suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
cmmnwlth (zoe COOMBES & david BOIRA): The Seltanica is a production light we originally developed for Wright Auction and Volume Gallery of Chicago. It appeared in their fall contemporary exhibit, ‘Truth in Form, Reason For Being’. It is a suspension lamp, cast in white Gypsum. Modeled via software generally used for the replication of animal skins and other such intricate surfaces, the piece is ultimately cast into a material that has over 5,000 years of use- White Gypsum. This attempt to relate the contemporary to the historical is common to most of our work.
Another way of thinking of this lamp is as a fusion of industrial simplicity with something more messy. While the minimal elegance of the lamp’s cool exterior thrives on simplicity, the interior’s rusticated walls- fleecy and shaggy enough to loose all sense of hard edge, read as a plump space filled with both shadow and light. While the lamp maintains industrial characteristics that allow it to be replicated with precision, ad infinitum, the interior surfaces are not what we most often associate with the machinic- that is, simplified, idealized, modules. Rather, the thickened interior is filled with variegated, erotically charged fats and folds deforming the light and shadow of a warm incandescent bulb.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
cmmnwlth: Formafantasma, Johnathan Mueke, Wax Magazine (for Urban Surfers, of course.)
sP: What or who influenced this project?
cmmnwlth: Gypsum, Beet Juice, Graphite. Dieter Rams, Ladies from the former Yugoslav state. The usual.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
cmmnwlth: Washed Out. Com Truise, Lucky Peach Magazine, Apartamento, Wilder Quarterly, Mondoblogo.
Additional credits: Photos by Jean-Charles Tomas & Paul Barbera.