The Image Mill is a public sculpture that uses the force and beauty of falling water as the energy to create a moving picture. The artwork merges an optical illusion that led to the invention of movies with one of the first power sources. By referencing the histories of cinema and industrialization, The Image Mill explores a possible future of environmentally responsible media—looking forward by looking back.
One of the first movies created was a galloping horse and this piece also uses it as a metaphor for the region's auto industry. The 'horsepower' that drove the Michigan industrial age is at a transition to a new age of alternative energy...the pony stumbles, but continues on.
This theme was also revealed in the fabrication. Made by Michigan metal workers, the artwork proves that the skills of industrial-era tradesmen can be tapped as a valuable resource as the region considers new sustainable directions.