Last-look: The Outdoor Type

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Mark Hagen seems to have read a share of theories illuminating the culture industry and simulated realities, excavating these possibilities through the ongoing structural ‘space frames’ he localizes in their latest reconfiguration at JOAN gallery— a consistently essential stop for those seeking to frame a sense of the hybridized and multifaceted art-scape colorizing a city Baudrillard once quipped to be ‘without dimension.’ Central to Mark Hagen’s site-specific The Outdoor Type is the interconnected grid conjured through the modular piece Ramada JOAN. A sculptural platform dusted with what could be the residual effects of salinization (having just ascended out of my portable pod from the high desert for a few days, I imagined them freshly salvaged off the shores of the Salton Sea…). This grid expands under a canopy composed of aluminum car rims and rises to form two anodized titanium sails. Holographic punctured panels stand as augmented archeologies— each a spectral, perception-based tower saturated through the artist’s use of Diet Coke as anodizing conductor to unveil the natural phenomenon of rainbows in the process. This industrial-informed structure culminates into a pedestal framing a remnant of a 60,000 year old rock said to predate ‘the realm, of what is considered to be the realm of homo sapiens’ cultural production.’ Controlling the expanse of natural occurrences and historical interfaces, Hagen is the conceptual cartographer here shaping an open-ended territory: mapping a tableau of possibility, he suggests the elasticity existing of and beyond the architectures identifying our physical encounter within this referential spectrum. Experiential and ephemeral, the gradations of Hagen’s evocations are interchangeable and subjective. Accessible by appointment and extended in the walls of JOAN thru Sunday, August 16th. All photos © Joshua White for JOAN

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