Aine Art Museum, Tornio, Finland

I was given a photocopied sketch plan of the museum. From the Aine Art Museum website I printed out two tiny photos of the building. Where these schematic images enough to be working with? Why try for more detailed information? The idea of responding to the site via these meagre representations began to intrigue me. Site unseen. Like Durer’s engraving of a rhinoceros based on a written description, what would an interpretive object be like, returned to the interior of the real museum space?

The plan shows an odd acute angle in the footprint of the building. It reminds me of some of the “shearing” distortions on the digital models I’m working with at the moment – generic buildings, which are stretched, tapered, etc. We tend to regard computers as providing high levels of accurate information; I’m more interested in their capacity for distortion. Combine this with the limited source information and something strange yet connected can emerge.

The sculpture is a model of the Museum. But the angles of the floor plan have been “reversed”, the elevations have been tilted and stretched, I don’t even know where openings should be, nor what lies behind the elevation I can see on the photo. Clearly, its not an architectural model, but refers more to a pattern maker’s model, an object in transition from one state to another. It’s an object out of place in the only place where it belongs.

Site Unseen was made for a group exhibition, “Something Strange”, 2004.