International Sculpture Center
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Nicole Beck

Jet Stream
8'x 7'x 18'

Painted steel. Site view: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN Art critic Victor Cassidy writes about Jet Stream: a deceptively simple outdoor sculpture that can be read with equal validity as a response to phenomena in science, technology, or art. This steel sculpture consists of a 3-D welded steel square, trapezoidal in cross section, with a large hole through its center. The square whose form recalls the bridge of a stringed instrument tilts backward about 30 degrees. A long, curving beam of steel, which is fixed to the ground at one end, passes through the top of the hole in the center of the square piece, and projects out, curving slightly down. Beck says that Jet Stream is “based on the physics and dynamics of the cantilever and counterbalance.” The square form with the hole through it is “the geometric core of my earlier sculptures,” she states. Jet Stream also suggests atmospheric winds and an aircraft taking off with its exhaust trailing (hence its name). It is a very musical construction, with an element--the steel beam--that crescendos gracefully upward, reaches a climax, diminishes, and ends.