© 2023 Erica Stoller

My work is about the material that it’s made of. The back story may involve the previous incarnation of the stuff in terms of production and manufacturing. Recycled cardboard is sliced, bent, rolled and glued together in forms that are reminders of geological strata.

For some time I had been paying close attention to cables and wires, the landscape that surrounds us, in plain sight but often overlooked. While the work may reference the power and communication infrastructure that loops from pole to pole, the materials of the pieces were other familiar parts of everyday life, repurposed as the subject matter of my work. Plastic plumbing tubes, parachute cord, hula hoops, swimming noodles and more, have been employed without consideration of their original intention. Shapes, textures, colors, configurations, and attachments tell the story. Bending, folding, cutting are ways of getting to know the range and the limitations of these materials. The subtext, then, is to recognize the possibilities of this ordinary stuff, not as part of something else, but with physicality and character of its own.

Other installations have been made of natural rope, stretched tight from wall to wall, or outdoors from tree to tree, with lines defining planes and enclosing space. The zing/zap where the wires overlap are accented with colorful knots of parachute cord. And in tightening the strings, the tuned “instrument” becomes responsive to the surroundings, almost musical.

The impersonal materials, with knots, loops, and bends, bear the traces of handwork, not engineering. Becoming familiar with the materials and exploring tactile and tensile qualities, there may be some motion and some sound too. Whether made with plumbing materials, electrical supplies, plastic, rubber, metal, rope, or second-hand cardboard, the results are light and easy to assemble...and equally easy to dismantle. I am committed to this impermanence: perch lightly on the ground and, then, go away.

The work is photographed during construction and documented on completion. Forms, planes, textures, surfaces...voids and shadows....are important elements. Individual pieces as well as site-specific installations form a growing image archive while few of the works have a permanent presence.

© 2023 Erica Stoller