CREAM CITY PATTERNS-MKE
“Cream City, MKE- How you like me now?”
Cream City bricks from 1212 S 1st st. Milwaukee, WI. The silver cheetah dance, Brian Holoubek-aka- “Heavy Rotation” for his awesome DJ sounds, Kohler toilet bowl clayware translated into bricks. Steel. TV.
1212 S 1st.Milwaukee, WI. was the sight of the Schneider Pattern Works. One of the first warehouses build in Milwaukee. It dates back to the 1880’s, and was made out of local cream colored clay from the Menominee river. This Cream city brick is part of the architectural identity that defines Milwaukee historic landscape. Facing this early warehouse is the giant Rockwell/Delta factory which is the largest manmade structure in Milwaukee. It once was the leader in tool manufacturing. In 2011, the pattern works building was slated for demolition to make way for an inner-city revitalization project. I was interested in why no one saw value in this historic building or felt it should be saved-- history had passed it by.
The city fenced it in and demolished it in the middle of the night. In an act to save or record some memory of this structure, I scaled the fence and grab 2 bricks from the demolition pile.
How do we question value or recognize value as a culture or as an individual?
What names, processes, materials or actions reinforce a sense of value in our culture?
Considering this, I set out to play with how I could make people notice. My actions in this piece are to endear this forgotten building.
The bricks are cast facsimiles made from Kohler toilet bowl clayware. Kohler is the highest quality and most expensive plumping producer in our country. Its high society yet it, also toilet bowl material at the same time.
A soundtrack was created with the collaborative help of “Heavy Rotation” aka- Brian Holoubek from Milwaukee, Wi. 20 different audio sound files were sent to him in order for him to create a Moog 7 min. musical composition. The piece needed a Milwaukee/ Asheville mixed symphony.
Seeing that our culture has an addiction to spectacle. I decided if I truly want to make this subject matter to be noticed I needed to bling it big time. Thus, the gold flashy fetish bodysuit dance was added. Translated bricks, Gold, spectacle, sexuality, sound, all meant to endear and question.