Sculpture; 55 large interlocking blocks (ABS plastic); 3 custom wall vitrines
THE FUTURE IS IN THE LOBBY (2013) is a sculptural piece made up of 55 large white plastic interlocking blocks, and three 4-ft.-long gilded brass / plexiglass wall vitrines. The plastic blocks are derived from shapes that make up the words “THE FUTURE IS IN THE LOBBY” (in all capital letters). To make the parts, the artist broke up those words into a series of shapes, and made 3D models of those shapes. She then hired an industrial manufacturer to “print” the 3D models at a rapid prototyping facility. When put together in their original formation, the parts spell out THE FUTURE IS IN THE LOBBY. However, they fit together in endless modular configurations.
Throughout the exhibition, large golden padlocks hang at the front of the gilded vitrines, locking away the blocks while on display. Throughout the course of the exhibition, artists (broadly defined) are invited to come in at designated times, remove the blocks from their precious containers, and re-imagine their configuration for a performance/art piece of their own design.
THE FUTURE IS IN THE LOBBY illuminates the paradoxical edge spaces in museums, like the lobby, that are used as “alternative,” “multi-use,” and “open” spaces. Museums often show work in these spaces that are cutting edge in a way that defy the conventions of the gallery––performance pieces, participatory work, duration pieces, etc. However, the lobby is still a part of the museum, and museum constructs and parameters still apply. Thus, the “partial access” embedded in the LOBBY piece: artists can come in and use the parts to create new pieces, but only on a schedule, and the parts are locked up with a precious golden key when not in use. LOBBY invites a range of participants to re-imagine its parts, thereby “consecrating” their work as an official part of the museum exhibition.
The bellwether quality of “lobby art” allows the curator/artist/viewer to experiment and speculate through the piece about where the museum might be headed. And thus, THE FUTURE IS IN THE LOBBY.