Structures for the Expanded Plane

Chris Foster

About the Artist

A multidisciplinary visual artist based in Toronto, (Tkaronto) Canada. Through his artwork, he seeks to understand and deconstruct subliminal structures of power in architecture by engaging conversations about local histories, material culture and the built environment. His creative process is motivated by public projects, site-specific installations and design/build collaborations. Foster's studio practice embraces a do-it-yourself methodology, engaging acts of resistance in reuse, repair, and maintenance to subvert systems of built-in obsolescence and to reimagine material ecologies. He received an interdisciplinary BFA from NSCAD University in 2008. His artwork has been exhibited across Canada and internationally

About the Works

Structures for the Expanded Plane' is an immersive kinetic installation that features a series of to-scale architectural sculptures that reference the 20th century's terrestrial infrastructure for mass communication - roadside billboards. The structures act as both figurative and functional elements in the exhibition. In the place of advertisements, the armatures support mirrors, providing vertical planes for the reflection of light and image. The sculptures stand between 4 and 5 feet tall, attempting to evoke the uncanny by presenting the stories tall monolithic forms at human scale. The billboards are fabricated using laser cut sheet steel, working to reinforce the scaled illusion with keen attention to detail. In place of the sun, the exhibition is lit with a very slow moving central spotlight that rotates horizontally, illuminating the sculptures one by one as it makes its way around the room. The spotlight is reflected in the mirrors, creating drifting geometries that pan across the gallery walls like choreographed dance. The title, 'Structures for the Expanded Plane,' references the projection plane, a device of graphic perspective used for translating 3D space onto a 2D plane. The problem of representing dimensional space runs throughout graphic history from ancient civilizations to present day. Various technologies have been used throughout the ages to navigate this challenge, often using the mirror and the lens as key components. The title, in gesturing towards these technological histories, questions the utility of the billboards, and by presenting them in dialogue with the body, proposes a reimagining of them as tools self reflection or self discovery.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.
Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.