This piece is on the wall of the Japanese food store beside Market on Yates. I’ve been noticing it for a while. I always wonder if the wall was painted with aluminum paint to hide the vents by making them blend into the background. In some ways the paint makes the vents more visible because of the extreme contrast in surface textures between wall and metal. Exposed vents and pipes is a characteristic of post-modern architecture. This piece successfully balances itself between a post-modernist sensibility and a modernist structure. It has a relation to Russian Constructivist architecture with its emphasis on geometric form (with maybe a touch of Art Deco with the rounded forms); or some of the work of modernist sculptor Anthony Caro, in particular Caro’s metal pieces with one colour (in this case the colour is the brown of the cardboard tubes). But because of the range of materials used such as aluminum paint and the cardboard tubes, this piece probably couldn’t be considered high modernist (especially when comparing it to sculptors such as Anthony Caro or Tony Smith). We would have to look at an artist such as Geoffrey Farmer and his use of thow-away materials to really get a handle on what is going on here. I walked by this piece today and sadly the cardboard tubes are no longer there. The impulse that resulted in cardboard being added to this structure pleases me. Were the tubes put there for purely functional reasons (i.e. such as the need to hide them from somebody) or did someone look at this vent structure and say, all this needs is some cardboard? The most likely scenario is that the cardboard was there and then came the impulse to tuck the cardboard somewhere. This is probably not dissimilar from Farmer’s inclination to stack chairs. He probably was looking at two chairs one day, and thought ‘what would happen if I stacked them on top of another’. Its all up for speculation.