Dutch architect and designer Ronald van der Meijs was selected, as one of 20, to participate in the recent Sculpture Space Residency, which takes place over two months in Utica, New York.
The north eastern city is one of many rust-belt cities that suffered severe economic decline from the mid-20th century onwards. As industry disappeared, so did the town’s population, leaving countless warehouses and residences to rot over time.
Van der Meijs’ concept, titled Squaring the Sphere, is based on the never-ending growth and decay sequence of consumerism. The installation is composed of specially connected plastic bags that inflate and deflate every nine minutes: all the while making a crackling sound associated with their physicality.
Slowly, the identity of the piece transforms from a form almost bursting from its seams, to a shrunken, dead, hunk of material. The shape, when fully erect, resembles an old-fashioned glass TV screen; an intentional move that inextricably links television to notions of consumerism and modern advertising.
The plastic shopping bags used were sealed and connected by hand in order to create the final form. Integrated into each is a PVC connector, which connects to a flexible 5mm air hose. All PVC components were designed and produced by Van der Meijs himself.
This project is supported by the Mondriaan Fund and SculptureSpace.