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An intricately evolving sculpture and projection installation that discusses loss and sea-change for the Vancouver Biennale. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on June 30, 2014.

An intricately evolving sculpture and projection installation that discusses loss and sea-change for the Vancouver Biennale.

About this project

SALISH SEA LAB

'Salish Sea Lab' is a collaboration by us; Miguel Horn and Chris Landau, and with the community of Squamish, British Columbia. As part of the Vancouver Biennale sculpture residency, we hope to create a unique installation that incorporates a monumental sculptural boat and regional topography with dynamic animations based on environmental and iconic systems. The process of building our installation will be part of the show, as we engage in a conversation with the local people of Squamish and visitors to the Biennale. We will use the funds for the construction of the installation to offset costs of donated services and materials.

Find the SALISH SEA LAB on Facebook to follow what we're doing.

Boat Concept Image
Boat Concept Image

MIGUEL HORN

Miguel is a sculptor, who graduated from PAFA with classical training and an intense engagement with contemporary art. His monumental sculptures have been shown in Mexico City, Matamoros, Campeche, Vancouver, Brownsville Museum of Fine Art in Texas and Philadelphia. His practice is based out of the Traction Company studio in West Philadelphia, where a number of young sculptors call home. Most recently he and Traction company created a full scale model of their warehouse studio for CITYWIDE. Miguel has coordinated this exhibition as well as other past and upcoming shows for Traction Company .

Miguel working on Collosus
Miguel working on Collosus

CHRIS LANDAU

Chris is an artist and designer whose work deals with systems. His work relies heavily on digital, algorithmic and emergent processes and inspirations. Chris is something of a systems architect. He builds virtual worlds for his own work as well as for the landscape architecture firm, OLIN. As Visualizer at OLIN, he brings designs to life through renderings and animation and has done so on many of OLIN's major projects over the last 6 years. Chris has also worked as an artist with Breadboard, Mural Arts, and Animated Architecture in Philadelphia.

Chris's Vector Equilibria projection in Philadelphia
Chris's Vector Equilibria projection in Philadelphia

 A DYNAMIC PROJECT

We first met at NextFab where our interest in new ideas and ways of making collided. We decided to collaborate on something to bring our complimentary approaches together. The Vancouver Biennale residency was the perfect platform for a dynamic integration of virtual systems and sculptural exploration.

Salish Sea. Data from Stefan Freelan
Salish Sea. Data from Stefan Freelan

We started by looking into the topography of the region. The theme of the residency, Open Borders/Crossroads Vancouver led us specifically to the Salish Sea, the large body of water and watershed which crosses the border of Canada and the US encompassing Puget Sound, Desolation Sound, Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan De Fuca, Hood Canal, Fraser River, Nisqually River and Shagit River. 

Milling a prototype boat
Milling a prototype boat

 In our research we were drawn to the importance of these waterways to the growth of the region. For centuries they have facilitated the exchange of goods between cultures, spurring transportation and industry. The canoes of the Pacific Northwest are historically and culturally significant for their role in the development of the watershed's ecology. For our residency, we will be spending six weeks in Squamish, B.C. in the Howe Sound; developing a site-specific installation that explores the connections of this vessel to the region and it's future.

Boat Sketch
Boat Sketch

Along the way we want to host people from different parts of the Salish community to see the work we are doing and to have a conversation about sea level change and the societal and ecological effects of cataclysmic disruption. We will be bringing people into the lab to see what we are doing and to engage them as much as possible in the process.

In our build-up to the project we have been hard at work developing frameworks and imagery for the evolving installation; drawing from the unique designs of First Nation's canoes that influenced transportation for years to come and exploring the topographic effects of climate change through rising sea levels in the region. The project explores change, particularly loss and mourning, through local burial traditions and reflects on our vulnerability to our surroundings. We've been considering how the ecosystem has and will continue to evolve. This intricate balance plays itself out through the digital projection of a coded system developed to simulate an adaptive ecology. 

Chris's ECO-system
Chris's ECO-system

In the end we hope that our project fuses the traditional with the contemporary in the speculation of the future. The effect of our globalized infrastructure of trade and commerce threatens the origins and traditions that established them. Though we have been working together on these designs and research, the true collaboration comes when we bring together the physical and virtual components of the installation in Vancouver with the people who live there. The traditional fabrication methods of boat building with locally sourced materials will be interfaced with the digital systems of projected animation. We hope to find a dynamic balance at the place where these worlds collide.

