Malleability

Making architectural drawings without being trained as an architect is fake-believing. My drawings have a basis in certain sciences such as drafting, infographics, and science illlustration, all disciplines in their own right. Yet to finish these completely, I would lose the exposure of the process of creation and editing that the drawings rely on, and also fall into the category of the aforementioned disciplines.

Keeping an underpainting or drawing can act as a skeleton, whereas the paint and the image become the skin. This works similar to the façade or skin of a building and its supporting structures underneath. I have always been interested in exposing construction of objects in an attempt to underline impermanence and illusion of the visual world. Showing this skeleton in space is important to explore the possibilities and visual awareness of alternative building design approaches.

Expanding Space in the Mind

I have been exploring the process of reconfiguring landscape to get a multivalent view of space, looking at ways to break down limitations and expand out of boundaries. I believe our perception of space to be dominantly visual (more than audial, and tactile combined), which may lead one to propose that we can visually alter existing spaces without reconstructing them completely.

We address urban space often by looking where we can go next: below the surface, higher up in the sky, and horizontal expansion. I think the experience of our space is very important, and needs more consideration when we try to increase urban density in a pleasant way. Visually, we can employ methods that can suggest convincingly larger open areas and a more fluid structure/space relationship. Instead of knocking down walls, an informed utilization of color choices, orientation of walls, curvature, perforation, transparency, and modularity (ultimately) can offer a pleasant illusion of expanding space.

Finally, the idea of willfully tricking ourselves is very relevant in our spectacle based aesthetic economy. I argue that the mind that can identify the façade and still allow oneself to succumb to its pleasantries, is the mind most suitably adaptatable in our current society, one that plays as a double-mind. It is an awareness of our purposeful desire to create visually pleasing worlds even though totally manufactured, the goal being to provide the most pleasant experience we can make ...

Quick Fix

This work for the PSU mfa midway show is latex, graphite, joint compound and drywall. I am interested in façades, walls, and flat surfaces as impermanent structures. This work is inspired by the current housing crash in America, yet before the downturn I had already become concerned at the quality of construction, materials, and general aesthetics of contemporary building. Value is an abstract concept we apply to all things, and housing is one example of extreme value inflation of banal materials and location, ultimately proving its instability and volatility over time. My surface is a mobile gallery wall in poor condition, yet is still painted white and looks good from far away. I am interested in the quality of my work up close and far away and what that can reveal about perception and reality.

Keller Fortress

This installation is my third in this large format, this being the first to look at irregular surfaces to apply drawing. The work is not site specific or referential to WorkSound gallery, but is a representation of another unrelated site. Keller Fountian (SW 3rd and Market) is a very intriguing public space that I feel is really important to look at as we demarcate space in Portland during our hyper-development and imminent expansion. The fountain is playful and uplifting, but more to me like a surreal world, a place for discovery and exploration. The drawing depicts multiple angles and viewpoints in the park area, creating new forms and compounding the experience of this confusing yet comforting environment. Much of the allure to me is the fabrication of waterfalls, Lawrence Halprin's vision of fusing naturally the urban and organic environments of Portland, to help reverse "urban blight." I cannot deny the irony of manufactured landscapes, but this case is a particularly alluring utopian attempt to increase the quality of life for future residents. The video game reference seemed to me an interesting concept due to ideas of historical relevance (vintage feeling), the "futuristic" design of the fountain, and the playfulness involved in the whole experience.

1 + 1 = 1

With this project I am interested in making a new space out of a combination of two. Looking at the former Disjecta site on Burnside and the new space in historic Kenton, I fused elements together from both to create a temporal blueprint of the current and potential surroundings of these sites. Using faux materials and illusory space, I am interested in the perceived quality, permanence, and value of structures. I am interested in the built environment and how it may be the physical manifestation of our desired, or unconscious, visual space.

The Information

Being objective as a viewer could entail that vision is a medium to acquire information, simply visual. I think that what we see may as well be flat planes of color and value, as is a painting. Really, the experience is what we are after, so as long as we get the information, its successful.

Our ability to suppress our knowledge of fabrication, façade, and image as a constructed image is fascinating. We really just want to see what we want to believe.

