Radical Materiality

“Radical materiality” is a term I invented in an attempt to explain why, as an architect, I’m interested to make art installations:
Working also as an artist, fabricating on-site installations in public, private and art spaces, is a means to understanding just what it means to “invent space.” Or, installation as a medium, is used as a platform of experimentation of specific Ideas concerning material and space. The result of this experimentation is either applied to a project in development or exploited as a means to clarify and continue the incipient Idea. Their form tends away from the global definition of a project, and tends towards the development of spatial fragments, constructing a context for material radicalization. While it is possible to view the result of these installations from an aesthetic perspective, it is not a necessary condition for their success. Rather, the ability of these spaces to engender, through the creation of an immersive space, the emergence of atmosphere from this installation, that surpasses its material and physical limitations; space projects.
The relationship between an architectural idea and its realization, while working as an architect, is an indirect one. An architect does not construct the spaces he or she invents, but only represents them. Representation for an architect is a double edged sword, serving simultaneously to both develop the project, and to communicate it. Of the two representations, one serves to represent the material manifestation of a space, its qualities; the other represents it as a measurable, geometrically determined, finished product.
Creating installations, on the other hand, the two representations, conceptual and real, are very closely related; in fact, they are reversible. The tool-set necessary to represent an installation is the same one required for its realization. Those tools, the software and the hardware, must be developed for and around its specific conceptual, logical exigences, as well as its material form.


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