SuMFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: SIMPARCH

June 23 kicks off the first UArts Summer MFA program lecture series, Food for Thought. The first speaker is the artist collective, SIMPARCH.

SIMPARCH work in large-scale installations that cross boundaries between sculpture and architecture. Often interactive and employing sound, SIMPARCH embodies the current trend of D.I.Y. and reusing materials to create social environments.

SIMPARCH's Free Basin (2000)
SIMPARCH's Free Basin (2000)

Here is some additional reading material, offered through the University Libraries’ website, to help you learn more about this popular artist collective. All found through the article database Wilson Web, the links will take you right to the articles (if you are off campus, you will need to enter your name and library barcode first).

Noah Chasin’s “Off the Wall“(Art Review, July 2006: 46-9) is a brief overview of this “anarchitect” group and their latest installations. Referring to their “punk rock” style of architecture, Chasin notes that this group is best when “they draw attention to the forgotten spaces, gaps and margins of the urban environment.”

In “Skate Logic” (Interior Design, May 2003: 234-235). Cindy Coleman reviews perhaps SIMPARCH’s most famous work, Free Basin. Coleman describes how the artists transformed an abandoned swimming pool into an indoor skateboarding park.

Kathryn Hixson’s interview with Steve Badgett and Matt Lynch (“Simparch,” New Art Examiner, November 2000: 44-6)  highlights the creation of SIMPARCH, its earlier works, as well as the conceptual and material foundations of much of their work. Free Basin is examined in detail.

James Pallister’s “Telling Stories” (Architects’ Journal, August 27 2009: 22-9) discusses a giant human head from timber blocks that SIMPARCH created. The visitor enters through the mouth and can climb stairs to look out the eyes into the great wilderness of Kielder Water and Forest Park Art and Architecture Programme (Northumberland, England). Inspired by Celtic spirits who watch over the land, the articles describes the monumental structure as “a mystery that makes you want to get closer.”

Simparch’s Social Sculpture at the Wendover Air Force Base” (Polly Ullrich, Sculpture, May 2004: 24-5) reviews Clean Livin’, an off-the-grid Quonset hut. It was commissioned by the Center for Land Use Interpretation ‘so that visitors could experience and study the stark landscape and controversial military past of Wendover.” She discusses the construction of the project and its self-sustainability.

Find out more information on the Summer MFA Food for Thought lecture series. Lectures are about an hour long, free and open to the public.

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