We lodged an immersive architectural environment into the boiler room of the 80,000sf abandoned Federal Screw Works plant. The installation, a response to the derelict context, provided a moment of surprise and punctuation to a choreographed event. A mysterious magenta void was carved from the perceived solid of the factory’s central space, generating a site of geometric complexity, chromatic contrast, and optical distortion. A series of precise cuts in the truncated spatial pyramids produced an effect of perspectival inversion, inviting the visitor to question the depth, dimension, and scale of this aberrant environment.
Inside the unsolicited pavilion, titled General Manifold, visitors encountered a 6-channel soundscape consisting of spatially localized and syncopated industrial sounds layered over readings of seminal ruin texts from the 18th and 19th centuries (John Ruskin, Viollet le Duc, Bernadin de St Pierre, Denis Diderot). The soundscape was produced in collaboration with Playboy cover model and radio host Brandie Moses. Viewing the installation from an exterior perspective, the space appeared turned inside-out - a poor man's homage to Anish Kapoor’s Leviathan.
Chelsea, Michigan, 2012
Design Leads: Anya Sirota, Jean Louis Farges
Collaboration: Steven Christensen
Soundscape: Brandie Moses
Design Team: Bruce Findling, Chris Reznich, Brittany Gacsy
Production Team: Nate Doud, James Chesnut, Joe Gacsy, Kelsey Jensen, Virginia Black, Jeeeun Ham, Kyung Jin Hong, Sydney Brown
This project was made possible through a grant from the University of Michigan. Special thanks to the generosity and indulgence of John Langs.