Stripped Opacity Construction Playground is a network of modular structures prepared in sections from 100% recycled 1/8 inch plexiglas salvaged from various frame shops. Each section can be broken down and rearranged many times over, much like building blocks made for children. The surfaces of the acrylic retain scratches and other debris that work to reflect color and light. Other materials include handmade miniature bricks, miniature trash, miniature houses, saw dust, clay dust, thread, paper cones, and other found objects.
The structures resemble a combination of suburban, urban and vernacular architecture. The transparency of the acrylic aim to promote a clairvoyant representation of how we might mentally map constructed space when in a fixed position within the environment i.e. the piece is 'stripped' of its opaque materials, which normally limits vision from one room to the next. In contrast some areas are filled with several different colored pigments to resemble geologic cross sections which are visible for example when sections of mountains are cut for road access or during archaeological digs. By contrasting aspects of the geologic with the urban man-made infrastructure I aim to speak about the process of raw material, which are then transformed into an extreme manipulation of complex material used to physically extend and contract space, i.e. walls. The plastic was cut with a bandsaw similar to wood in construction. What remains on the surface is a thin layer of sawdust as well as fragments of debris that include scratches and other imperfections. While the acrylic is transparent the debris starts to implement a degree of opacity while also representing the agitated landscape of a construction site. The arrangement of thread throughout the piece not only mimics the line variation found within the two dimensional drawings but also supports an ethereal light being refracted through the clear surfaces; halving, dividing or splitting minerals and material.
Simultaneously, the use of plastic echoes the “throw away” culture in which we live and references the modernist era of glass boxes, built by the Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, which took America by storm in the postwar years. Stripped Opacity also calls into question the builder of our spatial environment-- how is it built? And what is the sensory relationship with that outcome?
My goal is to transcend barren Modernist ideals by taking the bricolage approach to our structural surroundings in which we exist to something that connects each human to the built environment and doesn’t separate our sensory system to the natural world.