This Door Will Blow Your Mind: Nanotecture

By: Wescover

We stumbled upon this incredible installation piece by Jonathan Latiano and his collaborator Jennifer Strunge called Nantotecture. We were fascinated by this piece and just had to know more!

Nanotecture, a collaborative sculpture by Jonathan Latiano and Jennifer Strunge, as seen at the School 33 Art Center.
Nanotecture, a collaborative sculpture by Jonathan Latiano and Jennifer Strunge, as seen at the School 33 Art Center.

How did you choose all of the different materials you used for your piece?


“The choice of materials was dictated by Jennifer’s and my individual areas of expertise. I am particularly adept at architectural intervention and light-based materials, while Jen is a master fibers artist. It was a particularly interesting challenge to integrate those two mediums.”


How long did the installation take you?


“Nanotecture took about five months to create from start to finish. The first half of the project was dedicated to just getting to know each other, which included studio visits, lunches, journaling, sketching, and exchanging book recommendations. Then we spent about a month ironing out what exactly we would do, creating detailed drawings, prototypes, and models. The last six weeks were dedicated to the actual fabrication and installation, which happened simultaneously in multiple locations. Jennifer built all of the fabric off-site while I built the main architecturally integrated structure in the stairwell where the piece now exists. Eventually we worked in shifts on site, slowing integrating the two elements together”


How do you hope people feel when they see the work?


“I’m always particularly interested in artworks that are hidden enough that people are a bit surprised when they come upon them. This artwork is installed in a back stairwell at the School 33 Art Center, which is not typically where people are expecting to be confronted with an installation sculpture. Jennifer and I were also interested in trying to really push the sense of spatial awareness within the piece. I hope we challenge the viewer’s expectations of exactly where the artwork is beginning and ending”


How did you achieve all of the different values in the monochromatic white palette?


“Jennifer and I were specifically interested in playing with the subtle variations of a completely white pallet, which was directly informed by the existing pallet of the space. There are four distinct variants of white in this piece: the white of the swirling plaster structure (which is matched to the interior paint used inside the stairwell), the two whites of the fabrics Jennifer used in her plush “polyp” forms, and the white of the interior lights we placed inside the piece (which are a different light temperature from the hallway fluorescents.)”


Generally, what is your favourite part of finishing an installation piece?


“I personally still really enjoy the motion of the artwork and how the two very different types of materials ended up working together. I’ve done a handful of collaborations over the last ten years and I feel this one may still be the most successful as far as a true dialogue between mediums go.”


How does this piece interact with your study of time and spacial awareness?


“The different light temperatures inside the artwork really play with the sense of depth within the piece, making it appear much deeper than it really is. As I stated in the answer above, I’m always interested in trying to strategically focus on blurring the lines of where an artwork is physically beginning and ending within a space. It was tricky to determine the dimensions of this work, since there are interventions within the space that are part of the artwork but are not meant to be noticed by the viewer. In a work like this, the harder it is to label those dimensions, the happier I am at the end of the day.”


Big thank you to Jonathan for giving us all of these insights into his amazing creative process! We love discovering new works from our artists! If you have a cool new piece on your page that you want to talk about, email for a feature opportunity!
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