my mom used to say when she saw someone thinking. Richard Berger’s lovely kinetic sculptures at the San Francisco Art Institute embody that metaphor. Translucent disks etched with text are connected by rods in an assembly that looks a bit like the wheels of a train. The motor and wires that provide the turning power are exposed, heightening the viewer’s sense of watching an ongoing process as the delicate machinery turns light into shadow/thoughts on the wall. There are also several figurative works, with light projected through mannequins of tinted plastic to make colored “ghosts.” Exploring Berger’s Web site, at, I discovered that he has more than one way with words. Check out Henry and Don, his story about living in a studio in a decrepit tenement.

- Meredith Tromble [Tuesday, July 13th, 2004]


From the editors