purdue commission - the story
"Portal of Record"

I have worked directly with institutions to create site-specific shrines. The first was with Purdue University, where based on a proposal to create a work that acknowledged the University's past, I was given access to all the non-public places on the Purdue Campus in order to collect objects. Old laboratories, airplane hangers, storage rooms, gymnasiums, tool cages, clinics, offices, studios, and steam tunnels were the fertile hunting grounds. I worked directly with Purdue personnel to track down and secure the needed materials. Three months of collecting, and three months of production resulted in this piece called Portal of Record. The work was commissioned through a Purdue program called "Art in the Classroom". My proposal suggested building a shrine to Purdue's past in a classroom that opens up to Purdue's future. The work is placed in an older "classic" lecture hall that exits into a high tech, completely modernized building. It seemed the appropriate location for the work. Made completely of bits and pieces that conceptually illustrate (a vintage) Purdue University the work celebrates the University's meaningful past. In a newspaper article about the commission the sculpture was referred to as a work ..."of Purdue, by Purdue, and for Purdue."