Exhibited at SF Design Week, the Design Hub 2019
Monuments to the Plastocene
In this first installation in her series Monuments to the Plastocene, Tara de la Garza simulates the warp and the weft of a tartan pattern with her light tubes. Tartan, in the punk era, became a symbol of anti-establishment. de la Garza is using it here to protest throw-away culture and our ever increasing packaged life, protesting the lie we were told that plastic is recycled. Here, she wants to elevate plastic as a medium, collect it, treasure it.
de la Garza also plays with the historical significance of the grid, as pioneered by Sol Lewitt and Dan Flavin. The pattern is structured but not in a utopian, modernist sense,. Here, the criss-crossed horizontal and vertical light tubes create chaotic patterns that can only be understood at multiple vantage points. Colored gels layered around these lights, on close inspection, are the discarded plastic bags that tell our stories of consumption.