To create Compression System (Marble), Tauba Auerbach selected a slab of marble that was scanned. The photographic image of the marble was then printed on the front and back of a large sheet of Japanese paper. The printed sheet was then CNC-scored with a precise artist-designed line pattern and then hand-creased and hand-folded. The design folds in such a way that the shape and size of the paper becomes compressed and distorted, but the overall piece remains flat.
In the artist’s words, “One might think of it as a physical version of a jpeg, or some other digital form of compression. After studying the work of origami tessellation masters, I designed this crease pattern, which actually can be collapsed in a variety of different ways.” Each print requires approximately eight hours to fold by hand. Once folded, it is placed in a shaped frame, designed by the artist, and hung on the wall at an exact angle specified by Auerbach. When viewed in this way, Compression System (Marble) oscillates between flatness and three-dimensionality, ultimately transcending both its labor-intensive process and material; a profound and beautiful abstract work, rich with layered meanings and associations.
This limited edition work by Tauba Auerbach was published by the New Museum in New York City and Lisa Ivorian-Jones and made in collaboration with Andre Ribuoli and Jennifer Mahlman-Ribuoli of Ribuoli Digital.