Wave Hill | West 249th St. and Independence Ave.
Identifying at once as a “Nigerian-American-Artist-Engineer-DJ-Designer,” multi-media artist Eto Otitigbe’s practice encompasses sculpture, performance and installation. His Sunroom Project, Situations, Specifics, Attenuation, was inspired by the succulent Haworthia tessellata, which he photographed in Wave Hill’s Conservatory.The mosaic-like pattern on its leaves reminded him of digital technology—like pixels or matrices. Otitigbe used a software algorithm and a computer-controlled router to convert his photographs into engraved concrete slabs. When he learned that the plant is native to Southern Africa, he was fascinated to discover something “African” in the Bronx. He contemplated questions about migration and how the African Diaspora includes not just its people, but also its physical resources. To investigate how far a fixed set of conditions can transform a subject from its original form, the artist took the same plant images and further abstracted them by creating two additional geometric drawings, this time etched into aluminum plates. Finally, Otitigbe processed the picture of the leaves again with digital software, giving them the form of sculptural seating and locating them in the center of the Sunroom. Oddly shaped and ill-fitting to the body, the piece somehow allows for participation without making the visitor feel fully engaged, as if both furniture and person are out of place.