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Soniferous Aether



Commission by the Musée d'art contemporaine de Montréal for the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, including an installation at the museum and a site specific radio station at the US Pavilion.


Expo 67’s United States of America Pavilion – most famously remembered by its spherical architecture designed by Buckminster Fuller – is the world’s most iconic geodesic dome and a lasting symbol of the utopian dreams of the 1960s. The fundamentally innovative engineering principle of the geodesic is its balance of tension versus compression forces creating a robust network that results in a strong but light structure. This contradictory set of vectors is not only a design principle but also present within the conceptual framing of the exhibition housed inside the dome. Within a single exhibition architecture were two fundamentally opposed ideologies: the Apollo space missions as American cultural warfare at the peak of the globally divisive Cold War, and the burgeoning environmental movement as espoused by Fuller’s concept “Spaceship Earth.”  While Fuller’s legacy today gravitates towards his optimistic designs for a green and egalitarian world, Until Finally O Became Just a Dot. locates Fuller’s US Pavilion as the popular moment within his long history of techno-utopian production entangled with American imperial military logistics. The project encapsulates two elements: within the museum, a curatorial constellation of artifacts, documents, and media organized within a custom-designed 3D printed exhibition display system based on Fuller’s space-frame patent; and on site at the original US pavilion, the electrifying of the entire 250-foot steel frame geodesic dome in order to turn the spherical architecture into a massive radio antenna broadcasting a playlist of archival sound recordings.