Icon Made of Sand  #01 “Nike AIR JORDAN 1”

ARTWORK

Icon Made of Sand #01 “Nike AIR JORDAN 1”
2021

How will our consumption look when seen from the perspective of people in the future with different values?
The inspiration for this piece started from that simple question.

Within the lifestyle of the artist, who grew up in the midst of Tokyo street culture,
Nike sneakers were a constant and absolute iconic presence.

This piece is a sneaker sculpted in sand.
The Nike Air Jordan 1 is made of sand and the logo mark is in acrylic.

The symbol of consumption is detached from the functional material,
and the two elements are crafted from differing materials and given a different sense of time.

The concept is deconstructed and rebuilt from two materials in different times.

We have icon preferences, these icons are a part of our lives, and we consume them.
In this sense, the work is like a letter from the future to all of us living in the world right now.

 

WHAT HE MADE
“Icon Made of Sand” is the title of a series of works by Seitaro Yamazaki. The series pursues the characteristics of “symbols” in the consumer society, which have been prevailing since late 20th century until today, through the aspect of “time”.

The first work in the series, “#01 Nike Air Jordan 1”, consists of a paint-coated sneaker made of casting sand and transparent acrylic resin featuring a cross section in the shape of Nike’s “Swoosh Logo”, fragments of the casting sand generated in the sneaker shaping process, and the 3D printing modelling data.

Among the three support components of the work, casting sand and acrylic resin have been respectively and constantly undergoing chemical transformation process through interactions with their surrounding environment in their own time axes. Thus, the combination of timelines of the three support media is always different. That said, the modeling data can produce something “extremely similar” to the acrylic resin part as an replacement.

The part featuring the cross section of the Swoosh Logo shape is thicker by 20mm than the sneaker itself. The part can be inserted up to whatever depth the artist likes. Therefore, how the acrylic part looks totally depends on where the viewer stands.

 
WHY HE MADE
As the art director of a design firm, Seitaro Yamazaki faces myriad “symbols” every day.

Some of such “symbols” are extremely localized, while others are acknowledged literally all over the world. As these symbols go around through exchanges and distribution channels among people, they acquire positive or negative connotations as attributions. Some symbols occasionally create massive monetary flow, induce powerful emotions, unite people, or divide population.

The dynamic and performative characteristics of “symbols” in today’s business are not something that can be affirmed or denied in their entirety. However, their powerful presence in the age we live is undeniable, and we have no other choice than to always face them. 

Then, if we could glance back upon our age from the distant future, how does our relationship with “icons/symbols” look like? Will it be the same as how we presently see “icons/symbols”? To address this question, this work combines three materials to express “Swoosh Logo”, one of the epitomes of our age.

“#01 Nike Air Jordan 1” juxtaposes three support media in different time axes – casting sand, acrylic resin, and digital data – to visualize the multiple flows of time surrounding “Swoosh Logo”, an “icon/symbol”. The connotations attributed to “Swoosh Logo” are also undergoing permanent transitions through the flow of information on Internet.

In other words, “icons/symbols” manifest themselves from the numerous crisscrossing flows with a certain order. They do not deliberately arrive from a known origin – rather, they spontaneously emerge in and disappear from the site of consumption where we all belong.

While casting sand is massively in use on a daily basis as the material of industrial products, it never shows itself in our daily consumer life. The material momentarily emerges in random places and then disappears, just like the negative image of today’s consumer society.

Acrylic resin, on the other hand, is renowned among various plastics particularly for its transparency, weathering resistance, and shock resistance, playing conspicuous part in our consumptive life. Finally, digital data is an intangible material, while it functions as the overwhelming driving force of the consumer society. The three media supporting “#01 Nike Air Jordan 1” were selected from three realms of “things” that support our consumer activities.

 

 

 

 

 

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