For this project, I have chosen to use wood, and more specifically the commodity version of this material – lumber – as a means to take a closer look at how standards shape us and our world.
Dimensional lumber is largely used by the construction industry worldwide. In North America, a majority of households are built with a wooden structure or frame made from dimensional lumber.
This series is about encouraging people to question and understand the reasoning (thought process) and decision-making behind the 'shape' of things. Moreover, it is about the natural resources we harness from the earth and the form, function and role they play in our everyday lives. Economies and industries are built around these decisions and they 'echo' off the center as rings in the core of a tree. Those standards set the 'tone' for future generations.
As Lawrence Busch explains in his book, Standards: A recipe for reality, "standards (and technologies) are dangerous because they are so easily naturalized, because in following them we amplify certain aspects of the world while reducing others, and we are thereby overwhelmed by their (and our) power." Standards are also necessary, constructive and productive as long as they are fair, equitable and effective. Standards are essential to civilization and they "shape not only the physical world around us but also our social lives and even our selves."
Susana Reisman was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1977. She received a BA in Economics from Wellesley College (Boston, 1999) and an MFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, 2005). After teaching photography for a number of years, Susana now dedicates her time to making art and running Circuit Gallery. She lives and works in Toronto.