I have an inclination to work with materials that have had an obvious life before I use them; it’s a challenge and a pleasure to make something from nothing.
In the last year my practice has grown out of the studio in the form of large-scale rooftop paintings for Google Earth. This project uses materials from the waste stream (discarded house paint) to mark a physical presence in digital space.
My work is generally concerned with human perception of current conditions; the Paintings for Satellites are specifically concerned with the effects of the digital on our physical bodies.
All my work begins a series of rules derived from existing conditions. For example, the color palette for the rooftop paintings is made from the discarded paint available on a given day; the physical surface of the roof determines the shape of the painting.
As this project proliferates, it will take two forms – a community model, using local volunteers and paint from the waste stream and a design/build model, using solar-reflective paint, solar panels and green roofing contractors.
Brooklyn-based artist Molly Dilworth “Cool Water, Hot Island” was the winning design for the temporary treatments of the Times Square pedestrian plazas. In 2009, a design competition was launched by the NYC Department of Transportation in partnership with the Times Square Alliance to refresh and revive the streetscape of the pedestrian plazas while the agency moves forward with the permanent design. Ms. Dilworth’s concept focuses on the urban heat-island effect, where cities tend to experience warmer temperatures than rural settings. The design’s colour palette of striking blues and light hues reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat—improving the look of these popular pedestrian plazas while making them more comfortable places to sit and relax. The colours and patterns evoke flowing water, like a river . Dilworth’s design also provides a compelling visual contrast to the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of Times Square’s marquees and billboards, as well as the chairs, tables and umbrellas.
The green public artwork is understood as an abstracted representation of Manhattan’s heat island effect, that extra blanket of warmth that plagues most urban areas. In addition to providing some visual oomph to the blasé square, this installation in particular, served somewhat like a white roof, reflecting heat instead of absorbing it and thereby making Times Square a little bit cooler of a place to hang out, if not exactly cool.