Plasma Studio was invited to conceive a site specific installation for the launch of this new gallery for architecture in the Arts District East Pilsen, Chicago.
STATUS Commission, Built
LOCATION Chicago, USA
CLIENT Extension Gallery
DESIGN TEAM Eva Castro, Ulla Hell, Holger Kehne
The approach was from the beginning to enhance the already rich modulation of the gallery and its multiple levels and mezzanines with a system that makes visitors discover the existing space in a new way. Geometric key points that define the gallery through the three axis of the Cartesian organization system were identified to form the hinges between existing and new. These points were connected directly through vectors that form three distinct strands. Each segment is then divided by 10 and subsequently triangles are formed laterally by the 3 corresponding points. This virtual model was translated with support from Arup into a tensegrity structure that further promotes the legibility of interdependencies between the static systems of old and new and the dynamics of trajectories and light. Producing mathematically precise but elusive kinetic spatial effects, the arrays of triangles are turning the visitor into an optical machine flowing from alignments of edges towards their gradual dissolution in perpetual fashion. After dark movies by Douglas Spencer using Plasma projects and slides of Plasma Studio’s work are projected onto the panels from different angles. Fluctuating virtual patterns are dissected and caught by the triangular shards, collapsing into a dream-like space of geometry in motion. The installation defies definitions of what is supposedly art and what architecture. It discusses issues of perception and the relationship between people and space in a nonutilitarian way yet its basis are practical architectural processes and the use of descriptive geometry. It was conceived with enthusiasm by Chicago’s art and architecture communities alike.