Oscar Tuazon’s practice occupies a position between visual art, architecture, and activism. One of Tuazon’s most ambitious projects is an architectural installation entitled Zome Alloy, a hollowed wooden structure consisting of eleven polyhedral units, or zomes. The installation is modeled after the “Zome Home,” a solar powered house in Albuquerque, New Mexico designed by innovators Steve and Holly Baer.
The zome’s modular structure affords a flexibility that allows Tuazon to replicate, modify, and adapt his work according to renewed contexts. After its debut presentation during Art Basel 2016 in the city’s Messeplatz, Tuazon’s Zome Alloy was broken up into clusters and installed at various locations in the United States. Three zomes have been erected outdoors in Los Angeles, where they function as the artist’s studio, and two zomes will be installed in Minnesota at the farm of activist Winona LaDuke, which functions as a protest site against a nearby proposed oil pipeline.
Tuazon refers to each zome installation as a “Water School,” as the structure becomes a hub for discussion and education about the environment in which it is located. His studio is the Los Angeles Water School, or LAWS; the Minnesota site is Winona’s Water School, in honor of LaDuke. Tuazon is planning an additional permanent, public Water School in Cedar Spring, Nevada to bring art and awareness to a remote and ecologically fraught region, where the water that has served the community and environment for thousands of years is at risk of being siphoned through a pipeline to serve more commercial areas. Chain Letters is a series of works on paper by Tuazon that calls attention to the dialogue surrounding this Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) pipeline, highlighting letters both in both support and resistance of this project, which will potentially affect the future site of his Cedar Spring Water School.
Tuazon currently has a solo exhibition focusing on his Water School project at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Upcoming shows include a rooftop commission at the Aspen Art Museum, and a solo exhibition at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington.