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Landscape castings that visualize the voting power of one of our most sublime states and fund an independent art and research project.
Landscape castings that visualize the voting power of one of our most sublime states and fund an independent art and research project.
42 backers pledged $3,650 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Full (6) Landscape Model Set
The Full (6) Landscape Model Set

'Power Absorbent Landscapes' is a series of six sculptural landscape models produced as part of the independent art, architecture, & research project ON THE GREAT DIVIDE. Cut from three different regions of Wyoming, each model contains a section of The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route which I'll be riding late this summer. The A-series represents the landscape to a true scale. The B-Series highlights the disproportionate voting power found in Wyoming by allowing the landscape to absorb the high vote worth resulting in an exaggerated elevation model. 'Power Absorbent Landscapes' helps visualize the abstract concept of voting power and becomes a reflection of the peaks and valleys of a divided nation. And yet, the series can also be appreciated simply for the power held by visually stunning landscapes cut out of the earth and brought into your home or office.

*For a limited time you can get all three B-Series (1:3) Models for the price of 2! Separated, you can have museum quality pieces in 3 different spots, or combine them to have a piece that is 6"x18". When hung with the satellite image prints that are included, the mixed media art work is an eye-catching 12"x18 which looks great as a centerpiece.

01A&01B_Angle Mountain at True and Exaggerated Scale
01A&01B_Angle Mountain at True and Exaggerated Scale
 
01B_Angle Mountain Power Absorbent Model
01B_Angle Mountain Power Absorbent Model

Each of the 6 models are cut from a 6mi.x6mi. area and are scaled down to measure 6"x6". They are made from USG Pottery Plaster No.1, a high quality plaster known for being more dense and break-resistant than a typical plaster of paris model. 

The plaster models feature a minutely (0.1mm) contoured surface translated over from the 3D printed parts used in the fabrication process. These contours create a shadow catching textural quality. The sides of the model are made smooth for contrast. As these are handmade in individual batches in a small work space, there will be a very slight variation between each landscape.

The Full (6) Landscape Model Set
The Full (6) Landscape Model Set

They range between 1 3/8" to 3 3/8" high and weigh between 1.75 lbs. and 3 lbs. The backs are also drilled so that they may be suitable for vertical display.

Where Your Funding Goes

These models are one component of the On the Great Divide is a 3,000 mile bike tour/multidisciplinary research project exploring the space & architecture of vastness, power, and populism along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. This project will leverage the process of a bicycle tour to study the relationships between sublime landscapes, the sparse architecture which nestles and dots these landscapes, the people who inhabit these spaces, and the way in which these environments shape and are shaped by their ideologies.

The proceeds go to furthering the quality and depth of research. Things like having additional time to study a town, or to interview architects become possible. Funding also goes towards shop equipment that will be used to increase capacity of the landscape sculptures. The end goal is to exhibit a field of these landscapes paired with the photography of the trip. Maybe hundreds of them, each one unique.

For more information please visit onthegreatdivide.com

Voting Power Translated to Elevation Change

As seen from the map above, the white square of Wyoming is prominent for its voting power compared to every other state. Each state receives a minimum of three Electoral College votes allowing for large distortions of voting power to occur. By design, and for better or for worse, this feature makes sure the rural leanings have a big say in national priorities despite growing urban populations.

Depending on how it is calculated, one vote in Wyoming is worth 3 to 4 times more than a vote in California. The B-series of the landscape models use that number to the change of elevation on the landscape. The A-Series of the landscapes are the exact scale as they sit on the earth, but its pair has peaks 3.5 times higher. In this way the two model sets make for a quick visual of what 1:1 voting power looks like compared to 1:3.5.

The Process

Selecting which landscapes to represent was a careful process to curate the various conditions found in the state of Wyoming. A key component of the On the Great Divide project is fabricating the landscapes along the route. Mapmaking helped to locate the intersections between the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and available USGS landscape data.

