Back to All Events

And and end

  • St. Paul's Chapel, Columbia University 1160 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

Opening reception: Fri, April 28, 6-9pm, Guastavino Room, basement of St.Paul’s Chapel at Columbia. (down the spiral staircase)

/ Frank Heath / Sara Stern / Joeun Aatchim / Becca Teich /

Michael Brill’s design for a desert monument called “Spike Field” is a warning sign for the existence of nuclear waste underneath the New Mexico desert, for those wandering around the site 100,000 years in the future. In the concept drawing of the nuclear marker, there is a tiny human figure standing next to the tall granite thorns. The tiny human is like a ruler propped up along an excavated face of an archaeological dig, to show the size of the object pictured. The inclusion of the human characterizes anthropomorphically the magnitude of an object, and in doing so injects a comparative and documentary veracity, according to Peter C. Van Wyck in Signs of Danger.

This show is a concept design for a monument. A monument meant to last for those who wander the site 100,000 years later. This monument signifies some kind of a failure or a problem that humans have caused. In this monument, humans are present within the very gesture that would seek to guarantee their absence.

Embodying the ontological struggle within itself as a material and semiotic signification, this monument is conceived by artists who think beyond our immediate conceptions of spatio-temporal conditions, with a fictive narrative in mind.

Earlier Event: April 27
Home Improvement Opening Reception
Later Event: April 28