SCI-Arc Alum Patrick Geske's "Dark Mode" Exhibition at A+D Museum Imagines New Sculptural Realities for Domestic Objects
Patrick Geske (M.Arch 1, '16) is a Los Angeles based writer and designer who infuses his work with the kind of architectural thinking that explores the relationship between built objects and the built environments they inhabit. Geske took home the SCI-Arc Gehry Prize for Best Graduate Thesis in 2016 and has previously taught at SCI-Arc. He worked in the film industry before turning his attention to architecture and literature, and this unique background lends a sense of poetry and narrative possibility to the objects and environments he designs.
Working under the moniker of his studio P@10 (pronounced "patio") Geske created a body of work that takes up residence in two galleries at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles. "Dark Mode" is a solo exhibition that explores the sculptural potential of everyday domestic objects. Often the ingenuity of domestic design is obscured by the very ubiquity of its success. By making resonant tweaks to the design of quotidian household elements such as mirrors, shelves, outlet covers, and the humble wire hanger, Geske brings this ingenuity back into the light. The simple triangular affect of a wire hanger is multiplied into an elegant tangle of loops and arabesques reminiscent of both the Modernist sculpture of Alexander Calder and the playfulness of Memphis design. The result is uncanny and wholly functional. The title of the show takes its name from the "dark mode" setting on browsers and mobile phones that allows users to quickly turn their screens dark at night. According to the A+D, "P@10 asks what would it look like to switch your home into Dark Mode? What things fade out under a dark cover? And what is drawn forth? What stands out?"
In this way, "Dark Mode" not only considers an object's relationship to function and "sculptural-ness", but also its relationship to the dynamic effects of light and shadow. Together the morphing shadows cast by the hanger, and most poignantly, by the raised, curving edge of Geske's outlet cover design, account for the multidimensional range of factors that contribute to our perception of an object as beautiful or functional or art or design, or in this case, all of the above. "A recurring theme of the show is creating objects that provide for multiple functions, or uses." Geske says, "For instance, while the hanger can be used as any other hanger would, it's much better at accommodating things that are awkward on standard clothes hangers. Great for ties, scarves, towels, bras, wigs, bags, etc." Geske worked with SCI-Arc alumnus Cody Miner and illustrator Julia Spackman to bring the total environment of the exhibition to fruition.
A small edition of the outlet cover and wire hanger from "Dark Mode" are also included in the A+D Museum's Impermanent Collection, a museum shop concept that similarly bends and blends the boundaries between art and commodity, mass-production and artisanal design.
"Dark Mode" is on view at the A+D Museum in Los Angeles through February 17th