on site 36: our material future

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WA /V E r o b e r t m c k ay e


s t o ya n b a r a k o v

M c ka y e a nd B a r a kov

WA/VE was installed for Nuit Rose 2019, a queer art festival in Toronto. Conceived as a suspended, anticlastic mesh of recycled magazines, the piece draws parallels between print media and the state of queer culture. It began by the shuffling of print media together to take advantage of maximised friction between the bound pages. Like the threads of a weave, the pages exhibit high resistance to tension forces, making them hard to pull apart.


on site review 36: our material future

Leveraging this material property, WA/ VE becomes more than just a one-time installation – it reimagines a material that has outlived its original purpose but not its cultural and physical evocations. Print media, in the context of an architectural intervention, is given new significance through the agency of memory, nostalgia and consumerism. This demonstrates the duality of a single material acting as both artefact and artifice.

The project and its underlying assembly disrupts the traditional lifespan of an everyday object to achieve something new. In terms of our material future, WA/ VE touches on the persistence of form not purely through the longevity of particular materials, but through the perception of those materials and how we use them.