New Collaborative Commission by Hana Kassem and Spencer Topel
and a Large-scale Temporary Drawing Installation by Outpost Office
Rendering of Ensemble by Hana Kassem and Spencer Topel.
Ghent, NY, July 2022 — In August, in the Sculpture & Architecture Park, Art Omi will unveil a new collaborative commission by architect Hana Kassem and sound artist Spencer Topel, and a temporary outdoor drawing installation by Outpost Office.
Hana Kassem and Spencer Topel
Sculpture & Architecture Park
Ensemble is an immersive art experience that explores the spatial and acoustic resonance of our surrounding environment. Here the installation itself is a space-defining instrument, featuring a series of 17 “reeds” constructed of hollow steel pipes of varying heights. As visitors engage with and move around the field of reeds, their gentle movement activates sound elements which resonate through the chambers of the pipes. They range in tone quality and volume based on the reed’s height and positioning to create a collective soundscape and a constantly shifting environment. The reeds’ hues capture the color of the sky at different times of day and along the seasons—at times standing out against the expansive sky, at other times disappearing into the blue. Ever-changing, both acoustically and visually, Ensemble is never experienced in the same manner twice. It is a constantly redefined composition.
Hana Kassem is an artist and architect, born in Beirut and based in New York City with more than 20 years of experience in the field of architecture and design. Central to her work is the notion that design is human-centric, multi-sensorial, and experiential, with impact at the physical, cognitive, and emotional levels. Equally essential to her investigations is the circular notion that we affect our environments and in return these environments affect us.
Spencer Topel is an American artist combining sound, installation, and performance. His practice is often characterized as an exploration between sculpture and musical instruments, expressed in a variety of works ranging from site-specific installations to performance art pieces.
Drawing Fields opening night at Ragdale in 2020. Photo courtesy of Outpost Office.
Drawing Fields No. 6
August 13, 2022 / INSTALLATION
Sculpture & Architecture Park
Drawing Fields is a series of large-scale works by Outpost Office exploring the spatial potential of notation. Each installation utilizes GPS-controlled painting robots to mark site-specific, building-size drawings at 1:1 scale. The drawing series employs techniques of measuring, delineating, and marking to investigate architecture as the dynamic performance of spatial instructions.
The notational assemblies of Drawing Fields challenge architecture’s tenets of permanence and material accumulation. The project eschews the waste often associated with temporary architecture. Each installation is water-soluble, non-toxic, and disappears with rain, sun, and growth. Within a few weeks, the site returns to its original state.
On August 13, Outpost Office will install Drawing Fields No. 6 at Art Omi, the largest drawing in the series so far. Visitors will have the opportunity to both observe and inhabit the enormous graphic pattern throughout the drawing process. Drawing Fields No. 6 will critically revisit themes of intimate scale, horizontality, and minute gradation present in early portrayals of the Hudson River Valley landscape.
Outpost Office is a design practice based in Columbus, Ohio where principals and co-founders Ashley Bigham and Erik Herrmann teach at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Outpost Office seeks new public audiences through experimental creative production ranging from the serious to the absurd, often simultaneously. Inventive applications of off-the-shelf tools and industrial-grade materials often characterize the practice’s work. Their designs propose that architecture can be projective and impactful while at the same time inexpensive, temporal, and open-ended.
Art Omi presents large-scale works in nature, as well as indoor exhibitions in a 1,500 square foot gallery. The Sculpture & Architecture Park currently offers more than 60 works by artists and architects on view. Art Omi has five distinct residency programs, and a thriving education program which serves people of all ages and abilities with contemporary art and ideas in a stimulating and dynamic community.