a virus can instantly begin changing a life form.  I created this piece out of copper because copper pipe and wire are found all over our homes and offices.  Copper wire provides electricity, which powers our computers (among other things of course).  The center rungs of the DNA ladder are made of USB cables.  I centered them because I didn’t want people to think this represented a real virus of any kind.  The loose copper wires at the top & bottom represent the virus creating itself.  This is rather a rough description but without the rest of the exhibit it’s hard to explain this piece.  Each part of the exhibit played a role in the larger story.  I’m also trying not to write a novella.  🙂

USB-NA has steel rods inside the copper tubing.  They actually provide the structural support.  The small copper pipes are actually 1″ fittings for plumbing.  I drilled a hole in to the side of each to insert the usb cables.  The copper pipes are held together with 2-part epoxy resin clay.  The cables themselves were glued together with a clear 2-part epoxy.

The base is made of several sheets of wood glued together.  It was then covered in painter’s caulk to give it a bit of texture (I’m big on texture).  After the caulk dried, I painted it black and poured resin over it to give it high gloss finish.  The feet on the base are more copper pipe fittings.

**While I’m not actively attempting to sell it, I would be open to offers.