Fragment: The Hidden Sea (Island of Refuge)

Rains Graduate Housing Facility, Stanford University Stanford, CA 1993

"Fragment..." An assemblage of geologic materials and concepts adrift as if broken from a larger system floating in what is a geologically complex and fragmented terrain as in the Franciscan and Great Valley rock sequences that make up much of Western California. These ‘suspect terrains,’ are geologic progressions of ancient sea floor deposited against the original North American continent by accretion processes generated by plate tectonics and oceanic sea-floor spreading over millions of years.

"...The Hidden Sea..." A sea that resides in the memory of all sediments deposited in marine and estuarine environments. A sea that once lapped shorelines, that can now only be imagined. A sea that exists within the vast expanses of stratified material making up sedimentary landscapes, its currents and subtle subcurrents persisting in the orientation and gradients of minute lithified particles that drifted and settled to the bottom of the deep oceans. The variable seepage of water from the front facade of Fragment: The Hidden Sea (Island of Refuge) provides a living reminder of these themes, dampening the fossil-like inclusions and waveform strata.

"...(Island of Refuge)" An interactive topography: an ‘outcrop’ sited in a communal terrain, berms for relaxing and reading, the back slope for viewing activities on the adjacent grass expanse, the slow drip of the front facade inviting investigation of its origin and secrets.

John Roloff 1993 (revised, 1997)