Savannah College of Art and Design
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Jon GREGURICK: The OMG Cube (or Ontological Morphosis Generator) began with a simple question: How do we reconcile our existence within a digital information society with our mental conception of physical space?
To begin to answer this question, I looked to the familiar, primary shape of the cube and how that form might impact the land it inhabits—and, in turn, how that land may reciprocally impact the cube, thereby creating a progressive relationship between the known and the unknown. Herein one reveals the interaction between a normal object, the land, then back to an increasingly unfamiliar object that, if allowed to continue indefinitely, could be viewed as a positive feedback loop.
Fluid dynamics was explored in establishing the interaction between pliable entities, specifically that of viscous mud. Physical experiments were conducted, wherein a solid object was repeatedly thrown at a viscous surface—Savannah mud—that informed the metrics of the Platonic cube upon the proposed site, acting as an initial catalyst in the relationship. The fluid dynamics–based metrics were interpreted to create a landscape that both folds in upon itself and pulls away from itself at points of opposing stresses. These “folds” are utilized as a series of functional outdoor spaces, including an amphitheater, intimate performance areas, circulation, and parking.
The impact on and deformation of the land is reverberated then projected back onto the cube through a cracking, erosion, and breaking of its initial shape. A continued reverberation, back-and-forth between cube and land then land and cube, creates sequences of finer and finer articulation within the form that inhabit the eroded, cracked, and broken areas of the shape. These disturbances in the cube are used to articulate entry, apertures, and indoor-outdoor space. The cube itself houses some of less esoteric components: classrooms, offices, cafe, and studios.
On the surface this “feedback loop” appears as an obviously hierarchical relationship—the “monolithic” cube on the relatively flat land—yet it is embedded within a greater non-hierarchical relationship, where the land is equally important as the form and in which their roles are ambiguous and could be reversed without change on either specific entity. It is both the reciprocity, tension, and ambiguity between these two equal actors that reconciles the relationship between sensory input, information, and psyche within the unique sphere our minds currently inhabit.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
JG: The Situationist International; Gilles Retsin; Odile Decq; Mark Foster Gage; Maya Lin; and Jean Jaminet.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
JG: Reading: Manuel Castells, The Rise of the Network Society; Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation; William Gibson, Neuromancer; Christopher Langan, The Cognitive-Theoretical Model of the Universe; and Max Tegmark, Consciousness as a State of Matter. Listening to: Jeff the Brotherhood; The Kills; The National; Lady Lamb the Beekeeper; St. Vincent; and Battles. Watching: Fringe, Farscape, and The X-Files.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
JG: Iris Van Herpen, Bart Hess, and Karl Chu.