The primary material in this installation is foam, an insulator used in new home construction, and like the canal system, helps make life in the desert possible for the modern dweller. The use of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in Fernandez’s three-dimensional painting directly correlates to the tension between a growing desert city and the environmental considerations of increasing water and power demand.
Placement of this artwork at the canal begs the question about what is “right” for a city’s growth: Cities are meant to thrive and evolve, aren’t they? Or do they reach a tipping point and naturally devolve, cycling in and out of plateau and growth? The low points, perhaps could be framed as opportunities to slow and refocus, provide a counterpoint to the highs of expansion. This canal artwork is a touchstone, offering a focal point by which to examine personal and collective expectations about desert city life.
Margaret Bruning, Scottsdale public art.
Artist Fausto Fernandez
Site-specific artwork for Scottsdale Waterfront
Commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art
Technical design by Shane Henson, Tempe
Foam cutting by All Dimensions Foam, Mesa
Project generously supported in part by Erik Reinhard
and All Dimensions Foam, Rusty James II and Mesa Plumbing