Jason Rogenes «101 California Plaza» San Francisco, 2008.
READY FOR TAKE-OFF
The recycled-Styrofoam sculpture «JPC605468E4» hung in a faceted cardboard room constructed
by Jason Rogenes in Pomona, California. The artist sometimes titles work based on part numbers
marked on the polystyrene, the date of display or the dimensions of the piece.
A New York artist elevates an ecologically cursed and wholly uncelebrated material into a medium of enigma and promise.
Looking like Duchampian readymades in the retro-futuristic shape of the Millennium Falcon, the illuminated sculptures of Brooklyn-based Jason Rogenes are made from clusters of Styrofoam packaging that once cushioned computers and appliances and were salvaged from the trash heaps of New York City. Each totemic work contains fluorescent lighting – using ordinary T8 bulbs or 8-foot tubes – and is either suspended from the ceiling or plugged into an outlet like an oversized nightlight.
«I’m not painting the Styrofoam, so it is what it is,” says Rogenes, 37. “But when you recognize the forms – which look like toys, building blocks or even warp drives – you want to play with them.»
For the past decade, Rogenes has carved into the foam and used a low-melt adhesive to layer his materials into large-scale installations. His work uses the packaging that people throw away as they attempt to keep up with technological turnover.
«They’re ghosts from the future,» he explains «with all the potential of those products taken out of them.»