JAXX leverages the pragmatic functionality of precast concrete tetrapods (interlocking erosion control elements widely used in coastal areas of Japan) set against the memory of play captured through the children’s game of jacks (based on an archaic form derived from the knucklebones of sheep and used in ancient fortune telling).
JAXX are an absurd recognition of the formal similarities inherent between these two extremes—between resistance to destruction and the innocence of youth.
As objects in a landscape, JAXX act simultaneously as intimate sculpture and as a harbinger of the inevitable—providing a moment of joy to the body and its memories, while offering an ominously pragmatic afterlife with an eye towards their future as barrier separating Socrates Park from the East River. In this middle stage of their life, JAXX act as folly and as a point of contemplation for visitors to the park.
(Made for a design-build competition, Folly/Function 2018, organized by the Architecture League of New York with Socrates Sculpture Park)