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Ingrid Lilligren


Ingrid Lilligren Query: Geodes, 2012. 36" x 56" x 34", sand, wooden chair, porcelain, gold, earth, blood, corn, oil, water, air, DNA.

This piece was inspired by the recent Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to Danny Shechtman for quasicrystal discovery. Chairs are associated with human activity, and in this art work, the chair is altered, strangely out of proportion. The Penrose tile pattern (aperiodic in a manner similar to quasicrystals) beneath the chair is sand sifted over tiles revealing the spaces between the tiles. The form of the pattern, a large question mark, reflects the base of inquiry common to scientists, artists, humanists, and expresses both doubt and hopefulness. Sometimes the most interesting data is found in the spaces between givens or what is known.

Each Geode on the chair contains these nine contested substances: blood (aids, ethnic cleansing); salt (salary, oceans); gold (currency, mining); air (environmental degradation); soil (contamination, ownership); DNA (cloning, overpopulation); corn (bio-fuels, food); oil (energy, fertilizer); and water (access, supply). Our culture has exploited these to great benefit but with challenging consequences. Commodities, resources, and ideas move across national boundaries with ease and rapidity. How will new discoveries change the ways we use these materials? Our deep history as inventors and makers on this planet is one we honor and will continue evolving.