Island Universe is a site-specific commission installed inside the newly renovated Ford Foundation. Made entirely of thousands of intricate, hand-made charcoal forms, the piece spans a 30 ft. wall and suggests the earth’s geological past, when distinct land masses formed one continuous supercontinent.
The piece is loosely based on Buckminster Fuller’s 1954 Dymaxion Map, where the earth’s continents are depicted as “one island in one ocean.” Nearly contiguous land masses are shown unfolding into a long strip of shapes, like a carefully peeled orange, so that there is no “right way up.”
Island Universe challenges the north-up=superior/south-down=inferior presentation typically found in most world maps and asks viewers to question their conditioned cultural biases by rendering dominant reference points and cardinal directions meaningless. By disorienting our coordinates, the piece prompts us to imagine and construct a new sense of the world around us.