Vancouver Art Gallery
1. Designing a spatial strategy for curatorial processes
2. Stimulate an interpretative visitor interaction
3. Protoype various assemblies that would allow for a multiplicity of implementations and unexpected perceptions that would enable an exploration of ideas on Mass Customization.
The NEXT: LWPAC project comments on the traditional notion of authorship that typically generates fixed and closed propositions. LWPAC’s goal is to propose a system that resembles the nature of new media art, which includes continuous invention along with the unpredictable outcome associated with interactivity. In order to work with the concepts that abstraction and new media allow, the project deliberately deploys the idea of incompleteness by focusing on the essentials with little or no attempt at a pictorial representation or narrative. Rather than providing a fixed solution, the incompleteness becomes a strategy that leaves the reality partially up to the interaction of curator and artist in their search for spatial potentials. Ultimately, each visitor will interact with the space on his or her own terms.
In reaction to the neutral and static space of the ‘white cube’ approach to viewing artwork, the NEXT: LWPAC gallery allows for an interior landscape that shifts and adapts to the cultural practices of viewing artwork. The visitor is meant to interact with the artwork, mitigating disengaged or passive experiences.
Various scenarios for the ‘landscape’ models enable visitors to gain unique perspectives and interact with the artwork from different vantage points, which vary in elevation and inclination. The variety of configurations in the space has the potential to create fields of adaptation and unfolding for the viewer. The intent is to blur the spatial hierarchies between artwork, viewer, floor, ceiling, and wall.
This effect of spatial multiplicity was accommodated using ‘scenario planning’ conducted in parallel with rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping, CNC milling and vacuum forming were used extensively to research and explore material properties and construction or fabrication methods that facilitate current and future implementations of ideas incorporating complex spatial layering.
The fabrication and prototyping process was conducted as a laboratory for CNC milling, vacuum forming, and research in emergent and traditional materials as these are used in new robotically-assisted processes. The gallery system was developed as a distributable assemblage that contains both extremely simple lattice members, as well as highly specific insertions. Modern plastics and metals, unexploited potential materials in architectural applications, were employed. Lang notes that both metal and plastic begin as a liquid. At this beginning stage, a material intelligence can be infused into the process and allow for a vastly expanded range of material properties, either as an integral material, or as a composite. Part of the floor was constructed as corrugated and translucent PET-G. A combination of extremely precise and simple techniques was used to fabricate components directly from 3D digital CAD files.