Savannah College of Art and Design
critic: Catalina STROTHER.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Zach BEALE: The project began as the creation of a mediatheque, next to Savannah’s own Jen Library.
Instead of cluttering a space with numerous books and tapes on file, the Mediatheque has been re-interpreted as a Digital Library, within which Books, Video, Audio, an other forms of media are culled from the internet by a massive, on-site database and presented to visitors through interactive “Interfaces” located within the mediatheque.
Aggregating an average form from the block structure of the city and its constituent buildings, a cube is generated and placed on the site. To estrange this cube from the city, the shape is rotated about its centroid on three axis. This speculation on the nature of Savannah’s architectural and urban forms creates a sense of allure against Broughton Street’s repetitive context of platonic forms.
The shape’s articulation implies an innate set of intrinsic characteristics that are discrete, and unique to the designed object. These characteristics are, by qualification, unknowable to the viewer of the object; they can be known to exist based upon their evident implications on the form, yet they cannot be quantified by any specific technique. As such, these characteristics exist beneath, and are in tension with the platonic cube. Through a timeline present on the shape, they manipulate the cube into its hyper-articulated form. The hidden, underground nature of these characteristics is Infernal in nature; they are unknowable, but unavoidable in their effect.
The articulation begins as an exhaustion of the initial cube, within which large swaths of geometry are manipulated with a series of figural impressions. This exhaustion serves to change the posture of the shape, adding complexity to a point at which all potential of the geometry is removed. The Infernal bridges the stage between the exhausted and the ungrounded, as the unknown effects of the Infernal articulate the geometry.
The process of fully ungrounding the cube is through the hyper-articulation of its surface, an eating-away of the platonic form from within or without by the Infernal. The mesh is distorted and decayed to the point of complete geometric annihilation. By representing both the platonic and the Infernal on a single form, a gradient of time-frames is established, within which evidence can be seen of the activity of the Infernal on the objects, to greater or lesser degrees, on the platonic primitives. The low-fi articulation of the hull and ground and subsequent high-fi articulation defamiliarizes the platonic forms in such a way as to remove evidence of them in favor of complete annihilation from the Infernal.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
ZB: Gilles Retsin’s Karosta Cube, Gabriel Esquivel’s T4T LAB Spring 2014, and Jean Jaminet.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
ZB: Reading: Ben Woodard, On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy; Gilles Deleuze, “The Exhausted.” Watching: Michael Young, “The Estranged Object”; Star Trek.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
ZB: Gilles Retsin, Gabriel Esquivel, Mark Foster Gage, and Timothy Morton