Surreal Steampunk Cities Made of Collaged Photographs
Composite creations, these surrealistic structures and miniature urban landscapes are made from real photographs. The so-called Habitat Machines and Industrial Parkland series by David Trautrimas appropriate everyday housewares – from pots and pans to faucets and fans – in fantastical Steampunk-esque city-scapes.
Via Trautrimas’ website:
“Mr. Trautrimas became interested in the idea of creating fanciful dwellings unfettered by zoning ordinances or the laws of physics, he said, after noting the blandness of most residential development. ‘What Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid are doing on a commercial scale would be so cool if it was happening residentially’ he said.”
“He also enjoys spoofing the marketing come-ons of new condo developments, which typically – or ‘at least here in Canada’ he said – depict an idealized version of the new building set into a rolling meadow. ‘You know it’s in downtown Toronto’ he said, ‘and not in any wilderness.'”
In everything from individual buildings to entire neighborhoods, this approach incorporates technologies with which we are naggingly familiar – even when they are not always easy to recognize when first viewing one these curious artworks. As with Steampunk, the art is in the the remix.
As cues to their origins, names are assigned to these projects including: Waffle Iron Heights, Oil Can Residence, Vacuum Tower, Hole Punch Flats, Space Heater Place, Razor Cooperative, Film Projector Factory, The Fishing Complex and The Measurement District.
By shifting the scale and editing the details of this ordinary objects, this artist taps into patterns we recognize from our everyday lives. As such, his work is about bridging the gap between reality and fantasy – the ordinary and extraordinary.
About the artist, via Cornell:
“David Trautrimas is a Toronto-based artist working with digital images and mixed media models. His work artfully collages/merges found objects with diverse landscapes, permitting the objects to read as architecture. His exhibition focuses selections from three projects: Industrial Parkland, The Spyfrost Project, and Habitat Machines. Each uses scale, site, and point-of-view differently.”
“There is a deadpan seriousness to the work. Despite employing known objects — coffee makers, electric razors, toaster ovens — they are a presented as earnest, rather than fantastical, buildings and urban views. The scaling up of these objects permits an aesthetic reappraisal and renewed appreciation of their industrial design; recalling the Bauhaus philosophy equating the design emphasis of a teapot to a work of architecture.”