After a nearly seven week long process, my long anticipated final project for Space & Materiality has been completed. The guidelines for the project were quite broad; basically we had to create some 3D object(s) and install them in a given section of 14th Street.
Immediately I knew that I wanted to create some type of illuminated, textual piece. I went through many sketches and materials, including colored plexi glass, before deciding on plywood and metal.
From there, the most difficult decision to be made was what word (or words) to use. In order to make sure I wasn't being too ambitious, I decided to keep it simple with just one word, "OMEN". In more ways than one, this seemed like the perfect word, "An event regarded as a portent of good or evil." For one, the final piece was going to be placed on a fence, so as someone walked through the fence it would symbolically lead to something good or evil. In addition, “OMEN” is not a commonly, if ever, seen word in the city, so it was supposed to make people stop to contemplate it; to wonder if maybe this was the sign they had been searching for in relation to a struggle in their personal life.
The actual construction began by tracing stencils onto the wood and cutting out the letters. From there, the process dwindled on, one letter at a time, in the following steps:
- Drill holes in the wood for the lights to come through.
- Cut and bend pieces of aluminum to go around the wood.
- Tape the metal together and mark the tabs.
- Drill holes in the tabs and connect them with rivets.
- Drill holes in the wood and screw the metal and wood together.
After all four letters were complete, it was time to go to the site and install the piece. To attach the letters to the fence, I went with duct tape and zip ties so the process of putting up/taking down would be fairly simple and quick. The piece stayed up for about an hour and received some sort of attention from just about everyone who passed by, some people even took photos. Overall, it was a successful project.