Elaine Buckholtz

Lighting is an ephemeral process that brings attention to objects and spaces, and challenges the application of Gestalt perception – that of privileging a shape against a background, a solid form against empty space, or a lit object against a dark backdrop. It produces a perceptual reversal by illuminating that which is invisible by day. Casting is process of giving tangible form to an object by pouring a congealable liquid into a mold and letting it harden to provide a material impression or cast of the hollow space. In this case, scaled plaster models were used as molds and the slots between them were retrieved as positive wax casts. The casts function as new objects, bearing formal traces of the context from which they were drawn.

Together, lighting and casting become critical investigative practices that draw our attention to specific, marginal parts of the built environment of cities, paradoxically illuminating, foreshadowing, and materializing unseen space. They function as tools of urban observation, documentation and interpretation that present familiar buildings and places within the city as uncanny, unusual and different; they construct a narrative of architecture, urban design and the built environment that has yet not been written. To cast and to illuminate is to reveal, to bring into “being,” thus pointing to an ontology of the city.