27 January 2020

Measuring Marks on the Surface of Urban Space

27 January 2020 - Written by PhMuseum

In his work Marker, Daniel Everett turns his camera toward the surfaces that surround our everyday city experience. The visual representations of contemporary architecture, infrastructure, and their features are used to open a debate on the conflict between modernism and its legacy.

Marker is a body of work focused on the unintentional aesthetics of progress and the marks left behind from the systems we use to build and arrange space. Over time systems stack on top of systems and blur into one another. To organise something is to make it disappear, and order has a lingering sadness to it.

The series began with a collection of inadvertently painted stones gathered from various construction sites and subsequently organised by colour. Used as a way of indicating boundaries and providing instructions to workers, colour-coded paints are applied throughout the work-site and often spill over onto the surrounding rocks and landscape. In the wake of progress these stones remain as emblems of the organisational systems that displaced them. This expanded to photographing a wide range of marks used in the construction process and broader evidence of alterations. I also began noticeably editing and digitally modifying select images in order to add another plainly visible layer of reorganisation.

Here is a small statement on Marker written by Jesus Vasallo, curator of the Chicago Architecture Biennial:

"Daniel Everett’s digital images, grouped under the name Marker, focus on urban space through reading the traces left by change in the literal surfaces of the city. His systematic recording of the ground plane as the site of the programming and reprogramming of collective behavior and public life is a testament to the way that architecture and urbanism become a pervasive and almost subconscious presence in our daily routines. For Everett, modernism and its legacy exist simultaneously - although not without conflict - as a utopia and as the actual normative space of mass-produced architectures that form the backdrop of life in the developed world. Through the ambiguity and nuance of his visual technique, he walks us seamlessly through a series of scales, focusing on the tension between order and imperfection that defines the substrate of collective space in our contemporary condition."

Pictures by Daniel Everett and Words Daniel Everett & Jesus Vasallo.


Daniel Everett is an artist and professor working across a range of media including photography, video, sculpture, and installation. He received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Daniel currently teaches at Brigham Young University as an associate professor of New Genres. Find him on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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