Zero-Sum at Portland Biennial 2010



Zero-Sum is an installation created with masking tape, airbrush, vinyl and wood that extends the concept of drawing as sculpture. Reacting to the physical space and its idiosyncrasies, the site is transformed into an indeterminate structure that challenges dualistic relationships: flatness and dimensionality, illusion and reality, value and emptiness. The physical structure of the building is both reinforced and negated creating a space in which boundaries are rendered unclear. The space suggests a site either neglected or partially destroyed, with no inhabitants and no apparent function beyond suggestion of some pre-existing activity. The work aims to provoke the viewer’s interpretation of what conflict may have taken place, and between which two, or more, forces. Specific influences guiding this work include interests in duopolies, the housing industry in America, and competition between socio-economic ideologies. The work questions the unknown motivation of spaces, the potential capital in a site, and the tendency for history to repeat itself.

Zero-Sum Games, in relation to game theory, is a situation in which one entity's benefit is balanced by another's shortfall. This can be understood in socio-economic situations as a "strictly competitive" system.