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In an ode to obsession that would make HAL proud, Sze constructs fractals out of mankind’s most plastic and mass-produced objects - and then these constructions take on the qualities of natural phenomena. Consider Still Life with Flowers(1999) (right). Swirling ladders of matchsticks and rulers, interspersed with photos of sharks, mice, monkeys and other species, living twigs, and the tiniest components of artificial plants. We can’t look at the piece without thinking about the artist herself, repeatedly breaking the heads of matchsticks and gluing them together - those hours, days, maybe weeks of cyclical, repetitive tasks. The result of her toil mirrors the DNA molecule - an evolutionary tree explicated by photos of the various species along its branches. Yet this genomic map is only secondary to fractal, natural, and fertile quality of the installation’s overarching form. This is the primary fruit of Sze’s labor: no matter how manufactured these objects may be, when they are iterated enough times they

produce natural meta-forms. Fractals. In a nod to remote high leverage points, Sze places C-clamps or spring clips at critical junctures. These tiny and quite deliberately disclosed lynchpins are what hold the whole world together. Or take a look at her studio piece, Untitled, 1996 (overleaf). A stepladder-as-skyscraper overlooks an urban grid of everything from Hershey’s Kisses and Lifesavers to photo slides and tennis shoes. Again, chain ladders of matchsticks and toothpicks grow upward from the two-dimensional grid as if groping for three-dimensionality. Climbing up the stepladder and through the air, like creeping ivy. This delicate, dynamic, and fractional dimensionality; this teetering at the brink between worlds of factory-made and spontaneously alive - this is what we get when we push through chaos to the other side of order. And, most strikingly, this new order is utterly unrecognizable to those who refuse to play. A cartographer, who can only understand the ocean as a series of longitude and latitude

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LSD Magazine - Issue 9 - Chasing Dragons  

Issue 9 of LSD Magazine is out now. Bursting at the digital seams with sizzling art, searching interviews, slamming music, a dash of politi...

LSD Magazine - Issue 9 - Chasing Dragons  

Issue 9 of LSD Magazine is out now. Bursting at the digital seams with sizzling art, searching interviews, slamming music, a dash of politi...