Stash v. To hide or store away in a secret place n. 1. A secret place where something is hidden or stored. 2. Something, such as money or an illegal drug, that has been hidden or stored.
Stash consists of ten hand-made objects whose forms mimic or draw influence from common outdoor urban elements that we have observed in Chicago landscape. These forms include: Metal and concrete poles and other protectors that prevent cars from hitting the corners of buildings, sandbags, tree trunks, electrical and telephone utility boxes, flower planters, wooden boxes that cover unfinished electrical ground fixtures, large rocks that are placed in traffic islands and driveways as barriers or decorations, and mysterious remnants of once functional fixtures that remain in situ.
We have made our own variations of these forms – mostly from different and less permanent materials than are used in the original fixture examples. We have used such diverse materials as chicken wire, paper maché, latex paint, found wood, PVC piping, hot glue, cardboard and concrete. Some of the Stash objects are highly convincing copies of forms found in our urban landscape – complete with faux finishing and artificial aging. Other Stash objects are convincing from a distance but their similarity to the forms they mimic will evaporate upon closer inspection. These keen eyes will make these stashes vulnerable to discovery.
In Stash, looks are deceiving. Not only are the stash objects not the real public fixtures whose forms they approximate, each Stash object has less visible function as a secret storage container. By turning over, prying open, lifting apart, unlatching or cutting into these objects, one will find a trove of potential experiences and functional items that the finder is free to take and use.