Mind & Matter


Terraforming with Paper

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Daniele Papuli, Cartoframma, 2011


One proven method of producing provocative art installations is through a process of material assemblage. Artists like Tara Donovan and Tokujin Yoshioka have received accolades for creating large, immersing pieces resulting from the painstaking aggregation of thousands of self-similar objects like fishing line, tissue, straws, or crystals. In these works, the viewer is able to experience materiality simultaneously at two levels, both as object and as field.

Another successful practitioner of assemblage is Daniele Papuli, an Italian artist who monomaniacally amasses thousands of paper strips into large landscapes. Papuli's method transforms crisply-cut sheets into supple, undulating blankets reminiscent of rolling topography or fluid dynamics diagrams. Clearly, realizing such a powerful visual effect requires significant patience in terms of production. According to the artist: "I proceed more like an explorer than like a designer, transferring and amplifying some images and suggestions of a design path undertaken on paper."

Papuli's recent work, entitled "Cartoframma," is composted of more than 10,000 individual paper sheets, and acts as a backdrop for a dance performance. There's more info on the artist's website.




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.