Creature, 2001. Aluminum, steel, rubber, electronics, mechanics, and LCD, 26 x 12 x 13 in.

Rath Around the House (The Greats of Rath)

We gave our Doberman to my sister-in-law the other day. Her kids had always loved Orenthal. Besides, “Juice” had gone docile on us over the last decade, his sentry instincts replaced by drooling and excessive gas. No matter. Security is no longer an issue at our house. Not since the day when we installed Alan Rath’s Monocle II (2004) in full view of our front door. Monocle II, along with Rath’s Snifter (1990) are on duty 24/7. Though entirely harmless, this pair of video sculptures seems to have a strange, yet positive effect on certain people. The UPS guy, for example, seems extra-courteous of late, albeit a bit nervous, his eyes darting between Monocle II and Snifter as he waits for a signature. Carmela, the cleaning lady, who used to spruce things up and leave in about two hours, stays longer these days, vacuuming carpets twice and dusting the tops of things. And, even though both Monocle II and Snifter are out the gardener’s sight, Humberto and his crew seem to be working faster and doing more. Humberto must have heard something from Carmela or the UPS guy. Suffice it to say that with Orenthal gone and Rath in the house, our lives seem, well…easier.