Binary Man

Digital Struttin'

Binary Man
5.75"w x 13.75"d x 14.5"h
Copper, stainless steel, polymer clay, wood

Binary Man

Left facing view

Binary Man is a piece that visually describes the emergence of an aesthetic, and it’s consequential transformation to an obsession if not keep in check.  The figure emerges from a surface of his same material, yet remains unformed in finer details like hands and facial features. He is white, but not pristine. Decorating him from front to back, and including the surface from which he emerges, are copper tack as stainless staples indicative of the diary style I’ve come use. Yes… the whole thing is an actual statement or story rendered in binary. It begins on the ground infant of the figure, continues up and around him and back down.

Materials of interest

Close up of arm

Certain areas are formless

While it might not seem a ‘fine art’ material, polymer clay certainly is useful. For a statue of this size, and the means to attach a binary sequence over the whole surface, polymer clay was a very good answer. I was able to model the figure, then ad the binary methodically without worrying about the medium becoming hard or drying out. Once completed, the whole thing went into my oven and solidified. The aluminum and steel armature probably helped this process, and as such, the polymer becomes a glue as well as shrinking around the individual tacks and staples. It still must be treated delicately however, as so many interruptions may cause different areas to crack apart.

Item of interest

I have shown this piece regularly, and it usually garners a bit of attention. Viewers like to investigate it, but also just linger around it. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m glad it happens. This observation is a nice little reward for the time and attention I gave the piece.


I’ve never intended the binary I add to any piece, when it’s not the feature, to necessarily be in any order. That is to say, the bits are ordered in series of 8 as they should be, but largely they can be decorative, despite making sense. This piece was a conundrum due to the organic figure form. This force the binary to wrap or contort in unknown ways, so it the story present is ever converted back to English, the body of Binary Man may first be a jumble of letters. Patience would be required to unscramble the letters after the binary is converted; provided the binary wasn’t misinterpreted before such conversion.

A work molded and finished in the style of man, and thus stands imperfectly. He leans to one side. He is disproportionate. He is all of us in a way.

Shot of the base

The figure sloshes through a base as if walking out of a marsh

Share if interested