Rath's Unnatural Specimens Spoofs Technology

Audio nuts with a sense of humor and an interest in art will enjoy the works by sculptor Alan Rath currently on display at the Haines Gallery in downtown San Francisco.

Rath uses common audio devices---12" and 15" woofers, Kevlar-cone midranges and tweeters---some DC-pulse amplifiers, and an assortment of other industrial materials to construct science-fiction creatures with bulging eyes and heaving bodies. His Thumper V, resembles a huge snail on wheels, its body and eyes pulsating at sub-audible rates.

Some of Rath's creations recall vegetative forms of life, like a group of "sunflowers" made of PVC pipe and 6" woofers. The intent is to draw our attention to the ever-more-blurry line between the real and the virtual; the result provokes smiles and laughter.

Rath's works are thematically and visually compatible with the most high-tech home environment. Unnatural Specimens is running concurrently with Rob Craigie's Natural Specimens, a display of artificial insects made entirely from natural objects, primarily twigs and leaves. Under the umbrella title Bio-Experiments, the works of Rath and Craigie will furnish plenty of food for thought regarding the old question of "What is natural and what is not?"

The Haines Gallery is at 49 Geary Street (Fifth Floor), San Francisco. Tel: (415) 397-8114. The e-mail address is HART41@aol.com. More information and views of the artists' works are available at the gallery's website: www.wenet.net/~chg. Bio-Experiments runs through February 7.