Aug 25, 2017 – Oct 21, 2017
Shrinking Room is a monumental, wood sculpture that merges architectural form with text to address issues of wealth inequality. This sculpture originated from Manley’s interest in developing a project related to the acute angles forming the architecture of the UMOCA building, specifically the corner of his (AIR) studio space.
While exploring this distinct spatial dynamic, Manley connected the psychological impact of the tightness of this corner space to a statistical graphic produced by the UCSC sociology department. The pie chart shows that 80% of Americans share only 7% of the total financial wealth in the U.S. Manley then set out to construct a sculptural interpretation of the 7% slice by translating these proportions into a physical form.
The sculpture incorporates 25 quotes by activists, philosophers, artists and writers spanning various points in history to present day, all of which assert opposition to greed, class inequality and oligarchical societies. Through various additive and subtractive woodworking methods, the quotations were carved and formed to produce lattice-screens. The sculpture was created with used pallet boards, and transforms these everyday objects used for transporting goods with digital design and computer controlled fabrication. The raw, weathered wood is contrasted by machine-cut font and hints at economical tensions between labor and technology, or divisions between production and capital.