The
CalArts Alumni Magazine

Chas Smith ’77

Chas Smith ’77 updates us: “The Mantis is one of my sound sculptures. Back in the 1980s when Lockheed was clearing house and moving to Georgia, they would have ‘surplus day’ on Thursdays, and I would be there looking for materials to work with. The Mantis’s armature is made from the titanium fixtures that were used to hold aluminum aircraft parts in sulfuric acid tanks when they were being hard anodized with 700 volts. I welded them together in patterns and I recently added small titanium sheets to add resonance and titanium rods, cut to ‘scale lengths’ and machined to bolt on. The whole assembly is suspended from a rotor that the electric motor can spin. The idea was to use the doppler effect to modify the complex sounds it can make.”