Fade from White: Preserving eroding “natural” structures

There are almost no white foods produced in nature. Many nutritionalists and doctors now recommend not eating white foods. Whiteness often indicates the refining of a food, stripping it of its inherent benefits to the human body. Many of these food products, such as refined sugar, white flour, and white rice, actually contribute to the growth of cancerous cells. My current research investigates changing structures in tension between human interactions with “nature”.snow_2.jpg

I am employing 3D scanning to preserve unstable forms before completing their disintegrative process. To scan three-dimensional objects, the lasers bounce off reflective surfaces. White is the optimally suited for this. I am selecting three “naturally” white structures for this purpose. Along wide sidewalks, mounds of snow form from snow blowing, or shoveling paths. As the sun and warm weather melt these berms, a curious mountain range results. Salt licks are composed of sodium, calcium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron. These forms erode from weather and use by cows and other animals. The berms and blocks will become modified through computerized scanning and rendering processes I am using to synthesize meaning. ice_b_3.jpgThe last forms to be duplicated are my teeth. I grind my teeth and have been prone to cavities all my life.

The computer scanning process is utilized as other methods of mold making are not possible for the fragile ice forms. The further degradation of the captured 3D image through its digitization reflects our destructive interaction or interference with the natural world. The resulting scans are to be CNC outputted into a machineable corn-based foam. The pattern is then used to sand cast iron. The iron casting is to be seasoned, and blackened, with corn oil, like a cast iron frying pan.

This complex transition from (relatively) quickly dissolving white structures to an incredibly slowly deteriorating industrial material, such as iron is a process of science and alchemy. These “naturally” beautiful forms are rarely stopped at, much less perceived as art. The final objects are to be installed in a white space as reference markers of urban and rural landscapes. They are objects charged with the duality of their existence: impermanent/permanent, fragile/solid, destructive/constructive, organic/digital, white/ black. This binary relationship will be furthered in relation to each other on the floor as they are arranged in a dot and dash format, demarcating a mapped walking path and communicating a distorted rhythmic cadence of our relationship to “nature”.
The dualistic and elemental nature of this piece alludes to a medicinal value. Salt, water, and iron are primary elements of human composition (add carbon and calcium as part of the iron casting process). The materials and their processes of creation support a greater ideal that art can serve as an agent for holistic conception and construction, allowing phenomena to be considered in new terms of hybridity. The objects are both “naturally” and “unnaturally” produced, as are we. The object is dislocated through its complex process of creation, allowing empathic opportunity by both artist and viewer to relate to its and our dissonance with nature.

Faculty Lecture Poster