University of Illinois at Chicago
critic: Grant GIBSON
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Ryan HERNANDEZ: How societies build for death varies and offers deep and solemn investigations into narrative, identity and form. We will earnestly deal with these topics with light and whimsical hearts.
Each figure in the continuous field is 20 ft. tall with a volume of 115 cu.ft. and constructed of poured in place concrete requiring 50 gal. of water, 300 lbs of cement, 800 lbs of fine aggregate (Human ash and sand). One human corpse produces 5 lbs of ash and one figure requires 60 humans. An average of 150,000 deaths in New Orleans (site: New Orleans, Old Algiers) can create 208 figures a month.
The geometry and graphics work together to create depth. The hatching, deployed across corners, creates an illusion and obscures perception of the figures. These triangulated forms created are then nested into one another to create a field, which serves as a canopy for the interactive space underneath. Beneath this canopy, among the thin legs, users are able to view the soft interior and its contrast to the hard exterior.
The site, Old Algiers, was home to wealthy plantation and slave owners. Old Algiers was the place some slaves either visited before heading into the heart of the city or remained for life. Slaves were buried in the corners of plantations with no defining headstones. Unlike the treatment of the slaves, my project serves to call out the dead and force the city to interact with it.
sP: What or who influenced this project?:
RH: Lyonel Feininger, Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, New Orleans, Bruce Riley
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
RH: Watching Wes Anderson films, Dexter, Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, Scorsese’s Goodfellas, Ethan and Joel Coen’s No Country for Old Men; reading Grant Gibson’s Layered Thickness,” Greg Lynn and Jesse Reiser’s “Computer Animisms,” and Stan Allen’s “From the Biological to the Geological.”
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
RH: CAMES/Gibson, Paul Preissner (distant buffalo), Chris Dent, Mast, FAT Architecture.