Reconstruction – Smoke, 2006
In a recent project I wondered if one could use the type of spatial production evident in the work of Superstudio as a form of historical visualization and reconstruction. I made the above image as part of an effort to reconstruct the smokey air of Pittsburgh at the early 20th century. Architectural reconstructions often involve the reconstruction of structures versus the larger milieu in which they once were conceived. I imagine it is difficult to understand much of the architectural work of Pittsburgh from 1900-1950 without an understanding of the former state of the city’s atmosphere.
Of course the scale of the above proposal is completely unrealizable — technically, financially, and politically. Thus, the above image stands as a type of historical provocation. I considered how one might develop the idea at a more reasonable (but still formidable!) scale below. This, I imagine would be a balloon, of the type used for advertisements that is merely patterned with an image of smoke–floating above the city, a smoky Leonidov.