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Published on Jul 27, 2010
Timelapse video of Michael McMillen installing his work Aristotle's Cage at the Oakland Museum of California. http://museumca.org
Santa Monica-based artist Michael C. McMillen had an early grounding in the film industry: his father was a set designer for film and television, and several of his neighbors were special effects technicians for the industry. After preliminary studies in engineering, McMillen switched his college major to art and began creating both miniature and full-scale walk-through environments based on imagined narratives. After graduation he was employed as a technician, creating miniature sets for such films as Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Aristotle's Cage presents a scene from which the viewer can create a personal narrative. Who lives in that old trailer in a desert junkyard? What must it be like to be alone in the desert at night with only a scratchy radio for company? And what does the skeletal figure chased by an equally skeletal dog bring to the scene? McMillen's miniature fantasy opens the imagination to a series of speculations and conclusions, not the least being "What does this have to do with Aristotle and what exactly is his cage?"