Plenum, 2010
site specific installation
strings, paper pullstring tips, plastic buckets, water, ceiling tile, sprinkler, motors

My installation for Art Prize 2010 in Grand Rapids was at West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT). It consisted of two separate, but related parts–thirty pullstrings extending down through removed drop ceiling tiles and a dripping sprinkler. The space above a drop ceiling is called the plenum space. It is where all of the energy for the building is routed. Due to my interest in potential energy, overlooked objects and spaces, and site specificity, dealing with the top third of the space I was given was a natural progression.

Through the gesture of the pullstrings which extended from within the plenum space and the tromp l’oeil industrial sprinkler which bridged the two spaces, the piece alludes to things happening overhead–activating the plenum space. “Plenum” also addresses history as the removal of the ceiling tiles revealed the original plaster ceiling with layers of pealing paint and an old drop ceiling grid above the currently used one. I was also interested in the way the removal of the ceiling tiles broke the convenient drop ceiling grid.

Repetition is a common theme in my work. Repetitive motion as a vehicle toward a meditative way of viewing something. Even though the same thing is happening over and over, ideas can compound with each repetition. The last time I had a drip in my work it was immediately evaporated away by heat below a metal bucket (No Vacancy). This time, I decided to allow the drips to accumulate in a series of plastic buckets. Accumulation is a connection to history, pushing the idea of time further into the work. Time is in the history of the building revealed by the removal of some ceiling tiles, time is in the accumulation of water in the cluster of buckets and time is referenced by the rhythmic ticking of the drips into the bucket.

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