Concrete and glitter
Dimensions vary. This orientation: 247” x 251”x 23” high
A brief understanding of glitter.
The blueprint-like arrangement of concrete blocks in Mitzi Pederson’s the still night air leaves no rest for one’s eyes. Multiple shades of glitter catch what little sunlight beams in from our large windows, and many cannot help but be entranced by the juxtaposition of hard, cold, rough-edged concrete and shiny, animated glitter. Surface quality is transformed.
What is our fascination with glitter that renders some of us giddy and childlike, or makes us think of glamour and glitz? Certainly there is quite a bit of cultural space between Pederson’s piece for Open Satellite and My Little Pony, Mariah Carey, Goldshläger, Lurex, eyeshaddow, etc. Perhaps some socio-historical tidbits would be of interest:
The use of the word glitter can be traced back to the 14th century. It comes from Germanic glit-, denoting ‘shining, bright’. Additionally, the etymology can be traced to Middle English gliteren, perhaps from Old Norse glitra.*
Glitter is roughly 1mm2 in size, and fabricated from paper, glass, or plastic. General consensus is that it was invented sometime around World War II by Henry Ruschmann.**
Since the 1960s, glitter has been used to create shimmery silhouettes in fashion and cosmetics. Each decade has its glitter champions—think Ziggy Stardust, 80s hair bands, Sparkle Motion, and those gel pens that gained popularity in the early 2000s.***
Undeniably glitter has a strong presence in our cultural history. It’s also stunningly beautiful, as is Mitzi Pederson’s work. Come see it for yourself before the still night air closes March 19th.
- Katy Loeb, Open Satellite Communications Intern
*Sources: www.merriam-webster.com, www.word-origins.com.
***Inspired by NY Magazine’s article: http://nymag.com/shopping/features/38914/