With those intersections found, the elevation data is digitally modeled to reveal the character of the potential sites. From 34 landscapes, 3 were selected for their visual presence and contrast of form, geology, and ecology.

 

Satellite Imagery Used in Prints
Satellite Imagery Used in Prints

Model 01 of Angle Mountain contains a portion of the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains in north western Wyoming full of deep valleys. Model 02 of Coal Mine Creek features the striated low ridges of the high altitude desert basin in a spot where wild horses run free. Model 03 of Grieve Reservoir features the mix of plains and buttes which continue on through Colorado.

Making 'Power Absorbent Landscapes'

 1. Digital models are 3D Printed @ 1”=1 Mile resulting in a 6”x6” final product. The edges are sanded and finished with an epoxy to ensure a smooth cross section.

2. The prototype is then coated with a thin wax to provide a small level of smoothing necessary for better cast removal. Rubber latex is then poured over the prototype to create a reusable mold.

3. Once the mold has dried, they are sprayed with a release agent and surfactant which breaks the surface tension of plaster to decrease the number of air bubbles in the final sculpture.

4. Sculpture quality plaster is carefully measured and mixed by hand with filtered water. 

5. Plaster is carefully poured into the mold with a formwork to retain the rectangular form. Casts are vibrated to bring air bubbles to the surface.

6. Casts are air dried for several days with the last remaining moisture removed through a short period of forced air heat drying with increased ventilation. They bottoms and sides are then hand sanded to ensure a smooth finish. The bottoms are then drilled, signed, titled, and numbered.

  The Landscape Models

1A_ANGLE MOUNTAIN TRUE LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE
1A_ANGLE MOUNTAIN TRUE LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE

 

1B_ANGLE MOUNTAIN ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODEL - FINAL PRODUCT
1B_ANGLE MOUNTAIN ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODEL - FINAL PRODUCT

 

1A/1B_ANGLE MOUNTAIN TRUE/ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODELS
1A/1B_ANGLE MOUNTAIN TRUE/ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODELS

 

2A_COAL MINE RIDGE TRUE LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE
2A_COAL MINE RIDGE TRUE LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE

 

2B_COAL MINE RIDGE ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE
2B_COAL MINE RIDGE ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE

 

2A/2B_COAL MINE RIDGE TRUE/ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODELS
2A/2B_COAL MINE RIDGE TRUE/ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODELS

 

3A_GREIVE RESERVOIR TRUE LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE
3A_GREIVE RESERVOIR TRUE LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE

 

3B_GREIVE RESERVOIR ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE
3B_GREIVE RESERVOIR ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODEL - PROTOTYPE

  

3A/3B_GREIVE RESERVOIR TRUE/ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODELS
3A/3B_GREIVE RESERVOIR TRUE/ABSORBENT LANDSCAPE MODELS

 

About Me

Hi I'm Myles Peña and I’m a designer, maker, and architectural thinker working in the Pacific Northwest. Very early in life I discovered my passions riding bikes on gravel roads in rural Texas when I was four and drawing and designing houses late at night under the covers in my Florida bedroom by the age of eight. I learned to appreciate cycling as a discipline as I worked as a bicycle mechanic and while racing Cyclocross and Road bikes. After studies in Urban & Regional Planning and Art History at Florida State University, I continued on to pursue Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago while fabricating furniture and studying economics in my spare time. At IIT I designed several award winning projects and learned to embrace a rigorous design process rooted in research and experimentation. After graduation I worked helping to design and construct a maker space before spending four months bike touring and camping on rural backroads from Chicago to San Francisco. Enamored with the landscape I took the long route riding up to Jasper, Alberta, down to Seattle, and finally down the Pacific coast to San Francisco while focusing on landscape photography. In 2016 I moved to Seattle where I now work as an architectural designer on educational institutions.

