Fissure – The Installations
January 26, 2018
November 3, 2017
Location: 39°06'17.8"N 94°35'32.7"W

Task: Fill Hole in Retaining Wall

Between 2015 and 2017, the Chouteau Society of Kansas City raised over $100,000 to repair and upgrade the pathways and retaining walls at the monument to Etienne Veniard, Sieur de Bourgment. Conscious of the emerging trend towards sustainability, the Chouteau Society chose to attempt LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification in the Site Design and Landscaping category. The LEED system awards credits based on the fulfillment of various criteria, one of which is using salvaged materials in lieu of new. This not only prevents discarded but still useful objects from ending up in a landfill, trading a responsible "cradle-to-cradle" lifecycle for the more conventional "cradle-to-grave", but it also reduces the carbon footprint associated with the fabrication of new construction materials. The Chouteau Society commissioned a local artist to develop a stone substitute for this pilot project; an object that could be easily built from common waste products found on construction sites, and also act structurally in both a durable and flexible capacity in the repair of the site's retaining walls and pathways.


This is a piece from a collection of work entitled FISSURE, shown at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, from November 3, 2017 - January 26, 2018.

Twenty years ago, a girl moved to a new city. She spent the first few weeks walking and investigating, then built a hidden residence inside a billboard sign from which she could watch the city move and react beneath her, unaware of her presence. As time passed, she tricked the city into revealing all its secrets; however, it soon became clear that she must insert her own into the voids left by her intrusion, in order to maintain equilibrium. As an architect, the girl is predisposed to notice conditions that are unstable or unresolved, so she decides to reciprocate the city's unintentional generosity by stabilizing these issues. The fix is only temporary: these devices are not designed as permanent solutions, rather to act as urban prosthetics that may become an intrinsic part of the whole or be absorbed back into the city when no longer needed.

There are eight “secrets” inserted in various places around both Kansas City and Wichita. They can be found at the following locations:

37°41'21.1"N 97°20'09.2"W
37°41'00.7"N 97°20'51.9"W
37°41'02.4"N 97°20'37.2"W
37°40'49.4"N 97°19'51.8"W
39°06'12.6"N 94°34'51.3"W
39°05'37.7"N 94°34'54.7"W
39°05'14.1"N 94°34'55.8"W
39°06'17.8"N 94°35'32.7"W