Accumulation of information is another interest of mine, especially in contemporary culture in which we have access to so much information that we have no chance of absorbing it all. I believe this has some powerful effects that should be looked at:

1) Editing: We must choose and direct our path of information acquisition specifically, hence making conscious decision what to learn about and what not to waste time on.
2) Memory: Like editing, we can't remember everything, and eventually lose, misplace, reconstruct, or completely distort memories that store visual and ephemeral information.
3) Generic Knowledge: We are forced to learn the surface of many fields of thought, not able to spend enough time to deeply learn. We become generalists, rarely specifying.
4) Cultural Loss: Eventually, some information is gradually edited out as insignificant in historical terms, due to the need to generalize in our instruction in school. (ie: 70's bands will become more and more obscure, eventually diminishing to a couple famous "definitive" bands of the era)

Built Image

I have been focusing on the built environment and its context with natural forms, looking at the image or façade, flatness, the unseen structures and foundations of spaces, and ambiguity and indeterminacy. Urban environments are in a constant state of erasure and rebuilding, always in transformation. Yet our perception in the now of structures reinforces their "permanence," seeing the outside image of a reality. This illusion like quality is imposed on ourselves by our own devices of fabrication, cultural desire, and image manufacture. We manufacture value of things by creating them to meet criteria we perceive as valuable.

Image and Accumulation

My new painting/drawing series is attempting to order presentation of a miasma of information. Looking to the built environment, or the experienced construction, I see a constant change of our visual environment with development through urban planning and design. The city is constantly editing itself, erasing and rebuilding structures and experiences. This indeterminacy of our living space reminds me of how we must edit and replace information in our memory, cause there is just too much information now to have it all. I am trying to develop a visual lexicon based on our built environment and presenting it in a multi-layered, hybridized format. This compounding of information reminds me of memory and how we process information, seeing what we need at the time and referencing that specific information, despite a vast amount of info present now and through our historical experience.

The graphic drawing is an accumulation of some walking views of the park blocks, the grass or foundation only. Maybe these are the areas most likely to remain the same for a long time. Also pictured is a photo of my new photo series of Models.

Plus Minus

My recent installation talks about a lot of things I am interested in: compressed experience, blueprints, editing with addition and subtraction, and indeterminacy of forms. It also has a paradoxical nature of looking "good from far, but far from good." Looks clean and precise from a distance, but up close the crude nature of hand-cut and placed tape is realized. I like this unashamed exposure of the material used to construct this image, how it acknowledges the visual environment as constructed. Pieces of tape are layered on top of each other, supporting and reinforcing the structure, filling in gaps left as residue from an unsuccessful attempt at precision.

natural and constructed

This dichotomy is often discussed, but there is always room in the middle, in between the two extremes. I'm interested in exposing the constructed environment, in regards to the artificial. Façade is a simple version of this construction: the face, flat and illusionistic at the same time. The façade is basically an image, and can may as well be a printed image. The structure behind that should be exposed, so that you don't lie to yourself about it's real-ness. Unnatural construction is all over the place (plastic surgery, photoshop, lasik, make-up, fashion, etc). It seems much more relieving to be aware of the material construction than to deny it, even though you know it's true. Structures, framing, foundations, supports, paint, fabric, images, etc. A constructed image can be natural once it has been acknowledged and understood as a fabrication, and will seem natural in context with culture.

Cut and Paste

Continuing with inferred spaces and time-based transformation, I am focusing more on the 3D line drawings, optical effects of color, and different ways to look at cut-outs. Cutting and rearranging objects with paper, xerox, reflectives, and dowels. The rearranging of the environment has brought up issues of boundaries, growth, delineation, and containment. Some drawings have been successful in suggesting growing masses that are ordered and related to other objects, creating and negating fields. Using ideas in blueprints, interior and landscape design, fasteners, reinforcements, hinges, hooks, ropes, cables, framing, and architectural elements.

Independent existence

About individual objects (or visual forms): when does an object or environment cease to be itself anymore? An object exists because we conceptually designate it as so, with a name and a representation to match. Over time, all things change, so at what time does an object cease to be and become something else.

Instead of philosophically, this translates visually in time-based transformations of objects and environments. The building becomes a park, and then a parking lot, and then a building, and then a vacant lot. In between these times, the place is lost, un-named, and unidentifiable. It can be anywhere.

"I never sleep. I've never slept at all. I've never had a dream. All of that could be true."
-ugo rondinone

infered space and façade

Looking at space in a temporal form has been the underlying theme I have investigated. Reducing environments to shapes, and time-altered shapes, has shown me that I am interested in spatial perception. I have been layering different experiences of environments into single compositions, in 2D right now, to look at how vision uses semiotics and memory (time based) to make sense of the compositions and fill in gaps and make connections. Perspective is a part of this layering, putting things in spatial timeframe. Still working this out on paper, and trying to extend some perspectival line drawings into space. I have looked at stacking as a form of time based transformation as well, a 3D version of the time-altered shapes idea. Some materials of interest are elastic string, die-cut paper, tape, mylar.

Trying to make this relevant today by looking at how we use space architecturally, the idea of façade as representation/reality, and contemporary issues regarding longevity of designs, prefab technologies, and strategies of green design (LEED).