jeudi 8 juillet 2010

# Excursions on Shawn Sims & Erik Martinez (Part 2)

A bit more than six months ago, I published Shawn Sims & Erik Martinez's Thesis Research for Michael Chen and Jason Lee's undergrad thesis studio [CRISIS FRONTS] at Pratt Institute. This article is about the project that came out of this research.
Excursions on Volume is a study about freight and its participation to counterfeit market. Shawn and Erik thus created their own "counterfeit" freight production by designing a harbor that creates its own terrain thanks to the containers' weight. In fact, the containers are sitting on a mechanism that dredges the ooze in the bottom of the Hudson River and thus transforms a deep muddy material into a physical more or less solid reclaiming land. The heaviest the container is, the most effective the process of solidification which produces an interesting contradiction with capitalism's eternal wish of profitability. In fact, the most effective container is the one that did not succeed to make itself cheap (i.e. light). One can even think of some "counterfeit" containers filled with concrete, extremely expensive to freight but tremendously effective in the production of land...

Here is a small text related to the project:

Historically the process of standardization has spawned from the need for new structures of efficiency. The performance requirements of this process create unbiased arteries that are susceptible to forms of exploitation. This entails that at a global logistical scale, the network is blind with regard to the status of the goods; being licit or illicit. As globalization generates new organizational models for distribution, the intelligence of the counterfeit network is understood to be its ability to uncover and anticipate opportunities embedded within these structures of efficiency.
The modern shipping container is analogous with these standardized practices, both physical and protocological, and in an effort to increase globalization, this mechanism generates an opportunity for the insertion of a hack. Perhaps with an excursion into understanding the ability for weight and volume to be an operable energy, the container field of a port becomes an untapped resource able to generate new land.
Currently the dredged materials form the Hudson River are carried out into the ocean and dumped because of their toxic attributes. However the toxicity levels are dropping and for the first time since an industrialized New York, the sediment collected from dredging operations has the potential to remain in the city and be utilized in this land forming process.
The use of weight as a latent energy, and of dregde as a material are combined to reconsider the arrival of infrastructure to a once industrialized Hudson river. The fluctuating weight of container traffic is utilized to rigidify dregde to create a pixelated landscape which emerges from the existing water level. The commercial materials utilized within this infrastructure provide an emerging architecture with the products necessary to begin a series of retail and market spaces. A porous pixelated landscape rigidified by a membrane is stretched vertically to enclose space and change continuously as the market fluctuates in size.

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