Two discs, each six feet in diameter, one horizontal and one vertical, link Atlanta to the Atlantic. The vertical disc evokes our racialized entanglements through a tapestry of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: a natural canyon, a planetary scar on the ocean floor, a metaphor for the violence that undergirds the extractive logic binding Africa to America. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a space of disappearance that has witnessed an incalculable loss of Black life.
The horizontal disc explores sites of diffusion, vibrant everyday spaces that cannot be captured by colonial metrics. Floating above an inverted cone, the bricks—rendered in Magnetite, a magnetic black sand found on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge—juxtapose spaces of Black quotidian life: strip malls, gas stations, ravines, embankments, parking lots, nightclubs, and chain restaurants. The diffusion of the woods and built environments provides temporal spaces for meditation and concealment beyond state surveillance and other enclosures implemented by racial capital.
Immeasurability draws with spatial practices that do not qualify as Architecture because they are not strictly tethered to power and capital. The shifting black sand and bricks anticipate a contextual reframing that is emblematic of a city where Waffle House is an extension of the nightclub, the strip club is a co-working space, and a traffic jam is a cultural phenomenon.
Curators: Mabel O. Wilson & Sean Anderson
Type: Installation (Exhibition)
Exhibition: Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America at The Museum of Modern Art
Duration: Feb 27—May 31, 2021
Photographs: Naho Kubota
Team: Emanuel Admassu, Jen Wood, Ezana Admassu-Wood, Vuthy Lay, Didier Lucceus, Yingyi Mo, Caleb Negash, Giacomo Sartorelli, Katie Solien, Eamon Wagner, Tafari Williams
Advisors: Haimy Assefa, Mikael Awake, Robell Awake, Camille I. Cady-McCrea, Matthew Celmer, Rachel Goodfriend, Clara Totenberg Green, Ashley Harris, DeMar Jones, Amanda Lee, Gary McGaha, Antwan Rucker, Nic Schumann, Kirubel Teferra, Hanna Varady
Special thanks: Matthew Shenoda, Associate Provost, Social Equity and Inclusion, Rhode Island School of Design, and Amy Kulper, Department Head, RISD Architecture