Smooth Matter

  • Exhibition
  • Garage Exchange

1137 S Cochran Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Smooth Matter, the third exhibition in the MAK Center’s Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles series, was created by architect, former resident, and professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Bernhard Sommer in collaboration with Los Angeles architect, professor and author Neil M. Denari. Sommer’s interest in fluid forms and new fabrication technologies aligns with that of Denari, who has established an international career that rejects the Modernist machine aesthetic in favor of organic, free-form design.

Since the early 1990s, Denari has been a key proponent of smooth, free form surfaces generated via NURBS (non-uniform rational basis spline), mathematical representations of curves and three-dimensional forms used in computer modeling. Denari and others were inspired in part by the work of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, who in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) defined smooth space as “amorphous and not homogeneous…and connected by processes of frequency.” Sommer and Denari explore the possibilities of striation in Smooth Matter. They began with an initial two-dimensional surface and analyzed it using NURBS, eventually generating volumetric matter. At the Garage Top, they presented a series of flat hanging panels that stood across from their topological counterparts. The two-dimensional geometry of the initial surface serves as a resource that determines the three-dimensional quality of an architectural skin.

About Garage Exchange

In order to expand the cultural exchange at the core of the Artists and Architects-in-Residence program, The Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture and the MAK Center invite Austrian and Vienna-based alumni residents to collaborate with L.A. artists and architects of their choosing at the Garage Top at the Mackey Apartments for the Garage Exchange Vienna-Los Angeles exhibition series.

This exhibition series is made possible by The Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.