Community Structure, Study # 8

“Community Structure, Study #8” belongs to a series of forms that look at possibilities within social or community structures. Rigid wooden channels, the infrastructure of this community, hold fiberglass lace in place, perpendicular to the wall. This perpendicular architecture causes the overall form to be the most open when confronted head on as columns of negative space, carved out by the fiberglass, compress or completely disappear when the audience changes their viewing perspective. This study looks at individuals within groups, groups next to groups, communities, community structures, effects of constructs on communities, and the shadows they cast.

The fiberglass language consists of 23 traditional crochet edging patterns. A reserved, relatively even tempered community. In form and color, the character of each member is “the same but different” in varied small degrees. A member can be interpreted as one panel, as a single wave on a given panel, or as individual, tiny, crocheted knot. In form, all patterns relate. They are all some sort of wave or scallop. In the group of 23, only 5 species of pattern exist (traditional crochet patterns called Shoreline, New Dimension, Half Token, Scissors, and Wide Variety), on the other hand, slight differences in each of the same pattern are crocheted in. It is a monochromatic, soft valued community. All color came from the same bottle. Only blue and only one flavor of blue, added to each panel in varied amounts thereby quietly asserting individuality.

Shadows and color projections cast on the wall by light passing through the translucent fiberglass panels are as important as the panels in articulating this community’s story. Multiple distances of fiber from the wall create multiple values and focuses of shadow. Is the drawing on the wall, the shadows, a new community or sub-culture or is it simply residue of the rigid. Is fiberglass the reality? Is its shadow the reality? Is shadow a less substantial copy of a reality? A shadow is the result of an act. Is it an act? Is shadow analogous to human behavior? If so, and identity is behavior, is the shadow more real than the fiberglass? Tapping into the language of popular culture, is it real or is it Memorex…which is real and which is Memorex…the fiberglass, the projection caused by light passing through the fiberglass, is it the shadow…and what about the active space between them?

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© Yvette Kaiser Smith 2004