Nonsphere XIV, steel, glass, 155cmX15cmX1850cm
Permanent installation for the Artandarchitecture program by District at Malzfabrik, Berlin

Visiting the Mutá Lambô ye Kaiongo Terreiro (medicinal garden) with Tata Mutá Imê, telling the saint of time, Tambú, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, 2014


The enclosed staircases of the Malzfabrik annex building enjoy morning sunlight coming through their eastern-exposed windows. The series work Nonspheres XIV aims to transform this often bleak, uninhabited vertical space as one that contrasts human and natural time, reminding the seeming fractures(1) of the temporal scales(2) of the human and the biological.

It is the space within the staircase, the one enveloped by an ordinary torqueing handrail, that is filled with hanging steel frames and cables as a trellis representing a 4th dimensional polytope(3), a tesseract. The trellis hovers inside the crisscrossing staircases. This vertical, transitional, interstitial space is for those in the building whom might, from time to time, want to enjoy the growth of the plants and the shadowplay of the tesseracts casted by the reflected sunshine, while either sitting on the steps, smoking, drinking morning coffee, or in motion, going from one floor to the other.

The trellis will be crawling with plants (Blackeyed Susan, Ipomea, Canarian Ivy) that grow from above, hanging to the ground, and from below, climbing to the top. The frames will also connect to the staircase railing, so that the plants may also inhabit the railing itself, interrupting, if invading human space.

(Please see conversation with Carson Chan for further details)

1. The work regarding temporal scales between human time and natural (non-human) time started when coming across the concept of nöosphere by Soviet geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky, and of schismogenesis by British anthropologist Gregory Bateson, the fundaments behind the Nonspheres Series (2006-ongoing). I embody these notions largely stemming from Felicity Scott's observations on technology and architectural production in the context of geodesics, hippie, and progressive cultures discussed in her Acid Visions essay, the collaboration with Paul Ryan for Documenta 13, and most recently in the work for the Bienal da Bahia (see Nonspheres IV: Verde que te quiero Verde curated by Carson Chan and Fotini Lazaridou Hazigoga at Program Berlin/Kabul, 2006-2007, and Manners, Parameters, and the Gay Sciences, in Space Matters, Lukas Feireiss, ed. Ambra Verlag, Vienna, 2013). More recently, I have been reviewing neo-concrete works in Brasil and tropical modernism in Puerto Rico, that largely refer to anthropophagia, santería, palería, candomblé, and/or tropicalia so to shake the physical and political foundations of rational, western, Orientalist, conventions of time/space (see Nonspheres XIII: Looming Greenhouse curated by Marcelo Rezende to be installed this summer in the 3rd Bienal da Bahia, Brasil, Summer 2014).

2. "If we are lucky, our practices will realign their footprints back to the temporal scale of Nature, ceasing to live in the fallacious faith that technology and the heavens will solve everything and that there will be no beauty without it." - Oxígeno Magazine, Spain, May issue, 2008 by Sánchez, Vanessa, Creatividad Rebelde interview with Luis Berríos-Negrón about the SOS48 exhibition curated by Paco Barragán, Chirstiane Paul, Rirkrit Tiravanija.

3. "Since I found that one should make a cast shadow from a 3-d thing, any object whatsoever – just as the projecting on the sun of the earth makes two dimensions – I thought that by simple intellectual analogy, the fourth dimension could project an object of three dimensions, or to put it in another way, any 3d object which we see dispassionately is a projection of something 4d, something we are not familiar with. It is a bit of sophism, but it still was possible." - Marcel Duchamp in conversation with Pierre Cabanne, 1966

Production: Paramodular

Production Design: Miguel Prados Sánchez

Production Assitant: Jacob Schnuck


Images from July 15, 2014 by Miguel Prados Sánchez


Images from the day of installation...