Painted Topography is an installation located in the ground floor of the abandoned American Flour Warehouse in Silo City, Buffalo.
Warehouses and factories typically exhibit a virtual horizon line produced by the columns’ protective coat of paint that extends up to a person’s eye-level. In this project, the usual horizon line has been transformed into a virtual topography of hills and valleys. The resulting interior landscape can be considered a new type of public interior that is available to be occupied by different types of events that may or may not react to the spatial conditions newly defined by the wavy virtual topography.
Cities in distressed economies present large stocks of similarly abandoned buildings. While these buildings are generally seen by private developers as nonviable enterprises, they could offer alternative futures if they were thought of as radically new public interior spaces.
Projects like Painted Topography explore how the orderly and empty nature of these spaces can be preserved by further intensifying it, presenting these spaces with a newly infused artistic nature that only induces temporary occupations—thus attempting to prevent the spaces from being permanently occupied by single powers, meanings, or functions and thereby becoming public in their fullest sense.
American Flour Warehouse, Silo City, Buffalo, USA