Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2003
Orgone Reef is a speculation of what the skin of a building could
be like in the future. The project is an interlinking matrix manufactured
by a computer-controlled laser cutter. The project probes the possibilities
of combining artificial and natural processes to form a hybrid ecology.
Orgone Reef is a technical exercise in construction and fabrication.
The project relates to geotextiles, a new class of materials used
for reinforcing landscapes and buildings. A minimal amount of raw
material is expanded to form a network forming a porous volume.
A Penrose tessellation, a non-repeating geometrical system, is used
to create the hybrid fabric. This structure acts like an artificial
reef that could support a living skin.
At the same time, the project invites questioning our own relationship
with the world. The structure in the gallery has reflexive qualities
that respond to the viewer, pushing back. The large-scale field
structures offer bodily immersion and create a wide-flung dispersal
of perception. The details of this structure are designed to catch
and hold the things they contact, collecting and digesting material
and building themselves. The result is an altered psychology that
changes our relationship with the things we build.
Sources for this work include nineteenth and twentieth-century
spiritualist texts that dwell on uncanny mixtures of anxiety and
hope. The project title Orgone Reef is derived from this tradition.
The term ‘Orgone’ was coined by Wilhelm Reich, a student
of Freud, to suggest a subtle life force encircling the world. Reich,
tinged by obsession, saw the world as an intelligent, evolving entity.
His visions offer a poignant alternative to Modern progress.