with the Department of Public Works street repair crews and local artists
Providence, Rhode Island
In coordination with the Department of Public Works and artist crews, Project Pothole filled potholes in Providence with glow-in-the-dark rubber. The City crews supervised and safely facilitated this action while local artists managed the 12 hour curing. The voids, filled with rubber, were topped with a small greenhouse incubating structure. These were connected to accompanying cars which provided electricity for heat inducing light. Each greenhouse had a thermometer so that the artists could monitor a constant temperature of 70 degrees for appropriate curing. Although city lights competed with the luminescence, the glow could be visible when cars drove over them and created a shadow.
While some artists are in their studios casting negative spaces, road repair crews are engaged in very similar activities. The high cultural work usually intends to remove the positive from the mold to produce an object and therefore takes great care in using release material and strategizing around undercuts. The low cultural work intends to leave the cast material in place to produce the culturally valued material object of roads, and therefore takes great care in having the cast material stick. These holes in the road surface are naturally occurring. They are evidence of the power of water and constructed conflicts among water, traffic and asphalt, among constructed and natural systems. City crews are charged with maintaining a sense of order and control as often measured by smoothness of road surfaces, while ever attaining a static repaired road surface is impossible, especially with sandy soils of Rhode Island.