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Steven's "Terrain Vague" series explores the imaginary, obsolete, uneasy and forgotten through mixed-media reliefs. These works delve into esoteric concepts, revealing sites with mysterious purposes and obscured locations. "Terrain Vague" delves into undefined spaces, embodying the potential, ambiguity, and enigma inherent in urban landscapes—the urban "other" hidden in plain sight. Through his art, Steven unravels the layers of these overlooked spaces, inviting viewers to contemplate the often-unseen narratives embedded within. The series challenges perceptions of what is visible and raises questions about the transformative nature of environments over time. Steven's exploration of these neglected corners echoes the idea that within the everyday urban sprawl lies a realm of uncharted possibilities and stories waiting to be uncovered, reimagined, and appreciated for their intricate and often forgotten significance.

Terrain Vague • Available

Fortran Phosgene
Relief, India ink on poplar and birch, 30” x 30” x 4”
Contact Steven for pricing and more information 

Composition for Mellotron & French Horn
Relief, India ink on poplar and birch, 7” x 7” x 2.25”
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Mathématiques de l'espace lointain 
(Deep Space Mathematics)
Relief, India ink on poplar and birch, 6.5" X 6.5" X 2.25"
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Tragbare Destabilisierungseinheit [TDE9], alias “Der Dachs” 
(Portable Destabilization Unit [TDE9], aka “The Badger”)
Relief. Wood, metal, rubber, plastic, vinyl, acrylic paint, 20" X 13" X 4"
Contact Steven for pricing and more information 

At the beginning of German unification after the fall of the Berlin wall, Western intelligence agents discovered this mysterious apparatus in an abandoned building near Leipzig. Upon investigation, agents discovered that the TDE9 was developed in the mid 1960s by the East German Ministry for State Security, or Stasi, as part of an experimental mood control program conducted in various population centers. 

Utilizing an external transmitter which has yet to be located, the TDE9 generated a range of ultra-low frequencies that resonated through structures such as apartment blocks, universities, bus stations and office buildings where undercover Stasi agents observed the effects of these transmissions on the occupants, many times with tragic results.

The TDE9 and its transmitter were typically concealed in basements or cavities created below ground floors for optimum results, hence the Stasi code name “The Badger.”

Monument to Norwegian Maritime Disasters
Relief. Acrylic on poplar, birch and metal, 12" X 12" X 3"
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The region of Hustadvika lies on the Norwegian coast between the towns of Kristiansund and Molde and is infamous for terrorizing and drowning sailing vessels for centuries.The Admiralty Sailing Directions—the authoritative, 75-volume navigation reference for merchant mariners—warns seafarers of this “notoriously dangerous” region. 

Monument to Norwegian Maritime Disasters recalls various ship falls that have collected in this area over the passage of time, piles of wooden-hull vessels with toppled masts, most notably a 300-year-old Dutch merchant vessel loaded with bricks, all largely in-tact and preserved by the icy Arctic waters.

Derbyshire Center for Magnetic Tape Data Research
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 24" X 24" X 2"
Contact Steven for pricing and more information 

The Derbyshire Center for Magnetic Tape Data Research (DCMTDR) is a vast, climate controlled and fireproof complex of 25 buildings cataloging copies all known analog tape recordings on Earth. The Library of Congress commissioned this project after a decade-long debacle when their playback and recording equipment, purchased from a contractor amid dubious circumstances, was poorly manufactured with replacement parts slow to produce and astronomically priced. Once the contractor filed bankruptcy and became defunct, aftermarket parts were non-existent rendering thousands of machines inoperative and obsolete, and subsequently sold to a Malaysian salvage firm for an undisclosed sum.

Enter the Magnetic Tape Data Preservation Society (MTDPS), a consortium of electronics manufacturers, recording industry professionals and enthusiasts who rescued the mammoth tape inventory. MTDPS commissioned the design and construction of the DCMTDR complex with Belgian architecture firm Waugh & Flooder to house the inventory and includes world-renowned research, production and education facilities utilizing a comprehensive array of forgotten, yet fully maintained, audio technologies from the past century.

The DCMTDR is named after Delia Derbyshire, the heroine of British electronic music and arranger of Ron Grainer's legendary 1963 theme of the Doctor Who series via innovative and complex electronic sounds and tape manipulation.

The plan view of the DCMTDR mimics data storage reels from the early era of computers and recorders, as represented in this work.

Burning Mountain
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 12" DIA. X 7" H
Contact Steven for pricing and more information 

Subterranean fires are a natural and fascinating phenomena occurring worldwide. These fires burn through massive coal seams deep in the ground, some of which have smoldered for thousands of years.

This phenomena is recalled in this Terrain Vague relief Burning Mountain...a jagged mass towering over the earth’s surface has incinerated from the inside out, emanating from the peak and continuing to cremate the mountain's exterior. The structure will eventually be reduced to fragile and unstable slag susceptible to collapsing upon itself with erosion and seismic events.

Terrain Vague • Archive

Sir George Martin Corrections Center
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 6" X 6" X 1.25"

Sir George Martin Corrections Center is Steven's second experiment in the Terrain Vague series. Understanding how wood behaves (or not) with cutting tools, sanding and painting gave Steven an appreciation of the creative process of these works akin to building and construction. The title references the late producer, arranger, composer, conductor and musician George Martin, whose visionary creativity guided many successful and influential musical groups throughout his six-decade career, most notably as EMI/Parlophone producer of The Beatles recordings at Abbey Road Studios.

Pavilion of Obsolete Technology
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 6" X 6" X 1.25"

Pavilion of Obsolete Technology is Steven's first experiment in wood relief that would eventually develop into his Terrain Vague series.

The New Atlantis (Strategic Oceanic Command)
Commissioned Work
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 16" DIA. X 6" H

Non-Compliant Blast Radius
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 12" X 12" X 1.75"

"Compliance" is a term we typically encounter in the areas of human resources, building codes and personal safety protocol. However, the term often becomes a subtle threat by entities seeking control of information and resources. Compliance can be so overreaching to the point where any allowance, special condition and nuance are ignored for the sake of general conformity with no tolerance for questioning or dissent, leading to what eventually becomes "force" or "abuse", either via economic or physically violent means. Non-Compliant Blast Radius demonstrates this faceless force in a detonation of tension. 

Preston Tucker Institute of Suppressed Innovation
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 12.5" X 12.5" X 2"

Those familiar with automotive visionary Preston Tucker and his "car of tomorrow" understand that sensible innovation isn't often eagerly adopted by the status quo. Change isn't always easy, neither is spending a lot of money to improve your product in seemingly intangible ways. Instead, it is often preferable to ride on the coattails of what works until it doesn't, or just run your competition out of business with litigation.

Preston Tucker Institute of Suppressed Innovation is an imaginary site and structure with the purpose of educating the public of inventions and ideas that could have radically improved our lives much sooner than realized.

National Library of Dystopian Fiction
Relief. Acrylic on poplar and birch, 12.5" X 12.5" X 2"

National Library of Dystopian Fiction depicts a structure that once existed but mysteriously vanished leaving no trace of its reality, not even local residents remember its existence although a handful faintly recall references to it in the distant past. However, many scholars believe this relief sculpture to be a construction model of the long-forgotten structure, causing much controversy within the urban archeology field.

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