Negative Externalities (2019)
Commissioned by The Museum of Capitalism
Exhibited at Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, Parsons School of Design
Industrial carpet tiles, hard board, thermoformed plastic, masonite, paint
Industrial carpet tiles are designed to obscure dirt, spills, and other messes in the office. As textiles intended to conceal, I am interested in their metaphorical and literal connection to the corporate contexts they furnish, where people in power make and conceal economic decisions with far-reaching ecological ramifications. I am intrigued by the gap between where a decision gets made and where its consequences are felt—the geographic and conceptual distance between cause and effect.
The abstract forms in Negative Externalities are based on the evolving shape of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, mapped over the course of three months. The materials used in the work—carpet tiles and plastic—have origins in oil extraction. Negative externality refers to the social/ecological costs that are not accounted for in economic calculations, with an oil spill being one example of a negative externality.