Depth of Field
Located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, SubCity Projects was comprised of an annex carved from the studio space of artist and project director Candida Alvarez; it’s an intimate, closet-sized space only visible through a window in the door. When approached to develop a piece for it, (ƒ)utility projects’ immediate thought as a collaborative was “how can we extend this space to seem larger than it is?” and “what sort of extension would retain a meaningful relationship to this historic building context?”
(ƒ)utility projects drew their inspiration from the building’s lightwell. An accommodation typical of the period during which the building was consturcted, the centeral lightwell would have afforded tenants access to daylight in the days before artificial lighting adequately illuminated the work at hand. Depth of Field replicated the scene from Candida’s studio window as though seen at night; strategic lighting, mylar vellum, and black museum board cut on a laser generate a perspectival illusion in which the closet-sized space appears to extend downward.