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Vaporized

Vaporized

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Published by Michael Senkow

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Published by: Michael Senkow on Aug 03, 2011
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08/03/2011

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RADIATE : VAPORIZED Glow Workshop with Catie Newell University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Winter 2011

[CONTENTS] / In Situ- Exhibition / Ex Situ- Synthetic Landscapes / Ex Situ- Domestic Objects / Process, Production, + Fabrication / Components / Altered / Encompassing

/ In Situ- Exhibition

[ABSTRACT] Sited under the perimeter of Scrxipt Gallery’s soffit is a series of suspended glowing organisms. It is a fog-machine- producing vapors that interact with the viewer and the atmosphere around it. Its lightness and translucency suggest creatures that exist only in the deepest of oceans, where their unique attribute is the glow they radiate. This installation is not singularly focused on ‘glow’ as this exhibition is premised upon, but rather attempts to foreground interior atmosphere, through the explicit curatorial and by its residual effects through interaction. The curated atmosphere is susceptible to nuances created by subtle changes of indoor environment- from the slight movement of viewers encircling these artificial organisms to the affectation of temperature gradients upon the cool production of vapor, formed by the dripping of water. On the gallery floor lay a series of tin containers for collecting water, as a device to amplify the continuous droplets of water and as a receptacle to register time. In darkness, these artificial organisms appear as anomalies floating in space. Streams of delicate beads of water allow for it to be animate. Vapor wraps around the form, seeps through its seams, and drops out from its orifice, as if tethered to the momentum of the water’s fall. However, as it lives, it does not sustain itself. It persists by the bygone pharmaceutical lab assistants who tend to the nostalgic forgetting of its historical building as a pharmacy, sited within the memory of Flint. As this narrative-in-situ dredges up history in this temporal moment, it is felt, smelled, heard, seen, and remembered.

‘Ex Situ’ suggests other ways of engaging through experimentation. A landscape of light is created through digital manipulation, as the movement of light is ‘drawn’ through the lens of the camera. It sidesteps original intentions, but seeks to be more than itself. Fog machine, synthetic landscapes, spatial anomalies, drawing creatures......

/ Ex Situ- Synthetic Landscapes

/ Ex Situ- Domestic Objects

/ Process, Production, + Fabrication

Production of Vaporized was achieved through 80+ hours of prototyping, testing, and final prefabrication, followed by 2 hours of on-site installation. By maintaining modular simplicity, only two MDF molds were required for vacuum forming. The final product were 5 identical ‘pods’- each one requiring countless hours of finishing and assembly, all detailed with technical austerity.

MDF lamination

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass CNC- 1/4” finish pass

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass CNC- 1/4” finish pass Vacuum forming

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass CNC- 1/4” finish pass Vacuum forming PETG cutting + finishing

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass CNC- 1/4” finish pass Vacuum forming PETG cutting + finishing Flange fabrication- laser cut acrylic Flange wiring

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass CNC- 1/4” finish pass Vacuum forming PETG cutting + finishing Flange fabrication- laser cut acrylic Flange wiring Assembly of modules Testing

MDF lamination CNC- 1/2” rough pass CNC- 1/4” finish pass Vacuum forming PETG cutting + finishing Flange fabrication- laser cut acrylic Flange wiring Assembly of modules Testing Water shelf assembly Tubing cut to length Testing of water pump and connections On-site installation

Vacuum-form clear PETG dry ice container 1 per pod Hex nut #10-32 stainless steel - 4 per hole x 6 holes per seam x 3 seams 72 nuts per pod #10-32 1-1/4” stainless steel machine screw - 6 per seam x 3 seams 18 screws per pod Laser cut & frosted 1/16” clear acrylic - 3 regular flanges + 3 modified w/switch position 6 flanges per pod Vacuum-form clear PETG modular shell 3 shells per pod

wires electrical tape 15 LEDs 6 AA batteries 3 battery housings 6 plastic ties

+

/ Components

MDF mold- container

MDF mold- shell

PETG thermoplastic

white LED

#10-24 Screws

#10-24 Nuts

AA batteries

electrical tape

battery housing

solder

cable ties

electrical wire

toggle switch

2” drywall screws

3” drywall screws

eye screw

acrylic

lab coat

dry ice

1/2”:1/4” tube adapter

‘T’ connection

425 GPH water pump

1/4 tubing

1/2” tubing

home depot bucket

wood shelf

latex tubing

tin container

fishing string

ladder

_light _air _vapor _water _sound _movement

/ Altered

/ Encompassing

[SITUATING] Light as material, is made ethereal by subtle nuances in atmosphere. For Vaporized, air, water, and sound are what transcend and transform glow through its natural properties- the weight of vapor carries the refraction of glow within the surfaces of water particles. As it drops, it adheres and wraps around surfaces, pulling light into darkness. With the fading of light comes the fading of the visual sense, but increasingly, the hearing sense is amplified and takes over. The dripping of water into an empty tin container suggests the boundaries of space, which is registered by sound. Furthermore, the darkness is also a register of time, as the reverberation of tin changes as the container is slowly filled up. Thus, this project emphasizes the symbiosis of light and dark, mediated by curating the movement of water and the creation of vapor. [POSITIONING] Vaporized became a discursive project through iterations of making as a consequence of a workshop agenda. It began with the notion of light, fused with a curiosity of its possibilities. This project may segue into a couple different positions within the architectural field- by process of discovery through making, and a critical understanding of environment and its effects/affects. The result of the process led to a design question where the sheer technical aspect of how to make it work premised initial concepts and ideas. In turn, this technical constraint led us into an installation that was performed in addition to being exhibited, which elicited a historical narrative of its place. Further material and design decisions were adjusted to suggest that narrative. To reiterate, the value is due to its discursiveness that allowed much more insight beyond preconceived ideas and notions of glow. Whether it stuck to original ideas or not, this project provided a platform for generative thinking that took on a trajectory that encompassed many aspects of architectural conceptualizing and production: phenomenological understanding, digital fabrication, narrative writing, and documenting.

Special thanks to Catie Newell + Scrxipt Gallery 625 S. Saginaw Street Flint, MI 48502 Gallery Display April 8th, 2011

Michael Senkow Beatrice Lau

William Liow

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