someparts x useful props

One of six installations for the digital exhibition by winners of the 2022 League Prize.

This project is nothing new. All parts, both physical and virtual, are from around, from nearby, things we already had. Some came from prior projects; some came from a construction site close by; others came from Recycle Here!, Detroit (ty!). All these loose parts have been assembled here to create a mixed-reality, temporary, mobile, and multi-programmable kit.

Combining material and visual techniques from production and set design, such as the use of a disassemblable steel rig; relying on compositional intensities; using the trusted chroma key out for digital overlays; and using objects for both their utility and prop-like qualities, this project proposes a mixed-reality architectural kit.

In addition to proposing a scrappy and resource-immediate approach to the architectural project, someparts x useful props does a number of things:

  • Insists on the extreme versatility of a modular, industrial shelving system to create easy and nimble architecture.
  • Looks at objects through both their utilitarian and scenographic dispositions. Something chunky to sit on, something soft to lay on, some sticks to hold things up, some panels for privacy, something tubey for liquids, something buckety to carry things…Each of these useful props performs a fundamental, practical task in the physical scene while also having a particular disposition towards the making of the virtual scene.
  • Decouples visual from physical complexity, as the base objects remain generic, unaltered and reusable: Visual specificities and complexities are added only digitally.

The kit packs up into a single structure and moves around to sites nearby, facilitating multiple programs while transforming itself along the way. So far it has been used as a place to watch stuff with friends outside, to eat pizza at a construction site, and to take a breezy nap. Soon, as part of a longer-term collaboration, it will be used as a plant and seed neighborhood kiosk.

So many thanks to: Ana Tang, Noelle Ridley, Nate at R.H., Brother Nature Corktown, Clare Gatto, and Terra.