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Kimball Gallery – June 2013

Urbanauts Phase 2/3: Systemic

Sean Orlando and Matthew Passmore are back at the deYoung Museum for Phase 2 of the Urbanauts Project with Systemic.

Hidden in plain sight or buried just beneath our feet is a complex system of pipes, valves, drains and pumps. Society relies on this expansive engineered network of steel, brass, cast iron and PVC in profound ways that we sometimes take for granted. Drainage, running water, steam, storm run-off, sewage treatment, pumping stations, fire suppression systems, back flow protection valves and emergency backup water supplies.

Many of these systems exist behind closed doors, in basements or just underneath that manhole cover that we’ve walked across countless times. If you look close enough, you can occasionally observe (in the sidewalk, behind some hedge or protruding off the side of a building), camouflaged evidence of a more complex system just below and out of sight… the “tip of the iceberg”.

For the entire month of June, Urbanauts created a systemic installation within the Kimball Gallery that multiplied, morphed, expanded and evolved over time. An entangled network of pipes and valves completely took over the Kimball Gallery from wall to ceiling, challenging Museum visitors to reflect on the space in which they inhabit and inviting them to rethink how they move through their urban environment.

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