You can see more of my work, my resume, and other projects at zmpena.com

 

Risks and challenges

With the most complex and largest landscape, 1B, developed to the form and materiality of the final product, I've successfully been able to begin producing these quickly. The full process from mixing to drying to packaging and shipping has already been tested so I can get making these as the Kickstarter runs. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out by clicking on my name on the top left of the page and sending me a message or leaving a comment on the page. Thanks for stopping by.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Digital Thank You Post Card

    You'll be added to the supporters list for the On The Great Divide project and I'll send you a digital, handwritten thank you post card.

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    Donate to On The Great Divide

    Thank you for your support!

    Includes:
    • Unique Handwritten Post Card thank you sent from the GDMBR
    • Becoming an official Supporter of the On The Great Divide Project
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited Print Series & Digital Photos

    Get a series of custom high resolution satellite images printed on heavy-weight paper. Consists of (3) 11"x11" prints of 01_Angle Mountain, 02_Coal Mine Ridge, and 03_Grieve Reservoir. Shipped flat in a protective envelope.

    You'll also receive a digital copy of the full set of unedited photographs from the On the Great Divide project and a special segment devoted to photographs of the areas featured in the sculpture series. Photographs delivered later in October.

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    The Late Bird Special

    Your choice of any (1) model from the B-Series models (01B, 02B, or 03B). You will be asked for your selection by a post campaign survey.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    01A_Angle Mountain True Model

    1 Landscape model. Each will be individually hand numbered and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    Includes:
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    01B_Angle Mountain Power Absorbent Model

    1 Landscape model. Each will be individually hand numbered and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    Includes:
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    02A_Coal Mine Ridge True Model

    1 Landscape model. Each will be individually hand numbered and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    Includes:
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    02B_Coal Mine Ridge Absorbent Model

    1 Landscape model. Each will be individually hand numbered and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    Includes:
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    03A_Grieve Reservoir True Model

    1 Landscape model. Each will be individually hand numbered and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    Includes:
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    03B_Grieve Reservoir Absorbent Model

    1 Landscape model. Each will be individually hand numbered and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    Includes:
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    B-Series Limited 3 for 2 Sale

    For a limited time you can get all 3 B-Series (1:3) Models for the cost of 2.

    You'll also receive the 6" satellite prints of the model sites, photos from the travels and your landscapes, and become an official supporter of On The Great Divide.

    Includes:
    • 01B_Angle Mountain Power Absorbent Model
    • 02B_Coal Mine Ridge Absorbent Model
    • 03B_Grieve Reservoir Absorbent Model
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Full (6) Landscape Model Set

    The first runs of all 6 Landscape models. Each will be individually hand numbered from the first batches and signed before getting packed and shipped with great care.

    You'll be added to the Level 1 Supporters for the On The Great Divide Project.

    Comes with high-resolution satellite images of the 3 sites printed on heavy-weight paper.

    You'll also receive a unique thank you post card from the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

    And finally you'll also receive a digital copy of photographs taken of the actual landscape your model was inspired by later in October.

    Includes:
    • Becoming a Level 1 Supporter of OTGD
    • Unique Handwritten Post Card thank you sent from the GDMBR
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
    • Digital Photos of the real landscape from your Sculpture in Oct.
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Set of (6) Rubber Latex Landscape Molds

    At the highest level you will be added to the Level 1 Supporter List for the On The Great Divide Project and receive the professional quality, reusable rubber silicon molds used to fabricate the plaster models. With these you can cast enough of your own plaster models to fill a wall or experiment with other materials like resin, concrete, or even low temperature (450^f) metals. Between costs of mother mold modeling, prototyping and fabrication, the high costs of liquid rubber latex, and time spent experimenting, its a solid deal! Please note, not intended to be used for large scale commercial purposes, and does not include models since you can now make your own! You'll also receive matching high resolution satellite images of the 3 sites printed on heavy-weight paper and a digital copy of photographs taken of the actual landscape your model was inspired by later in October.

    Includes:
    • Becoming a Level 1 Supporter of OTGD
    • Unique Handwritten Post Card thank you sent from the GDMBR
    • High-Res Satellite Image Poster of the Site
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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)