January 2nd, 2013
Models of Smallpox, HIV and Flue (shown here) and E-Coli, H1N1 (Swine Flu) and SARS are designed to contemplate the global impact and history of disease. The works were created by Luke Jerram to interrogate our perceptions of how viruses are depicted by science and the media.
November 4th, 2012
October 23rd, 2012
I believe my presentation focused too much my process, rather than the final ephemera that I wish to critique. For instance, the discussion of toys was not meant to show an interest in exploring the notion of play, but instead to demonstrate a range of embedded restrictions of creation within representational tools. Although this was an important step for me in conceptualizing my work, it perhaps is not important to present as it seemed to take away from the greater subject. Also, I need to review the vocabulary I use in my project description as I was unaware that some terms I used (specifically “absurd”) may carry a critical definition than I had not intended.
Not only do I need to clarify the written/oral discussion of my work, but also the visual communication (the final execution) of the installation. After viewing the drawn perspectives and model I had created, I realized that my discussion was perhaps too subtly embedded in the objects — constricting the audience to only those with backgrounds in the building industry who could read the inaccuracies of the artifacts on display. I plan to explore ways I can at once simplify my display while also making it more extreme – thereby creating an easier and deeper connection with a greater audience.
October 23rd, 2012
The original idea of creating a display apparatus made of yarn to investigate the conditions of production and the cultural significance of yarn in Mexico was seen by the reviewers as merely reproducing the nostalgia embedded within museological display systems that fetishize the objects of their contents. My intention, however, was to create a model for a radical negotiation of contexts relating textile production and its cultural significance to notions of hybridity. The function of the collage was not to reproduce the museological form of representation, but to fragment it and critique it. The aim was to create an intertextual rendering of the different manifestations, associations, and uses of yarn to bring out and address the contradictions embedded within it. The yarn was intended to function as a materiel and a medium through which to explores these issues, both as content and as structure.
Although the reviewers’ comments did address gaps in my conceptualization of the model, it made me realize that I had lost myself in the various ideas I was trying to connect. This disjuncture made it difficult for me to feel invested in the project.
Upon further reflection, my trajectory has changed to draw instead from my biographic relationship to La Glorieta de la Amistad—the image of the three cones of yarn that constitute the context I am addressing. I propose a different model to explore how the role this structure plays as a monument to the textile industry (and by extension, as a monument to capitalism) has reconfigured the cultural dynamic of Moroleon, Guanajuato, the town in Mexico were I grew up. I have only fragmented memories of it since they erected it in the late 1990s when I was already living in the United States. To me the absurdity and the contradictions of this structure are quite clear, but from my experiences in my goings back, I know that my family and other locals feel a sense of pride toward it and see it in a self-important way—it is a symbol of success and as something to aspire to.
I now propose to make a model of La Glorieta and insert it in the gallery space to bring into focus its various contradictions of meaning and symbolism that it has accumulated since its creation. Though the model itself presents the cones as context-specific in the popular imagination, I hope it can also address more generally, the relationships we have to public spaces and collective memory. By using this biographic example as a model I hope to ground the abstract networks of information that structure and organize site-specific social practices and rituals. It is intended to create a contact zone between viewers and the context of Moroleon, to begin a process of re-inscription and transcultural inquiry.
by roberto | Posted in Uncategorized
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October 21st, 2012
The model by Yung Ho that finds its inspiration in spatialization of trajectories that chart time and concepts in the Third Policemen, a novel by Flann O’Brien.
by gediminas | Posted in Boite-en-Valise
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October 11th, 2012
The mosque typologies as they exists today have failed to properly address the unique contextual challenges and opportunities of the American context. The mosques of America have largely neglected the communities in which they have been inserted into, but instead have trended to alienate themselves and its patrons. The predominant American (non-Muslim) perception of mosques are dark, distant, unapproachable and impermeable structures. While most Americans would view that mosques threaten and disrupt American social order, this thesis will attempt to demonstrate how a mosque which has been sensitively designed for its context will help reinforce and strengthen American social order and the notion of community.
Additionally, the thesis will critique the external as well as internal workings of existing American mosque models. There exists major internal shortcomings mosques in the way they have addressed the needs of its patrons, with a failure to establish a mosque model that is well suited for growth. An exploration will be made that focuses on developing new prototypes that deal specifically with mosque design in varying scenarios within the American context by amplifying its presence, rather than attempting to obscure/conceal/camouflage it. More specifically, the city of Boston has been selected as a testing ground in order demonstrate the prototypes potentiality of retrofitting into the notion of an American city. Spanning from the human to the urban scale, a series of projects will attempt to address issues of interface and retrofit into an American framework. A new public visibility is crucial as Islam continues to grow, dispelling social stigma and bridging strong interfaith communities.
At the human scale, the prototypes will try to troubleshoot common shortcomings of the uniquely american ‘retrofit’ typology (adapted mosque spaces from previous retail/commercial/residential space) such as disorganization, clutter and the resulting diminishment of the mosque experience. The thesis makes a claim that these shortcomings, though they are seemingly trivial, have a tremendous impact on the essence and spiritual quality of the prayer.
At the urban scale, the project will explore a new juxtaposition of the Islamic prayer and a vibrant urban plaza. The hope is to demonstrate a new potential for the prayer to interface with its urban context, putting the inner-workings of the mosque on display, Using the previous two projects as a method for testing ideas and collecting data, the project at the building scale will be an attempt to consolidate both the inner and outer workings of a properly functioning ‘American’ mosque. The main goal of the building scale is to find an architectural expression which is ‘ Islamic’ but also uniquely american, giving the Islamic community in Boston a unique self-identity which is harmonious and compatible with the communities around it.