Portfolio > Transformed Works

pen and ink, john martinek
Split Block
Pen and Ink
7" x 8.5"
January 2013

While working on this drawing I was thinking about fracking and how different things are “fracked” in our culture, lives, and landscape. This process led me to think about stress fractures that occur in masonry (brick and stone) but also in the body. Generally speaking, masonry construction is not very capable of expanding and contracting to absorb the stresses of the environment. Control joints need to be built into the design to relieve this stress, or the walls will start to fissure and crack over time. Our bodies are more capable of absorbing stress, but there is a limit as well.

As I was drawing I thought about how each brick or block is like a moment in time that is compiled to create a whole experience. Metaphorically, this could signify the checklist of a day, the moments that add up to a life, or the years of history that build a culture or civilization. When walking though older cities, different phases of time are revealed in the surrounding architecture. Changes in material indicate where something was added or taken away. A historical record is visible much like layers in the sediment or bedrock.

I was also thinking about how humans are constantly “cracking apart” everything and injecting change and growth, good or bad, into ourselves and our surroundings. I am intrigued by the idea of our minds and bodies being “fracked” by culture, food, and changing environmental conditions. What is being injected? What are the consequences of the resulting ruptures? What is the benefi

Split Block is literally the splitting apart of a city block or apartment block. A few different building have been redrawn as fragments, floating in the air, but interlocking into each other. The bricks act to add visual stability to the cracked walls, separations, and gaps. I think the result is something that is looks momentarily stable but also could collapse at any time. Like a moment of tense silence before the inevitable crash
Collection of Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa