Through a process based practice, Luke looks to investigate the relationship between maker, tool and material. Working in tandem with human scale contraptions he designs and creates himself, he drops slabs of clay onto 3-D objects. Clay is unique in its ability to react to gravity with instant transformation. This physical metamorphosis of the clay's composition is a visual reaction to the process. Luke's slab-dropping machines are designed specifically to work with the innate properties of the clay, while also creating a performative method of investigating a process.
Luke gives testimony of his process through semi-performative video and photographic documentation. These visual diaries define each step of the creation; uncovering the moments in which the nature and form of an object create a dialogue between itself, maker, material and process. The maker is in full, calm control of the process before and after the drop, but this control secedes during the split second in which the clay plummets towards the object, creating a brief moment of tension, chaos and uncertainty.
The result is a record of the clay’s reaction to this technique. Like archives of the everyday, frozen in clay’s permanence, the resulting pieces record each object’s form with abstracted fidelity.
In the fall of 2013, Luke created his first slab-dropping contraption using a simple pulley system, a wooden frame, and creative naivety to systematically drop thin slabs of clay on everyday objects. Inspired by the climatic nature of this process and its performative problem solving, Luke self-designed and built a portable version in the form of a "slab dropping backpack", as well as a large scale version capable of generating 4’ x 4’ slab drops.