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Kimball Gallery – October 2013

Urbanauts Phase 3/3: Artifice

Sean Orlando and Matthew Passmore (Rebar) are back at the deYoung Museum for the final phase of the Urbanauts Project: Artifice

Hidden in plain sight or buried just beneath our feet is a complex system of pipes, valves, drains and pumps. Contemporary society relies on this expansive engineered network in fundamental ways that we sometimes take for granted. But to the careful observer, there is evidence of a more complex system just below and beyond perception — the ”tip of the iceberg” of a massive network of infrastructure, just out of mind as it is just out of sight. What does it mean to live in an urban habitat so relatively removed from the everyday experience of this infrastructure? How does hidden infrastructure affect our choices about resource consumption and waste production?

To explore these questions and others, the Urbanauts cast themselves in a narrative about urban exploration, the mysteries of the unseen urban structures and the hidden systems down below. Over the past 18-months, Urbanauts have explored, mapped and cataloged their explorations and generated a series of sculptural works based upon the form and materials of urban infrastructural systems. The map and images of explorations were displayed in the Kimball Gallery in October 2012; the sculptures were presented for the month of June 2013.

In October 2013, Urbanauts created the final phase of this exploration: Artifice, in collaboration with the Black Rock Arts Foundation, the official supporting organization of the fellowship.

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