Exhibition and research project
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Planetary Home Improvement: From Just-in-time to Geological Time
VI PER Gallery, Prague
December 17, 2021 — February 2, 2022

Partially funded by the 2021-22 RISD Professional Development Fund
The home improvement store is a geological site on demand. Rockwool, Sheetrock, Quikrete Stucco. Materials are processed into products, packaged, stockpiled, stacked, and sold across global DIY supply-chains, from Home Depot to Bauhaus and OBI. Basalt, gypsum, limestone. Material economies are severed from mineral entanglements with millennia of rock, fossil, plant, and stone. It takes 1 day to install drywall; it takes 299 million years to form gypsum.

What planetary urgencies, temporalities and extractions undergird products of just-in-time geology? Rewriting shelf life and collapsing the ancient and the instant, this research project takes stock of the terrestrial home via the big-box DIY store, as the home improvement industry continues to boom and propagate rocks in anthropo-convenient forms. The store is the modern quarry. This exhibition examines the geological life of product accumulation, installation, and instruction through both physical and digital gallery artifacts. If the Eames’s Powers of Ten organized the universe by relative scale, Planetary Home Improvement redesignates its earthly substrates by relative temporality—from the planet to the point of sale.

The exhibition includes a stratigraphic stack wall of reused local materials, a geological soundscape, deep section drawings, a tabletop palindrome How-to video, DIY unbuilding instruction sheets, and a slow-scrolling website.

Co-designers: Christine Giorgio, Amelyn Ng, Gabriel Vergara
Collaborating composer: Nathan Davis
Graduate assistants: Remi Qiu, Ellie Cody, Sarah Chriss, Carrie Li

Full credits here

© 2022 Amelyn Ng