Philip Weller

Philip Weller

Brooklyn, NY, US


Salvaged Art Institute

This is a proposal for the reconsideration of damaged art objects, not as the altered forms of things that once were, but as artifacts of human operations; as objects unto themselves in what is merely their current state.

Information regarding the history and authorship of so-called art objects disables the viewer’s ability to consider them in this regard, so it is important that objects be displayed without any reference to their past.


By placing the objects anonymously into a circuitous conveyer system that allows all of the objects within its care to occupy identical spatial conditions, this display technique presents the damaged objects as equals and allows the visitor to behold and consider them objectively.   

By intersecting the visitor circulation spaces with the paths of the moving art objects, the Institute requires visitors to actively consider their spatial relationships with the art objects and with each other.

By allowing the visitor only brief and incomplete views of various art objects and fellow visitors, the Institute encourages visitors to navigate the traffic system in order to gain the missing vantage points. 
The Institute will receive deliveries and personnel via dedicated ferry service between Chelsea and its location in Staten Island.  When compared with the alternative use of streets and bridges, this method will allow transport over a more direct and less-congested route, decreasing the probability of accidents as well as the waste of time and fuel.

Visitors access the Institute as pedestrians via Bank Street and the coastal parkland of Staten Island.  Art objects and visitors therefore do not interact until arriving in the galleries of the Institute.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Staten Island, NY

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