McEwen Studio’s work is featured in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, through the DEPE Space residency program, through August 28, 2016. The exhibition focuses on the studio’s work in Detroit, presented as a series of 3d-printed alterations to balloon-frame structures. The exhibition features an installation of foam mounted to a wood frame, which was wire cut with Kuka robotics in the Taubman College fab-lab, designed to vacillate in scale between an abstract landscape and a recyclable wall system. Methexis is supported by the University of Michigan Office of Research, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Taubman College, University of Michigan.
The design research of Methexis began with McEwen Studio’s House Opera | Opera House project. House Opera | Opera House, located in Southwest Detroit, is McEwen’s long-term collaborative project, involving Marcelo López-Dinardi, partner of A(n) Office, Dawn Lundy Martin, and a number of artistic collaborators. For Methexis, McEwen produces new designs to address the tens of thousands of buildings structurally and materially similar to House Opera. Rather than attempting an artisanal solution for each vacant house, McEwen deploys algorithmic methods to present alternatives for vacant buildings. The city’s mass of vacant properties becomes a virtual terrain for design to operate within, along the logic of software.
The DEPE (Department of Education and Public Engagement) Space Residency Project and exhibition series presents interdisciplinary art that serves as a catalyst for learning and transformative conversation about complex social issues. DEPE Space offers opportunities to reflect upon the personal relevance of these topics and how they relate to communities in Detroit and throughout the world.
Funded by an award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and achieved through a collaboration with the international studio Farzin Farzin, an interactive media component is included in the last month of Methexis. The virtual reality headsets show a sneak preview of the A(n) Office project exhibited at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The viewpoint is situated in the middle of the architecture model within the gallery of the US Pavilion. Low resolution 3D digital geometry overlays and replaces the physical model, borrowing a technique that was deployed as protest of the US Pavilion. Protest or commission, speculation or critique, insider or outsider– it all becomes a bit of a game.