Cameron Gainer - Cast I (4,600,000,000 Years)
Cameron Gainer
Cast I (4,600,000,000 Years)
  • Iron and nickel based meteorite melted and cast into its original form
    5.5 x 6 x 4 in. (13.97 x 15.24 x 10.16 cm)
    2012
    CGain 1401

    Iron and Nickel based meteorite melted and re-cast into its original form.

    This meteorite originally fell to earth 5,ooo years ago in a northern region of Argentina.
    It is an Octahedrite, a particular class of Iron meteorites that include Nickel as well as other trace elements.

    When I collected the meteorite it was 4.6 billion years old. This material traveled through space for billions of years, then fell from the sky and landed on a planetary body younger than itself. The age of the material was determined using a process that measures the decay of radioactive isotopes, a process related to radio carbon dating.

    This particular meteorite has Widmanstatten patterns, long iron-nickel crystals, that form inside the alloy over millions of years as the material cooled from liquid to solid at a rate of 1 degree Celsius every 1 million years. Its melting point is 2782 degrees Celsius.

    When a solid object such as this meteorite is melted its atomic structure is reordered and its atomic clock is re-set.

    To create this sculpture I took a mold of the meteorite and made a wax positive. Then working with one of the country’s most technically proficient rapid proto-typing foundries I used the lost wax method, an ancient process used for casting metal in fine detail, and created a negative mold constructed from a ceramic material.
    The meteorite was then placed in an induction furnace and melted into a liquid and poured into a mold of itself.

    The result is an object that is the same shape, the same weight, and is the exact same material.

    Because the atomic structure has been re-ordered it is no longer 4.6 billion years old, it is now as old as the day it was cast. Time was cast.

    5:10pm February 16, 2012

    Cameron Keith Gainer
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