Borland Project Space events focus on use of plastic in the visual arts

"The Adventures of Chet Blake - Plastic Man" is one of 2,000 books that Katrin Hornek will use to create an on-site sculpture in the Borland Project Space. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Plastic — the good, the bad and the ugly — will be the focus of a series of events presented by the Borland Project Space (BPS) in conjunction with the Arts and Design Research Incubator (ADRI), Jan. 25–Feb. 11. The series is highlighted by “The Great Book Move” on Feb. 2, a performative event where the public is invited to help transport 2,000 books with “plastic” in the title from the University Libraries to the Borland Project Space to be used by visiting artist Katrin Hornek to create an on-site sculpture.

Through Feb. 11, the Borland Project Space is home to “Visible (Plastic) Entanglements,” a residency highlighting the multidisciplinary potential of “entangled research.” Resident scholars Joyce Henri Robinson, curator at the Palmer Museum of Art; Jennifer Wagnor-Lawlor, associate professor of women’s studies and English; and Heather Davis, post-doctoral scholar at the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, are researching and working towards the exhibition "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials," which will be on view at the Palmer Museum of Art in fall 2017. During the residency, artists Bonnie Collura, Katrin Hornek and Tom Lauerman will begin to fill the Borland Project Space with sculptures, prefiguring the exhibition.


ADRI Dialogue: “Assembly Language: Intuitive Wanderings in the Landscape of Digital Fabrication”

Monday, Jan. 25, noon–1 p.m., 16 Borland

Presented by Tom Lauerman, assistant professor of art

Lecture in 16 Borland (ADRI), followed by exhibition tour in 125 Borland (BPS)


Lunchtime Lecture: “Patchwork: Building a Composite Form”

Friday, Jan. 29, noon–1 p.m., 125 Borland

Presented by Bonnie Collura, associate professor of art


“The Great Book Move: A Performative Event”

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

The public is invited to help transport 2,000 books with “plastic” in the title from the main circulation desk in Pattee Library to the Borland Project Space. Participants will not be required to check out books under personal accounts. 


Artist Lecture: Katrin Hornek

Tuesday, Feb. 9, noon–1:30 p.m., Palmer Lipcon Auditorium

Originally educated as a sculptor, Hornek, of Vienna, Austria, is interested in looking at shaping forces and casting molds causing social, geological and abstract environments to materialize in forms. Her work in installation, video and photography stages a dialogue between the industrial and digital revolution, often discussing tension fields between growth and construction, control and an uncertainty, geo-engineering and climate change. Her work at Penn State is building upon her previous book project, “Title Word on Plastic*s,” which was composed of all the title pages of books on plastic in the Los Angeles Central Public Library (2013).


Visible (Plastic) Entanglements: A Working Exhibition

Thursday, Feb. 11, 5:30–7 p.m., 125 Borland

Closing Reception


The Arts and Design Research Incubator and Borland Project Space in the College of Arts and Architecture highlight the vibrant research culture in the college through a range of programming. For more information, visit and

Last Updated January 22, 2016