Dig
Installation
New York NY
2011


Dig was an exhibition and performance at Storefront for Art and Architecture by Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture that explored the architecture of excavation. Storefront’s distinctive gallery space was filled with a solid volume of EPS architectural foam, engulfing the existing interior in an unyielding flood of white. The volume was then excavated using simple tools – hammers, picks and chisels – to transform a stock industrial material into a strange, unexpected cavern for both work and play.

An exhibition documented the ongoing dialogue between ideas of notational precision and fabricated looseness. This negotiation of design logic with sculptural intuition sets the stage for the interaction between the artist and viewer. Daniel Arsham/Snarkitecture created and inhabited Dig for the duration of the subsequent month-long installation, carving spaces from solid infill in a performance open to public view. The façade of Storefront became a human ant farm, framing the work occurring within for outside passerby. Inside the remaining gallery space, a cave-like entrance opened into the solid form, inviting viewers to watch the excavation of an unreal space in real time.

Dig was an experiment between the precision of the architectural plan and the looseness of the unknown. The installation and performance explored the intersection of primitivism and contemporary architecture; the complexity of the final surfaces and form suggested a digital origin and concealed the simplicity of a space made entirely by hand. The solid volume was excavated and inhabited by basic necessity, but also engaged in careful play with the existing architecture of Storefront. Dig uncovered the inconceivable within the conceivable.

At the close of the installation, the material was returned to the manufacturer and recycled into rigid foam insulation.

Dig was made possible by OHWOW and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.