Smökers

A Mobile Public Art Project by Mark Reigelman II New York / United States / 2016

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Artist: Mark Reigelman II (b. 1983)


Title: Smökers


Date: 2016


Dimensions: 8'(l) x 6'(w) x 8'(h).


Materials: Birch Plywood, Maple, Pine, Steel, Paint, Mixed Media


Location: New York, NY


Dates: Various times through 2016


Commissioner(s): This project was supported by a Windgate Fellowship Award administered by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design


Photo/Video: Mark Reigelman II, Aaron Fleury


Video Editing: Brett Vance, Joshua Depew


 


Overview:


Smökers, a mobile site-specific project displayed in various locations in New York City by American artist Mark Reigelman II.


 


Concept:


The plastic orange steam tubes placed above manholes in New York are a commonplace element within the metropolis landscape. These tubular chimneys offer some sense of spectacle and mystery, but for the most part are one more obstacle in traversing the city. American artist, Mark Reigelman II, has created a site-specific art intervention that replaces these orange tubes. Smökers, forces spectators to reconsider the framework of a city’s infrastructure, and redress the functionality and activation of public space.


 


Smökers, consists of a miniature monochromatic wooden cabin, temporarily installed atop steaming manhole covers throughout New York City. This cabin replaces the brightly colored plastic steam tubes that dot the New York landscape, allowing the byproduct of the city’s essential industrial process (steam provides power and heat to thousands of homes throughout the city) to be highlighted and subverted. Inspired by Reigelman’s childhood fascination and familiarity with small hand-made German objects (Räuchermann), the project seeks to imbricate the purpose of steam tubes, and insert the notion of whimsy and imagined narrative to the everyday. Räuchermann, also commonly referred to as ‘smokers’, are simple wooden incense burners, often resembling cottages, animals, and chimney sweeps. The aesthetics of these common German objects references the orange and white candy-cane striping of these plastic steam tubes but more importantly, both objects have identical functionality and usage - to channel and release smoke - compounding the nuance of the work.


 


Fabrication:


Smökers was fabricated in Brooklyn, NY utilizing local manufacturers, suppliers and craftspeople. For the construction of the cabin Reigelman collaborated with Master Carpenter Andrin Widmer. The combination of skillsets Reigelman assembled facilitated the fabrication techniques and problem solving abilities that the project required. The cabin structure consists of a wooden 2”x4” foundation and a 2”x2” wood substructure. This structure was sheeted with ½” Birch Plywood with the fine details around the chimney, doors and windows constructed using Maple. Running through the center of the cabin is a custom metal ventilation system that allows street steam to be channeled through the chimney safely and effectively. Fabrication took approximately four weeks to complete with the final cabin structure measuring approximately 6’ wide x 8’ long by 8’ tall and weighing approximately 350lbs. The entire structure hovers 1” above the ground on 4” Industrial rubber casters which allows the large structure to glide effortlessly from location to location throughout Manhattan. The entire structure was hand painted with an outdoor paint color titled, Pigeon Grey, which further emphasized the notion of overlooked blips in the urban environment.


 


Design/Technical Development:


The Design and Technical Development of the project went through many months of alterations and refinement. The final design was heavily influenced by Shaker architecture, capturing the essence of functionality, simplicity and comfort.


 


Site/Installations:


Thus far Smökers has been installed in three central Manhattan locations; Broadway Ave. and Grand St. (SOHO), 1st Ave. and 12th St. (East Village) and Park Ave. and 27th St. (Midtown). The nature of this project allows it to travel and have mobility within the city. As the installation was not sanctioned or permitted the installation durations vary from 30 seconds to 3 hours depending on location and time. This created a beautiful ephemerality to the work, a sense of the fleeting, echoing the nature of the steam itself.

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    Artist: Mark Reigelman II (b. 1983) Title: Smökers Date: 2016 Dimensions: 8'(l) x 6'(w) x 8'(h). Materials: Birch Plywood, Maple, Pine, Steel, Paint, Mixed Media Location: New York, NY Dates: Various times through 2016 Commissioner(s): This project was supported by a Windgate Fellowship Award administered by The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design Photo/Video: Mark Reigelman II, Aaron Fleury Video Editing: Brett Vance, Joshua Depew   Overview: Smökers, a mobile...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Urban Furniture
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