Keith VanDerSys

2013 Pew Fellow

1/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, 2013 Pew Fellows. Photo by Colin Lenton.
2/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Not Garden, 2009. Geotextile, grass seed, gravel, 400 square feet. Part of the “Incremental Infrastructure” series. Photo courtesy of the artists.
3/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Not Garden, 2009. Geotextile, grass seed, gravel, 400 square feet. Part of the “Incremental Infrastructure” series. Photo courtesy of the artists.
4/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Dew Point, 2010. CNC custom-cut cardboard templates, concrete waterproof sealer, 1,500 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
5/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Dew Point, 2010. Computer visualization. Photo courtesy of the artists.
6/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys, Dew Point, 2010. CNC custom-cut cardboard templates, concrete waterproof sealer, 1,500 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
7/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (in collaboration with PLY Architecture, Almost Nothing, 2006. CNC custom-milled plywood formwork, precast concrete, native planting, 3,300 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
8/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (in collaboration with PLY Architecture, Almost Nothing, 2006. CNC custom-milled plywood formwork, precast concrete, native planting, 3,300 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.
9/9: Karen M’Closkey and Keith VanDerSys (in collaboration with PLY Architecture, Almost Nothing, 2006. CNC custom-milled plywood formwork, precast concrete, native planting, 3,300 square feet. Photo courtesy of the artists.


“We argue that patterns—due to their legibility and coherent structure—carry the potential to bind together landscape’s utilitarian and aesthetic functions: system and composition; performance and appearance; matter and sign.”

Karen M’Closkey (b. 1969) and Keith VanDerSys (b. 1968) explore the potential of new digital tools, fabrication technologies, and construction to expand the beauty and sustainability of the contemporary urban landscape. Their projects experiment with patterns that intrigue the eye as well as enhance natural functions, such as water flow and plant growth. Together, M’Closkey and VanDerSys have created techniques that result in a signature aesthetic, leading the way in the next generation of landscape design and contradicting notions that patterns are pretty but useless. They have worked with agencies such as the Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and they recently finished writing a book about the effects of digital advances in their field (Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age, forthcoming from Routledge).

VanDerSys received his M.A in critical studies in architectural culture from UCLA. He and M’Closkey are founding partners of PEG office of landscape + architecture as well as PennDesign faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.

References

Originally created with Center support for the 2012 FringeArts Festival, Georgia Tech Arts now presents Thaddeus Phillips’ Red-Eye to Havre de Grace at the Ferst Center for the Arts.

Pew Fellow and former Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez leads a poetry workshop exploring the history of Johnson House, Philadelphia’s only intact stop on the Underground Railroad.

Grants & Grantees

Joseph Cashore is a puppeteer and a 1996 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Judith Schaechter is a sculptor and stained-glass artist, and a 1992 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

In 1998 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 52 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations in the greater Philadelphia region.

We asked the 2013 Pew Fellow poets to share samples of their work. Watch Sueyeun Juliette Lee read from her chapbook, A Primary Mother.

Grants & Grantees

In 2004 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 76 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Brian Rogers is a director, video artist, co-founder, and artistic director of the Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City, Queens.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Daniel Fishkin is a composer, sound artist, and instrument builder whose work is informed by his personal experiences with tinnitus.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Douglas Crimp is an art critic, author, and the Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news highlights, The Philadelphia Inquirer celebrates ten years of Martha Graham Cracker, the alter ego of theater artist Dito van Reigersberg. Poet Major Jackson has published a new book with W.W. Norton & Company, and visual artist Gabriel Martinez opens a solo show at The Print Center this fall. DJ King Britt and performance artist Kate Watson-Wallace will co-curate a new music series as part of the 2015 Fringe Festival in September.

Grants & Grantees

In 2000 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 47 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.