Bluhm Family Terrace
Postcommodity is an arts collective made up of collaborators Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist, who aggressively tackle some of the most pressing issues of our day. Their site-specific installations, interventions, videos, and sound pieces aim to foster constructive dialogues around social, political, and economic processes that destabilize communities and geographies and to connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere.
For their project at the Art Institute, titled With Each Incentive, Postcommodity reimagines the Bluhm Family Terrace as a stage for Chicago’s architectural future and contemplates how it might be transformed by the current wave of Indigenous American refugees from Mexico and Central and South America. The project is a symbolic gesture toward a desirable future that considers the culturally defined, kinship-centric architectural pragmatism often associated with Mexican and Central and South American cities, where a building is not an end but an ongoing process of growth or expansion. On the terrace, this takes the form of an ephemeral sculptural installation with columns of cinder block and steel rebar in various states of completion.
With Each Incentive references an Indigenous American worldview of continual emerging, becoming, and manifesting, rather than completion, finality, and wholeness. It is about making space—socially, culturally, and aesthetically—for refugees and for the intergenerational stewardship of family, culture, and community. This vision of a nimble approach to construction, of being prepared to add on and to build on, presents a new framing of the city’s historic skyline, inviting visitors to glimpse and further imagine Chicago’s Indigenous future.
Image: View of the Installation