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Gail Heidel
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Crown Heights



ARTIST STATEMENT: Urbanism, particularly how the contemporary condition of interconnectivity, the agency of the individual and the theory of emergence effect the built environment is the focus of my work. To address these concepts, I create researchbased installations to highlight the importance of place and the living history of the site. These installations are comprised of an architectural vocabulary of press molded ceramic multiples and common building materials with a rough-hewn aesthetic. Historical relevance is placed on the use of ceramics as a building block of cities in its brick and tile form. The aesthetic choice is made to reference our aged infrastructure. My construction process is labor intensive and repetitive, echoing the mass production of buildings and the temporary construction sites that leave our cities in a constant state of flux. I investigate issues that arise in cities such as: urban development, eminent domain, access to private property, red lining, sprawl and subdivision of land. I also address suggested solutions achieved through responsible master plans. By loosely defining the outcome for an installation, I allow an emergent aspect to develop. Depending on the work, the viewer is invited to help install on site, enter a construction site, deconstruct or reorganize an installation with intent to encourage a sense of agency that is sometimes missing in the built environment. My work promotes ground up solutions to urban planning rather than top down decisions by requesting the viewer's participation and granting access to the work.
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  • Takings- architectural fragment seen when entering the gallery
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- sculptural key
    2012
    wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- sculptural key
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- view of terra cotta and cable tie fence in reflection
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- reverse side of architectural fragment
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- terra cotta and cable tie fence
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- viewing looking over wooden cube while on found ladder
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings-Aerial view inside cube from found ladder
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- viewer cutting terra cotta and cable tie fence
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Takings- viewers inside of cube
    2012
    ceramic, wood, wire rope, found ladder, cable ties, collage, oval threaded connectors, wire nut connectors
    Takings is a site-specific and interactive installation that critiques the use of eminent domain while promoting an emergent system. This system references a Jane Jacobs model for self-organized commu

  • Change of Use
    2012
    ceramic, wire rope
    Change of Use is an installation comprised of ceramic modular units suspended with wire rope sited in The Factory at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME. The placement of each unit wa

  • Change of Use- detail
    2012
    ceramic, wire rope
    Change of Use is an installation comprised of ceramic modular units suspended with wire rope sited in The Factory at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME. The placement of each unit wa

  • Change of Use- detail
    2012
    ceramic, wire rope
    Change of Use is an installation comprised of ceramic modular units suspended with wire rope sited in The Factory at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME. The placement of each unit wa

  • Peep Show
    2011
    ceramic, plastic tubing, glass, water, wood, wire- nut connectors, Red Art, acrylic gel medium, red iron oxide
    Peep Show is a site-specific installation based on research from the book Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, FL 1900-1995 by R. Bruce Stephenson. I

  • Peep Show- detail
    2011
    ceramic, plastic tubing, glass, water, wood, wire- nut connectors, Red Art, acrylic gel medium, red iron oxide
    Peep Show is a site-specific installation based on research from the book Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, FL 1900-1995 by R. Bruce Stephenson. I

  • Peep Show- detail
    2011
    ceramic, plastic tubing, glass, water, wood, wire- nut connectors, Red Art, acrylic gel medium, red iron oxide
    Peep Show is a site-specific installation based on research from the book Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, FL 1900-1995 by R. Bruce Stephenson. I

  • Takings- aerial view
    2011
    ceramic, plastic tubing, glass, water, wood, wire- nut connectors, Red Art, acrylic gel medium, red iron oxide
    Peep Show is a site-specific installation based on research from the book Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning, and City Building in St. Petersburg, FL 1900-1995 by R. Bruce Stephenson. I

  • Access Restricted
    2011
    ceramic, found ladder, cable ties, metal pipe and fittings
    Access Restricted is a labor-intensive terra cotta and cable tie fence. By placing the fence across a passage way, it confronts issues of access and movement by blocking a normal point of flow in the

  • Access Restricted- detail
    2011
    ceramic, found ladder, cable ties, metal pipe and fittings
    Access Restricted is a labor-intensive terra cotta and cable tie fence. By placing the fence across a passage way, it confronts issues of access and movement by blocking a normal point of flow in the

  • Access Restricted- detail of viewer clipping zip tie
    2011
    ceramic, found ladder, cable ties, metal pipe and fittings
    Access Restricted is a labor-intensive terra cotta and cable tie fence. By placing the fence across a passage way, it confronts issues of access and movement by blocking a normal point of flow in the
 








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