Drawing Machines: Evolution of Boxes

This piece places a series of paper boxes on a cardboard shelf. Each box has a different construction; some are made of a single piece and held together purely by folds. Another is composed of multiple identical smaller pieces that when brought together, form a large whole. Another is held together by glue, another is made of multiple pieces and held together by tape. Behind some of the boxes are their disassembled forms, attached to the wall, in a schematic-like fashion. 

I am fascinated by boxes, partially because I very much enjoy Trading Card Games (where boxes are important to hold the cards) and partially because I like to think about how 2-d surfaces can become 3-d objects, and placing those different experiences of an object side-by-side to compare. Additionally, I had alot of fun iterating on the basic box idea, so it was cool to be able to present somewhat of a timeline of my process as an art piece.

The boxes bear the marks of their creation: Pen-lines from where I marked cuts and folds give the boxes an almost animated cell-shaded look. Additionally, through utilization of museum wax, I was able to dynamically pose the boxes on the shelf and the flattened forms behind them. This, I think, allowed the presentation of the project to be more interesting than it otherwise would be, as typically boxes are securely flat on a surface, often in an organized manner. With my presentation, giving them a dynamic pose felt like it imbued life within them, turning what would be an image of mundane, lifeless boxes into a dynamic presentation of cuboid objects seeming to tumble onto the shelf.

This project shows me that even an idea as simple as folding boxes can still be visually interesting depending on its presentation. Sometimes I find myself doubting my greater artistic abilities if all I want to do is just fold different kinds of boxes, but I think that even if a concept is simple, if it is explored thoroughly and presented well enough, that it can still ultimately end up being a successful installation.

Author: Joseph Carmicino