by Megan Geckler
The bulk of my work lies within the area located between art and design. Each space in which I work informs the optical order and systematic reasoning that is the foundation for my process. An entryway offers multiple pathways and destinations – each with their own readymade focal point, a soffit becomes the departure point of the piece and the work speaks of the architectural facet and quirks of the space. A shipping container’s depth and repetition of indentations becomes the inspiration for a giant swirling aperture into an endless tunnel. Upon completion, these architectural site-specific installations share the cool slick look of advertisements, backdrops for fashionable clothing, and high design products. Made of translucent plastic, they simulate and reference our idea of “the future” and camouflage the handmade quality of the work.
The site-specific architectural installations are assembled from thousands of strands of flagging tape, a colorful plastic ribbon utilized by surveyors to demarcate space on construction sites. This anonymous material is located on the periphery of our everyday life, manufactured in a wide array of colors and coded for multiple practical uses. When distanced from their intended applications, this material lends a manufactured quality to the pieces. The translucency of the material has encouraged me to experiment with light in later works, designing and fabricating diffusers, or sometimes building around the florescent tubes themselves, which share the industrial territory of the flagging tape. The tape becomes the surface and a point of departure for color studies, achieved by layering the material over itself, much like a painter would use a glaze, exponentially increasing the limited palette that is available.
There is an inherent immediacy in the materials that I use, and the manner in which they are crafted is obvious and deliberate. Generally, a gesture is repeated over and over until the area is completed. Large-scale installations are defined entirely by their surface, hollow on the inside, challenging the notion that sculptures have both weight and volume. Essentially drawings in space, they bisect and alter our perception of the architecture and become seemingly kinetic as the viewer’s orientation changes. This phenomenon occurs as a result of the combination of our sensory system with the physics of light. Often disorientation is experienced when the stripe patterns intersect and appear to slide in opposite directions. This fascinates and delights viewers, as they frequently encourage each other to view the work from a certain direction to experience this phenomenon. The end result resembles an updated three-dimensional version of string art that shares the seemingly kinetic territory of the Op Art and Light+Space movements. These site-specific projects are also strongly influenced by minimalism, but retain a sense of play and delight.