Discrete Curiosities  Elizabeth Lovett & Yair Keshet are architects, fabricators, and designers inhabiting a grey zone between art and the production of cultural artifacts. In this project they want to create opportunities for artists to recontextualise their work. They will build a mathematically derived display system that will act as a contemporary Cabinet of Wonders. This display will travel to public spaces around Kansas City that attract different sectors of the general public, and that encourage an atmosphere of social integration. Each exhibit will juxtapose the work of regional (and a few national) artists together with that of scientists and other researchers, and will be curated based on three thematic groupings, or “sets”. Keshet and Lovett are interested in provoking the curiosity of the general public, but also wish to create an opportunity for discourse between artists as they see their work resonate in unexpected relationship with other objects. All three “sets” will have a website presence where the artist will be able to provide a longer description, supporting images, contact information, and links to personal websites.

Lovett: “The cabinet of curiosity project stems from an instinctive cultural urge to collect artifacts and curate them in different categories as a means of proving and codifying a specific worldview. The initial premise is based on the 16c. Wunderkammer, whose contents displayed a microcosm of their owners’ personal world; containing art, craft, natural artifacts, and fancies of the imagination. While many of the ideas embodied in these early cabinets have found established institutional homes in current society (art museums, natural history museum, encyclopedias, and zoological gardens), one purpose of the cabinets is not regularly observed in today’s cultural traditions and institutions.

The act of curating a cabinet of curiosity is to test the relationship between objects whose categorical boundaries have not yet been defined.

It is this element of the traditional cabinet that we are in the act of reviving.”

About the Artists

Yair Keshet is a designer living in Kansas City and working at Populous. He received his Master of Architecture in 2010 from Harvard GSD, and is continuing to pursue interest in complex social and spatial inter-relationships. He has previously worked in the office of Preston Scott Cohen, where his contribution to the practice was exhibited in the ICA Boston, the Tel Aviv Museum Art, and the Venice Bienalle. His work has also been published in Architectural Design and Progressive Architecture, and GSD platform.

Elizabeth Lovett is a designer living in Kansas City and works at the A. Zahner Co. She received her Master of Architecture in 2010 from Harvard GSD, and is continuing to pursue her interest in the history and social implications of collections, as well as exploring new ways of defining surface geometries. She is a co-author as well as research contributor to the recently published book MATERIAL DESIGN, which explores the history and future of material applications in the built environment.
For more information, visit: www.lovettkeshet.com

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