WILDCARDS EXHIBITION

San Francisco, CA

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The Wild Cards exhibition was held at the California College of the Arts to accompany the 2012 ACADIA conference.

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The exhibit explored a recent shift in digitally-driven architectures that are more interested using technology to lose control than to exert it. While the range of work was diverse (including parametrics, robotics, interactivity, and digital fabrication), there was a shared interest in intricacy, fineness and micro-articulation, which presented an interesting problem. Given this context a conventional white-box gallery would produce an irresolution of scale, where seeing all of the work simultaneously would lead to an inevitable over-expose; a wash out of content.

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From Over-exposure to Obstruction

In order to prevent a wash-out of the show’s many distinct themes, the exhibit proposed an alternative to the conventions of a neutral gallery. Conceived as an obstruction, the design consists of multiple connected, but distinct mini-galleries. Each is situated in a shallow alcove that isolates thematic content and prevents viewing multiple themes simultaneously.

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Soft and Indeterminite

Liberated from the wall and its rigid surface, the exhibition is printed on supple fabric that parts like a curtain where thematic zones ‘kiss’. The result is geometric legibility paired with museological weakness: a porous surface that permits undirected meandering across curatorial themes. Three ‘isolation rooms’ are embedded in the exhibit, each containing a single object surrounded by blank white fabric.

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With only a brief window to install the show, we relied on dirty tricks: velcro and gravity. Fabric panels are suspended from 32 unique milled plywood arcs. These are supported by a tripod armature keyed into precast concrete bases. 250 feet of exhibition assembled and installed in under two hours.

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Pre-cast concrete foot and milled tripod structure

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The exhibition was curated, designed, and fabricated in collaboration with Nataly Gattegno