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Study for Uniform Dispersion

2011

Metalized slide masking tape adhered to wall.

Dimensions vary


Uniform Dispersion is a wall-based installation made from strips of metalized slide masking tape arranged in the shape of an enormous, reflective circle. The circle engages the rectilinear elements of the space in which it is installed, creating an elegant, quintessentially modern, composition of a rectangle enclosing a circle that circumscribes a forest of evenly distributed line segments. But here, the language of modernism has been updated with an aesthetic predicated on ordinary, albeit obsolete, materials: slide masking tape.

The syntax of scientific diagrams informs the project. For example, the circle can be seen as an illustration tracing the movement of organisms in a petri dish or a record of the moment of impact between subatomic particles in an accelerator. Because the tape is highly reflective and cut into many small strips placed at random orientations, the circle has a faceted appearance that changes from every viewing angle. The labile properties of the metalized tape ensure that the installation’s appearance is never fixed and reinforce the argument that context is critical to the interpretation of both art and scientific data.

Like my previous projects, Uniform Dispersion incorporates aspects of drawing, sculpture and painting: each “line” of tape has a discrete, three dimensional presence, however thin; in addition, the installation borrows elements from geometric and monochromatic painting. In the process, the project highlights the points of contact between modernism’s formal language—its circles, lines and grids—and the way that information in the sciences is packaged and presented.