FIRST FROM THE MEANS, 2009Unfinished steel shelving16' × 4' × 3'

FIRST FROM THE MEANS is assembled from unfinished heavy-duty shelving units, an item with a commercial history, but also increasingly prevalent in the home and indicative of the integration of an industrial aesthetic into the domestic. As form-follows-function design was bastardized into a style, these shelving units seem to have all but replaced traditional wood construction along with ornament and craftsmanship./I am interested when one’s only relationship to the process of production is through customization, through assembling, personalizing, and exerting a preference. Building these basic shelving units into each other frees them from their slight burdens, holding a vase in the living room or a small sack of flour in the pantry, marginalizing their utility, but at the same time instilling them with a new purpose: to expose the structuring principles of so many of the things and experiences we surround ourselves with day in and day out. Consumption might be a new form of production, and FIRST FROM THE MEANS argues that the gathering and presenting of information and materials is their production.