Drawings and video apparatus exhibited at the Amado, Palm Springs, CA, as part of the On the Road exhibition during Modernism Week 2014. 

This project begins with a lime green float tube, a humble toroidal primitive (readily available for around a dollar) and a universal symbol of summertime pleasure. Minimally recontextualized from the pool’s surface to its depths, this emblem of weightless felicity begins to suggest sensations of disorientation and drowning, yielding a state of affective dissonance between pleasure and threat.

Our blurred associations with this submersed plaything stem from the perceptual blurring of the object, its figure/ground legibility obscured by the atmospheric perspective of the fluid medium and the optical distortion produced by its rippled surface. Over the past two decades, many within the discipline of architecture have stalked the blur, the elusive middle between figure and ground. In an attempt to liberate us from the rationality of Modernism and the easy signification of Post-Modernism, this cadre has sought to open up the discourse to fuzzy associations and the sub-linguistic communicative prowess of affect. The eradication of the edge produces representational and material challenges, demanding new drawing techniques and material surrogates that begin to evoke the elusive properties of the blur.

In the absence of clear edges, these drawings use linework to represent intensities. In a manner similar to a topographical drawing, where proximity of contours describes intensity of slope, these drawings use density to represent degrees of chromatic transition. With a deliberate equivalency between figure and ground, these drawings seek to define the fuzzy threshold between the two, like a profusion of soundings approximating the depths.


PROJECT: Sunken Pleasure
LOCATION: Palm Springs, California
YEAR: 2014
TEAM: Steven Christensen, Devon Montminy
TAGS: Installations