Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
critic: Brian de LUNA
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Shen LI: Whereas nearby Palm Springs is an artifice of pleasure, lifestyle, and nostalgia, the Salton Sea is a terrain vague of desire, a Ballardian machine for dying. Like a mechanized bird of paradise, the Salton Sea crematorium is an ulterior motive in an dionysian world in crisis, a singular instance of repose whirring above a weaponized landscape.
The building poche is configured as a sequence of three interior envelopes: cockpit (crematorium services), fuselage (reception), and carapace (semi-exterior space). Entry is via escalators extending from a central runway, which spills into two concourses leading to the seaside. The carapace is perforated with rings like the speaker of a Dieter Ramsian object; the centers of these rings can be configured as OLEDS for lighting or propaganda.
Rather than industrial designed pureness, the project seeks a problematized seductivity of subtle exoticisms and stealth anthropomorphisms, eccentricities that champion a kind of cinematic otherness.
sP: What or who influenced this project?.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
SL: JG Ballard stories, Where the Wild Things Are, subversive cults and obscure subcultures.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
SL: Matthew Barney, Edward Gorey.
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