Back to Top



Tyler Henry


Dec 2015

Destructure is an ephemeral sculpture composed of a range of 15 technological object forms spanning pre-historic to the contemporary era- including an axe, an abacus, a compass, a Nintendo controller, an iPhone 5 and a bionic hand. These objects were chemically destroyed, reflecting both the natural processes of erosion and destruction, and also the march of obsolescence in technological progress. Firstly sourced as 3d models from the internet, the objects were 3d-printed in polystyrene and painted white. The objects were then arranged vertically in three layers inside of a clear acrylic box, mimicking a vitrine like those found for display in history and art museums. The vertical arrangement references the archaeological layering of history as objects and tools are placed or lost in the earth over generations.

The sculpture was brought to Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo that has undergone massive gentrification after the Hurricane Sandy and placed on an old iron plinth that rises from a man-made tidal inlet, a marker of Dumbo's industrial past. The erosive process, realized by pouring acetone from the top of the box which leaked through, decomposed these tools and left dissolved, unrecognizable, almost organic masses. Technology changes quickly, and recent objects soon become arcane, dissolving away with their purposes and their users. In the same vein, entire geographies and geologies become lost to new structures, and even nature itself becomes obsolete.

Image 1

3D models of technological object forms

Image 2

Sculpture before erosion

Image 3

Sculpture after erosion

Image 4

Closeup of eroded sculpture