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Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the city’s designated local arts and culture agency.

PODA: REPURPOSING CYCLICAL CITY

PODA: REPURPOSING CYCLICAL CITY

Brandon Ray with his PODS® Container, Repurposing Cyclical City; Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain; 2015; Mixed media.

Brandon Ray with his PODS® Container, Repurposing Cyclical City; Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain; 2015; Mixed media.

CONTRIBUTOR: 
Houston Arts Alliance

 

This is the third in a series of posts highlighting the Portable On Demand Art (PODA) 2.0 project and the artists who created temporary art works through this civic art endeavor. The Portable On Demand Art (PODA) project is a temporary public art installation series featuring the transformation of PODS® Containers into works of art. Learn more about the first installment of PODA, which debuted in 2011, by clicking here

When first happening upon Repurposing Cyclical City in the wild, you might feel a little perplexed. The PODS Container appears relatively untouched, exhibiting no mutations to transform it into a work of temporary art. However, upon further inspection, the viewer sees three large plexiglass windows, affording a view inside of a cityscape frozen in time. Cars traveling down roads are stopped; rail cars are frozen in intersections; and skyscrapers dotted with lights cast long shadows—all elements of a single moment captured in time. From each window floor-to-ceiling vantage point, the viewer can spy a different perspective on the immobilized city. Without realizing it, the viewer is peering into a single frame in artist Brandon Ray and team Paper Brain’s narrative of Repurposing Cyclical City.

An award-winning stop-motion animation artist, Ray and Team Paper Brain have meticulously crafted a three-dimensional miniature of Downtown Houston. 

 

 Repurposing Cyclical City, Brandon Ray and Team Paper Brain, 2015, Mixed media. Photo: Marc Newsome

 Repurposing Cyclical CityBrandon Ray and Team Paper Brain, 2015, Mixed media. Photo: Marc Newsome

 

The towering skyscrapers are familiar sights in the downtown skyline, including iconic architectural masterpieces like the Bank of America building and Heritage Plaza. Ray and Team Paper Brain crafted the miniature from repurposed cardboard, paper and trash – nearly the opposite of the steel and glass structures. The recreation of such massive, permanent structures using seemingly temporary materials is intentional: just as a city changes shape and buildings decay over time (if not maintained), so will Repurposing Cyclical City, through exposure to Houston’s sunny and humid environs.

Artist Brandon Ray constructs mesmerizing worlds out of the two-dimensional medium of paper. Ray and Team Paper Brain use stop-motion animation and puppetry techniques to bring imaginative worlds and stories to life. For this work, Ray and Team Paper Brain have received numerous honors and awards, most recently being selected for the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November 2014. Step inside Ray and Team Paper Brain’s magical world online, where shorts about teaching ABC’s all the way to music videos can be perused in his gallery of work.

Experience Ray and Team Paper Brain’s miniature snapshot in time of Downtown Houston for yourself, on view now through the end of May at locations across Greater Houston.

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