Phaidon’s new book Do It Yourself brings together fun and easy projects from some of the most exciting artists and designers working today. In this excerpt, the American artist Sarah Sze shows us how to create faux rocks in the style of her 2013 Venice Biennale installation Triple Point.
Paper Sculpture by Sarah Sze
Time: 10 min
What is authentic, and what is artificial? How much can you trust your perceptions? Why do we manufacture things at all? Questions such as these go through your mind when you look at Sarah Sze’s Paper Rock, a stone lump made out of crumpled paper that defies any purpose. It is very simple to make and looks deceptively real, but is neither hard, nor heavy, nor stable. It is neither a paperweight nor a door stop, though it could be – if you put a rock inside. Sze’s Paper Rock is a tribute to the perfection of nature. Modern technology can simulate it, but cannot attain it.
Paper. Digital Camera. Rock. Printer
1. Take a close-up photograph of a rock in which the rock fills the entire frame of the photograph, or look online to find your ideal rock texture from anywhere in the world.
2. Print the photograph on both sides of a sheet of paper of any size.
3. Crumple the piece of paper into a tight ball, keeping the top as smooth as possible.
Sarah Sze is a contemporary artist, born in Boston. Sze’s work attempts to navigate and model the ceaseless proliferation of information and objects in contemporary life. Incorporating elements of painting, architecture, and installation within her sculpture, Sze investigates the value we place on objects and explores how objects ascribe meaning to the places and times we inhabit. In 2013, she represented the United States at the Fifty-fifth Venice Biennale. She lives and works in New York City.