ACCA Popup Program 2013

Conceptually, when cracks appear in cement they are revealing the fragility of a seemingly solid, impermeable material. They suggest at an undercurrent. Because it is a familiar substance, cracks in cement tell a story: they reveal the relentless activity of weather, feet, and tectonic plate activity. In this way, the story­cracks act metaphorically as a way to explain the ideas surrounding vitality theory, as they reveal the activity of human as well as non­human ‘actants’ (in Jane Bennett’s words) in their form.

Concrete is the material of our age: a cheap, ready­-to­-pour imitation of rock. It surrounds us. The omnipresence of concrete manifests a (false) sense of security: it is perceived as a solid, impenetrable material that will support our bodies weight on it and our movements through it without issue. This work aims to study concrete as a potentially responsive, malleable material, and its implications as a material so commonly found in urban areas.

Visitors have an experience that ruptures ontological and bodily knowledge of cement as a reliably solid material.

Concrete is employed as a way of claiming space: it oozes over anything that was there previously, coating it, homogenizing the surface area. Materially, concrete is the subject of intense inquiry in modern science and architecture, and yet, it is sloppy (literally) in application, and is ruthlessly stubborn once set. It has a narrative that can be read within it, and is used in our language to imply permanence and solidity.