Summer 2016- Installation: Simulacra or Enchantment

The most recent project for this summer’s class was a filled space, not site specific, Simulacra or Enchantment installation. I worked with the Simulacra idea, a different space within our normal environment. An Enchantment involves changing your normal environment to present an idea. In any case, though, these pieces differ from the Castle Rock day, in that they can be picked up and moved to any place and remain the same. They are not dependent upon their location to be effective.

I used the Crucibles again, they are proving quite versatile, and I love getting to know each of them better as the weeks go on. Each of them has dimples and curves that are different from the others.

In order to lend context to the idea of Crucible- a ceramic or metal container in which metals or other materials may be melted- a place or situation in which elements interact to produce something new- I used text on a canvas drop cloth to portray the above paraphrase from Merriam-Webster.


While the end results seem somewhat PotteryBarn-ish, I learned a ton about display elements, how to welcome an audience to experience your work in a non-traditional way, the pitfalls of psychological boundaries (the edge of fabric is an effective wall to interaction), and how to make intent clear without being blatant. Clean and clear tagging is important.

Next week is a Personal installation in which I will work on a small version of my current thesis proposal. Keep your eyes peeled!


Summer 2016- Installation: Rapprochement and Intervention

This summer’s class is an installation and exhibit planning course, giving us exposure to and practice with a number of different types of installation work. Our first major assignment was to work with the landscape at Castle Rock, KS, to create a Rapprochement installation, or a work which is in harmony with its surroundings. The flip side of this assignment is an Intervention, in which the audience is encouraged or forced to engage in the piece and gain and experience, whether difficult or unpleasant, or simply thought-provoking and tricky to navigate.

I was unsure what to expect, but I love the idea of being in harmony with the space you are in. To prepare for the project, I made notes of what I was looking for: an incline with ledges, possibly some foliage, hopefully water-washed, and shaded. Upon arrival, a perfect spot showed itself in short order and I set about setting up the Crucibles from last semester. This combination of high fired and glazed stoneware against the chalky stone of the Castle Rock formations worked better than I had imagined and I went back with my friend and colleague, Eleanor Heimbaugh, to try a few new settings the following weekend.

Previously, we had been assigned a practice round, for which I made several small cups, and installed them on the Hays Hanging Bridge. I didn’t connect the dots about the Hanging Bridge, but from what I understand the bridge was used for lynchings. Upon learning this, I went back and added some iron oxide to water in the cups and photographed them as they began to disintegrate. This piece was deemed still object based, as you can see the entirety of it from one viewpoint, and was great practice for the Castle Rock project.