UNDO PROJECT

Montréal
2010
Research


Absorbed into the lexicon of the computer, undo – once a condition of change – has been freed from consequence. Undo no longer serves to dismantle or unsettle but is merely an action to negate the previous. What is being undone becomes insignificant, the ultimate value lies in the freedom to toggle between the states of undo/ redo.

The reality of undoing does not reflect the act of doing, bringing into question the possibility of unmarking gesture, unrecording sound, and unmaking architecture. The later is witnessed in the infamous destruction of two Minoru Yamasaki projects - Pruitt-Igoe and the World Trade Center towers - both marking critical changes in architecture. Humpty Dumpty could not be put back together again.

This project places at odds the ease of undoing digital representation with the impossible act of physically unmaking. The experiments of Undo are performed by a laser cutter, tracing the undo process, and shifting it into an act of permanence. The ‘machineness’ of the laser cutter is undermined by the delicate and artistic nature of its output. Using etching as a primary source of mark making, the computer driven machine attempts to erase, re-write, and create architectural drawings, images, and sounds in an exploration of the tectonic potential of a physical undo/ redo cycle.

Project in collaboration with artist/architect Jennifer Thorogood.