Poorly Drafted Lines, Dismantled and Suspended (2018) is comprised of eleven glass tiles and a dozen acrylic resin chains (nontoxic), and is four by three feet (length x width, 50lbs). To create the piece, I began by cutting out our world’s national borders via laser cutter, re-arranging them and making molds of these intuitive assemblages. These molds were then translated into the material sensibility of glass; the process of casting glass being in so many ways analogous to how land is formed. In making the piece, I am not only exploring the absurdity of boarders, but also the fluidity of space, its interconnectedness and interdependence. Shining the light from above activates the clear glass— the crevices and valleys—resulting in multiple focal points.
Cartography has an axial influence on my artistic practice. The very gesture of creating a map bears so much weight historically. In the work I produce, I am considering those that have been excluded from place making historically, and still are to this day. Moreover, I grapple with how to use, but subvert, cartography as a visual form of communication given how extensively it informed and helped execute European imperialism, and today still divides land, people and cultures. I think of using maps to depict moments and places of play, myth and the absurd as ways of breaking with this tradition and its problematic history.
1:10,000 (2018) is part of an ongoing body of work that blends personal, fantastical and representational cartographies. The collaged geometries on the composition are lines of light that were rendered by scanning glass map sculptures. The longer I looked at them, the more anthropomorphic they became to me, and so I decided to represent them as creatures or spirits in the spaces I create in my compositions.
Rebecca Denise Tanda (b. 1994) is an artist based in Chicago. A graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA 2019), she has exhibited in Chicago and internationally. She produces works that grapple with the notions and manifestations of space, power and mythology using the vehicles of sculpture, animation and site-specific work.