REWARDS

Some 'Salish Sea Lab' Prints-in-Progress
Some 'Salish Sea Lab' Prints-in-Progress

We are really excited about the rewards for this project and have started experimenting with some possibilities prior to our departure for Vancouver. We hope to entice your imaginations with digitally fabricated and hand printed woodcut prints, we will be doing a special lithography print with Stonefox Editions, and we also are creating physical maquets of the boat and topography as well as lasercut wood blocks and other assorted paraphernalia.

We are very excited for you to participate in this project with us. Thank you.

Photographing the 'Cedar Seafairer' prototype
Photographing the 'Cedar Seafairer' prototype

Risks and challenges

We are working in a site-specific approach, there are a lot of variables to making this international project work that will crystallize in Vancouver. For the past few months we have been running through every possible scenario while developing the sculptural form to maximize the facility of assembly and how it interfaces with between the virtual and the physical components.

There are a wide variety of obstacles we will be facing. Even with an ideal budget, tackling some of these concerns will be easier than others. The boat construction itself is a large task; we will be constructing a large vessel. Combine that with the unpredictable variations of weather and projection.

So why should you believe we can pull this off? Individually, we bring some impressive experience to the table with the design and management of big projects. Combined, we represent a spectrum of qualifications that prepare us for a challenge like this. It won't be easy, but that's the fun part; for 6 weeks we will be concentrating full-time during the residency to resolve every aspect of the installation while adapting it to the surrounding environment. Yet, our project draws from the changes in the environment and its effect on our society. It's our goal that this will ultimately inform the resulting project.

We have the framework for a great cultural exchange. Please, help support the 'Salish Sea Lab'.

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Rewards

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    Thank yous! As a token of our appreciation we'll send you project updates throughout the residency. We'll be blogging our progress and sharing with you pics of the process.

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    1 backer

    "Doodle" A small sketch of the boat, ink on paper.

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    7 backers Limited (193 left of 200)

    Sketch Cards. We are turning our little drawings, photos, and digital sketches from the project into a unique pack of 10 small documentation cards.

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    8 backers Limited (22 left of 30)

    'Consolation' Laserwoodcut Print. This smaller, one-color print of a digital flower (approx 8x10 or less) is a simple and elegant acknowledgement of your help. Lasercut and Handprinted in Philadelphia.

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    1 backer

    Project Catalogue. a 50 page full-color catalogue of the project with photos and imagery from our experience here in Squamish.

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    4 backers Limited (26 left of 30)

    'Funeral' Laserwoodcut Print of canoe interior with flowers. This medium-sized one-color print (approx 11x17) is one way we would like to say thank you. Lasercut, Hand-Carved and Handprinted in Philadelphia.

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    'Skeleton' animation loop. As with the Eco Systems video, this limited-run series is only available through this kickstarer campaign. A similar animation will be projected as part of the final installation in Squamish.

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    6 backers Limited (24 left of 30)

    'Salish Sea' Laserwoodcut Print of the changing sea levels in the Salish Sea basin. This medium-sized one-color print (approx 11x17) will take you to another place. Lasercut, Hand-Carved and Handprinted in Philadelphia.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    'ECO System' animation loop. Backers for this amount will receive one of five unique animations of the ECO system designed and coded by Chris Landau specially for the Vancouver Residency. Each video is a dynamically-generated one-of-a-kind video.

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    2 backers Limited (28 left of 30)

    'Poly-Nation' Laserwoodcut Print. This large one-color print (approx 13x20?) is intricately designed and crafted just for you. Lasercut, Hand-Carved and Handprinted in Philadelphia.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    "Bonsai" a Framed, laser-etched acrylic relief of the Salish Sea Basin,

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    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    'Bonsai' a limited edition hand-printed lithograph. We are collaborating with the folks at Stonefox Editions for a 15"x20" 2-color print only available through this Kickstarter. The gang over at Stonefox Editions have generously sponsored our campaign with this item!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    'Cedar Seafairer'. Backers for this category will get a 16 inch CNC-milled boat which we are using for our preliminary designs. The topography of the Howe sound lies in the hull of the boat, whose design is influenced by historic canoes of the region.

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    1 backer All gone!

    'Original Salish Seafairer' model. Miguel's first rendering of the boat from a solid piece of Sycamore fuses traditional woodworking and CNC milling. This first incarnation of the boat is a one of a kind sculpture.

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Funding period

- (25 days)