Art League Houston (ALH) presented Sustainable Lifeguard Chair Chicken Coop (SLICK), a new, interactive work, funded in part by the 2019 Support for Artists and Creative Individuals Grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. This project and site-specific installation underscore the artist’s interest in creative sustainability, society and consumerism. The passing of time and the viewer’s perception is integral to the work; the installation is viewable at all hours of the day, and guests are invited to interact with the piece. Originally interested in building a mobile, interactive, public work of art, SLICK is designed to stimulate a shelter that is a self-sufficient device acting as a place of home, occupation and source of food. The desire and importance of living up to societal standards is ingrained in us as humans. Kasey’s philosophical thought behind SLICK questions our innate desires to conform to society and whether a system that values creative modes of living is a possible resource and solution to our mass-consumeristic lifestyles.

“I am particularly intrigued by objects that have social and mobile qualities. SLICK is designed to be inhabited and reflects on the interaction between people and our environment,” states Short. “This project was originally conceived as something that could be accessible as a kit to consumers, but I am more interested in the translation of instructions and that kind of potential through experience rather than explicit guides.” SLICK is constructed using contemporary and unconventional approaches to sculptural practice, including metal, wood, new media and digital fabrication, in the artist’s hope to create a futuristic pod that serves as both a protective and producing resource for life and the idea of art as a tool for living.

In our overpopulated societies, residency and issues regarding population growth and resource scarcity are of growing concern. In this sense, SLICK deals with social mobility and survivalist modes, while also identifying ways of human adaptation and means for living in varied ecological realms. Kasey’s installation emphasizes how we, as humans, cultivate and effectively utilize minimal space. As the population rises, our modes of living must also adjust to accommodate societal changes, creating a sense of place in both interior and exterior worlds.