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Invited Distinguished Professor:

Nate Hume.


Gabriel Esquivel,  Studio Professor

Texas A&M University


Team: Tung Dinh, Kate Gesing, Estafania Del Salto, Andrew Lane.

This project is a research and development center for the Animal Science department at Texas A&M, which deals with reproductive physiology, animal breeding and genetics, dairy and meat sciences as well as animal nutrition. Our center would focus on genetic research of goats and sheep, particularly innovative methods of reproduction such as cloning.


While the project resides in College Station, it is an autonomous ensemble which represents its own qualities and exists outside of the local vernacular. The form of the ensemble is composed of a select number of profiles that are layered around each other to envelop space, and act as an inhabitable poche. Each piece has a thickness which creates volume. The organization of the pieces creates an onion like effect in which a subject can be in the exterior of the ensemble, the interior of the enveloped space, or the interior of the volumes. The use of nesting and layering of parts helps to create an allure about what’s around the corner, or what other qualities can be uncovered.


One cannot fully understand all the qualities of the onticology, however, with this project we began to look into the idea of parallel realities in which one seemingly masks the features of the other. Within Baudrillard’s explanation of a hyperreality, he states that phase two of the sign is when reality exists but is distorted in representation. Our project exists in a pristine, romanticized reality that begins to hide a parallel darker world of abjection. Neither of these realites is in conflict with the other, but coexist in the same way the worlds of day and night occur in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. There is a “cute” aesthetic that begins to mislead the subject about the dirty or grimy qualities associated with raising animals such as the copious amounts of excrement or the smell, in addition to the more grotesque aspects of animal experimentation. 


Culturally, there is a tendency to present the best versions of oneself or of a project and to consume the first image seen as the totality of the situation.Umberto Eco expands on Baudrillard’s notion of hyperreality by implying when one desires a reality, a false version of that reality is fabricated to be consumed as real. Here, we can see that within the pop-like profiles, glimpses of the abject can be seen, but not in their entirety as the pristine, or the mask, becomes the more sought after reality.



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