Painting for a Specific Floor,
2007 - 2008.

BOOK Available at La Tertulia, Rios Piedras and Amazon

[1] «Jacinto de agua» (Water hyacinth) is a Latin-American floating plant that grows pretty rapidly over the water surface suffocating the ecosystem underneath in tropical climates. Artist concern has nothing to do with this fact. The ideas are textural changes, liquid under floor, and an intention of dethrone visual phenomena with other senses especially the tactual. Texture, resistance to touch of the material's surface, variations in elevation from the surface, and weight are what is important. Although an illusional trick might be present. The collaboration will be finish on site at Centro Cultural Casapoli, Península de Coliumo, Chile, for 2008. [8] Casapoli was designed in 2005 by Mauricio Pezo and Sofía von Ellrichshausen.

Artist invites architect Andrés Mignucci to do a collaboration piece. Among his works are «Ventana al Mar» plaza and «Parque del Indio», both in Condado, Puerto Rico; Children's Park of «Parque Central», a 40,540 square-meter municipal sports and leisure center in the district of Santurce (2000, San Juan, Puerto Rico) and the restoration of «Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera», Puerta de Tierra, Puerto Rico, in 2003. The «Luis Muñoz Rivera Park» was designed by Bennet, Parsons & Frost of Chicago in 1924. Construction began four years later in 1928. In 1990 the park was first restored by the architect Otto Reyes Casanova. Also in 2002, Mignucci participated in the design of the «Parque Central de Santiago de los Caballeros», Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with Dominican architect Gustavo More. Mignucci was the editor of «Arquitectura Contemporánea en Puerto Rico 1976-1992» (American Institute of Architects, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, 1992).

Both agree to explore the ideas of liquidity and horizontality.

This proyect was funded partially by Programa de Artes Plásticas and Programa Básico de las Artes of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Review can be acces at El naufragio de las Carlos Otero Aponte (January 26, 2009).

[2]Window detail of Carlo Scarpa's Gypsoteca Canoviana, Possagno Plastercast Gallery, (1956-57). Sent by Mignucci in references to «Enable Blue»: "In both, the box gets destroy by the corner's opening. The content's form creates a light (built light) so solid, that the light becomes tangible." (Email sent to O'Neill, June 2, 2007).

[3]Digital pattern by artist for magnetic stripes (24 inches wide and 150 feet long), printed by Sign Engineering Group. The flexible magnet will be intervene by Mignucci. Conversation between artist and architect (Thursday, August 30, 2007) about "built light", "charge void" and color. [5] On the first audio (33:49), artist explains to Mignucci the magnetic stripes and they discuss the possibility of separating the piece instead of being floor and ceiling at the same time, 'charged void', as Mignucci call it, in reference to [4] Richard Serra's «Delineator» (1974-75) at exhibition at MOMA (Sculpture: Forty Years). [6] On the second audio (13:24), Mignucci discuss his essay «Inhabiting Shadows», among others things. [7] Test of the color strip.

Mignucci responded to O'Neill interest that the pieces make sound provoke by the expectador weight when walking over it with a reference to Charles Olson, «Projective Verse», 1950. An American modernist poet that proposed that silence, the breath of the reader, even the layout of words considering negative space on paper, poems meant to be read at loud as way for the reader to finish the poem. Olson is credited as one of the thinkers who coined the term postmodern. On a email sent to O'Neill (Saturday, September 22, 2007), Mignucci explained: "Whitehead (Alfred North) philosophical core is that 'fundamental elements in the universe are just instances of experiences'. Meaning that what we consider concrete objects are really a sequential of instances. Time as pulse, all experiences are influenced by previous experiences and it will do the same with future experiences. We perceived, we live them and react to them. For Whitehead the universe is incomplete and in a continuous change. Unity for him is just the constant process of experiences and perceptions. Olson acknowledges Whitehead influences in his creative work (…) As soon as the idea, the concept of the object separate from the object, as soon as religion lost its divine representation on the secular society, according to Olson, the multiplicity in unity decline and becomes instead homogeneous (…) Olson starts giving more importance to the process than the finished product. He said that poetry is 'a high-energy construct and that this is a spontaneous (open) process, as opposed to inherited line, stanza and overall form, or closed verse'. «Projective Verse» used the ear as a meter in relationship with rhythm and syllable - analogous, I think, to our formal relationship with form/material/space and void."

