Dante Baldassin

Dante Baldassin

New York, NY, US


Iterative Ceramics

Using slipcasting as a methodology, we explore material language for “nothingness” and the immaterial intangible dimensions of reality. Focusing specifically on rituals, we used slipcasting to explore indirect forms of representation, manipulating materials to make the intangible visible.

The process of ceramic slipcasting is one of iteration, transference and performance-more specifically of time, negation, and action. Its Process of becoming requires two molds: the plaster mold used cast ceramic slip, and another mold used to cast the plaster mold, demanding the double negation of an ordinary object. It not only produces an altered version of the ordinary object, but also reproduces an endless array of doubles through iterative casting. Through this layered alterity, we pursue new forms of coherence which reexamine the stability and unity of objects, allowing us to reconsider the ways in which we represent reality.

Inherent to the process itself is and uncanny relationship between the simulations distance (difference) and coincidence (sameness) of each cast doppelganger. This oscillation between the exteriority (distance) and interiority (coincidence) of the distinction between cast objects produces a liminal dimension which allows for the tangible and intangible, and the material and immaterial, to touch. It is precisely their supposed distance and unitary nature which is undermined by the uncanny doubling inherent to slipcasting, revealing the interobjective and intersubjective reality of the casts. Therefore, each cast iteration can only be understood in relation to its doubles- its series, molds, and originary objects. In its most unified interpretation, the casts can be read as a snapshot of the lifespan and changing form of the mold, necessarily bound together. Yet, in some projects, the mold is entirely lost in the process. In others, the originary object, is lost to the process while the mold remains.

This methodology forces us to reconsider the static ways in which we understand form and representation in architecture. In contrast, it opens up new possibilities of oblique representation, communication between objects and over time, as well as offering an alternative to literal and symbolic forms. The sameness of each iterative cast reveals difference between them. In this space of difference, we developed performative and time-based forms of representation. Their iterative vessels explore possibilities to contain ritual through time-based action. While some projects utilize objects from the ritual itself, leaving imprints and traces on the mold and cast, as well as explore the performative properties of the material and the process itself as containers for their rituals.

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Status: Built