Wellington Creative Communities Application
April 2004, this submission is for a public artwork SEE, in conjunction
with the Art Box Project Trust.
The condition of all things is moist in a constant state of absorption. The invisible presence of the vapour state of water permeates my entire existence since being in Wellington. The transitory nature of humidity symbolizes impermanence and the ephemeral. It also expresses a cultural shift into an undefinable state reflecting contemporary theories of the impact of global migrations that are actual, tangible, and physical whilst also being virtual, incorporeal, and metaphysical.
SEE is the artwork proposed in this submission and is described as follows.
The waters collected from my dehumidifier will be used to create a solid cube of ice measuring 1m3 whose total weight will equal one ton. The cube is to be fabricated by Ice Creations in Auckland, being the only business in New Zealand capable of such an undertaking. The process will require the construction of a metal form and frame within which to make the ice cube. The entire fabrication process of making the ice will take four weeks and will result in a crystal clear transparent frozen cube. The apparent solidity and transparency of this cube inverses the sense of the transparent acrylic Art Box which is, in fact, empty. It is only walls. Intentional to this project is the inversion and deconstruction of the seemingly solid geometry of the Art Box into an object that is seemingly a mass, yet, is not.
The cube as a form or container derived from minimalism reflects the concept of a box as a space for art. The ice box is simultaneously the object and the space, but only temporarily. Ice is the medium chosen to represent a history of certain industries within New Zealand, specifically fishing. The research into the site has been supported by the assistance of the Wellington City Archives. The cube is proposed to be sited along Cable Street on the former location of the Ice Making and Cold Storage facililites of New Zealand Trawling which was constructed in 1927, was used until the late 1970's and now no longer exists. It is intended to express ideas of the disappearance of the meaning of place and the mutation of memory.
Integral to this proposal is the performative element of the installation and conclusion of a single ton of ice through the temporal element of its natural and gradual transition from ice to water and vapour. As the cube gradually melts and reaches an appropriate dimension and weight, it will be pushed and shifted into the harbour waters, a place to arrival and departure, of coming and going during the weekend of August 14-15, 2004.
It is the hope and the intention of this project to enhance and enliven the public understanding of the possibilities of art in the public space. The nature of its materiality will appeal to all ages and will offer an insight into the history of the City of Wellington as it augments the cultural character inherent to the city.
The intent of my proposal is to continue my investigations into the cube as a meaningful form of artistic expression. I have included with this submission a description of one former project titled AU, being the periodic table symbol for gold. This project was an exploration into primary industry specifically that of the history of gold mining along the Cadillac Fault in eastern Canada. The artwork was an installation of a reflective industrial-gold glass cube in a public space, the concourse level of Mies van der Rohe's Westmount Square, Montreal. The square is a derivative of prospecting standards for staking a claim and the cubic volume was representative of the amount of gold extracted from the Cadillac Fault. Placing art outside of the gallery space is significant in my artistic practice as it challenges contextual references to what defines an artwork, but it also significantly places a work within a site that has a direction connection to the project. In this case, there is a relationship between the monetary system as financed by the gold standard and the rise of modernity as represented in an iconic architecture of the international style.
The Art Box Project is a public art space in the form of a transparent acrylic cubic meter box, which relocates to various public locations dependant upon the artistic intent of each individual project. The cube being the space for the art is thus nomadic yet is a site-specific installation. The Art Box Project by its nature will reach new audiences in the public domain through the experience of each artwork while contributing and engaging in an ongoing critical dialogue surrounding the issues of public art, both temporary and permanent.
SEE would be promoted through the Art Box Project Trust print promotions, website mailing list as well as the opportunities afforded by the media and City Council.
image to enlarge
series of nine images
all that remains of ICE are the documents.
ICE references the constant invisible presence of the vapour state of water since my arrival in Wellington; it moistens the condition of all things. The original cubic metre ton of ice was constructed from the collected waters of my dehumidifier, then frozen as an iconic symbol of her origins. The transitory nature of the ice signifies the disappearance of the meaning of place and draws attention to the mutation of memory through its transformation.
another set of documents were created in the new work titled 2:1 to reflect upon notions of reinterpretation and conceptual representation. an enlarged colour image of a detail, slightly larger than the original cube, is placed next to a volumetric cube, a stack of 1000 4" x 4" images, to be taken away. the work essentially disappears, again restating the ephemerality of memory.