On a meeting on February 5, 2008, O'Neill proposed to Mignucci taking out the piece from Casa Poli. In reaction to the house structural base, bury underneath the rock ([9] and [10]). The fact that there is something underneath, done with certain violence to the terrain, in able to secure the house on a cliff ([11] and [12]), capture O'Neill's attention and her initial reference to the Jacintos. Pezo comments: "the landscape engineers warned us that we could only build close to the edge if we left a security margin towards the east side. They said the weight of the construction could make the clay composition of the soil slide against the tilted granite of the base. This forced us to limit the volume to a compact figure that would occupy a minimal amount of land and whose telluric composition would be in charge of transferring the load directly to the ground (...) Once we established this position that obstructed the flattest area, it was necessary to elevate the floor until we recovered at least two things: both the sensation of a natural podium surrounded by nothing and the morbid and unavoidable sight of the foot of the cliffs, where the sea explodes against the rocks."(David Basulto, Plataforma arquitectura, January, 2007). O'Neill and Mignucci agreed that an incision will be made as an echo to the house base, with stair (that include the magneto stripes) and half clear "pérbola" that will end in a version of Alberti's windows used as a motiff in the Poli House. Wind, manipulated by the incision on the terrain and the stair giving up a little under the weight of the expectador, will be the platform for sound [13].

Consulting with Simonetta Rossi, curator of Casa Poli, proposal have to change due that permanent installation and intervention with terrain was not allow. Mignucci proposed then to move the piece inside Casa Poli, first floor, and use the different views of the triple height the room has in able to install a temporary modulary floor with the magnets [14-16]. The fact that is a modular system (floor plan, PDF, 4.51 MB) allows the flexibility to finishing the piece on site, so, there is a word game with the "specific". The floor gives a little, creating sound acording to body weigth and will have ligths underneath. The posibility of inviting coreographer Viveca Vázquez was discussed and photographer Ivonne María Marcial to document performance, since Casa Poli is isolated and remote. On this meeting, July 30, 2008, Mignucci gave O'Neill a process book documenting the whole process up to date and his reaction to the artist's magnetic stripes (PDF, 3.66 MB, 33 pages). Audio [17] of July 30 meeting below, where Mignucci explained in detail the content of the process book (01:03:07.27, MOV, 10.83 MB).

[18]First prototype, discard, because of its ridigity. Also discard, the light underneath, Mignucci agrees with O'Neill that it not needed it due to its optical effect and color luminosity.[19]Discussion on how to assemble,on how to achieve liquidity effect and ideas of changing the material, also participating in the discussion are architects Carlos Rivera and Miguel Angel Pagán from Mignucci's Office (00:07:44.77, MOV, 27.4 MB) on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.

[20]Testing layout of magnetic modules on front of Mignucci's Office. [21]Short discussion between artist and architect about withdrawing wood panels, considering O'Neill proposal to attach foam to magnetic by a plastic wrap (or just attaching it by magnets) and they consider lowering the volume of foam, in able for achieving a more suggestive movement under body weight (00:01:23.16, MOV, 6.1 MB), on Monday, October 6, 2008.

[22 and 23]Conversation between O'Neill and Mignucci about the whole process, changes on site and written notes in O'Neill's Mental Map, November 10, 2008 (00:34:29.50, MOV, 8.6 MB, November 14, 2008). [24 and 25] Architectural students from the University of Bio Bio at site with curator Simonetta Rossi (at right), Quicktime movie (00:11:14.65, MOV, 8.6MB, November 14, 2008). Adobe Acrobat file documenting the whole process and final piece (4.57MB, 112 pages, color).[26]With Rosemarie Prim de Meissner, one of the owner of the house, Mignucci and O'Neill, on Casa Poli's cliff. [27]Detail and view of final work.


Jacintos, April 14, 2007  2 Scarpa's window, June 2, 2007

Digital pattern, August 28, 2007  4 Delineator, Richard Serra


Color strip, September 10, 2007

Casa Poli  9 Google Earth shot, 36 31 43.17 s, 72 58 35.13 w

10 Geological Plan, Plataforma Arquitectura  11 First level, Plataforma Arquitectura

12 Side Plan, Plataforma Arquitectura  13 Scketch, February 5, 2008

14 Mignucci, July 7, 2008  15 Magnet stripes at Mignucci's office, July 7, 2008

16  Magnet stripes at Mignucci's office, July 7, 2008  17 

18 first prototype, Wednesday, September 10, 2008  19 

20 layout of the floor, Monday, October 06, 2008  21 


  23  Mignucci on site, November 10, 2008

24 Mignucci with students, November 14, 2008.  25 

26 with Rosmarie Prim  27 Detail of final work


©2009 - María de Mater O'Neill