My Cart


Connections with Strangers

Posted on December 15 2012

An Installation by Mackenzie Pikaart

A developing installation that will cover the walls of Paradigm Gallery + Studio in 12,000 buttons that capture fleeting memories and abstracted images. 

Mackenzie's Inspiration:

In the summer of 2011 I went on a stroll in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while listening to the meditative sounds of Lau Nau.  Suddenly, my thoughts surrounding the music aligned with a beautiful dance.  This wasn’t a traditional dance in a public space between people; it was an unknowing dance between true strangers.  I peered up to what I thought was a single apartment on the third floor of a brownstone.  There, two women were conversing through their actions.  What I soon realized, with their almost rehearsed movements, was the fact of two separate apartments divided by a single wall.  The almost mirroring images of a reach for a sauté pan, and then another for a cabinet door, and then symmetrical turn to the refrigerator, made me feel a sense of calm and comfort. Thinking back, remembering the calmness and the quiet comfort, links this memory with others.  Now when I see the strength of a flamenco dancer and their conveyance of power, commitment to tradition, and grace brings me back to the idea of a traditional brownstone.  The poised structure rooted by its historically strong foundation, gives connotations of sucsess, not only in the material world, but in the idea of cites like Philadelphia. Just like when a flamenco dancer makes their first stomp, the brownstone expresses a sense of “I am here”.

Memories and experiences are similar, but share differences.  When looking back on both of these, the remembrance of either can blur over time.  The memory can possibly be drastic from the true initial experience.  With this project, I wish to create a visual conversation between our thoughts, memories and experiences through buttons that line the walls of Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, Pa. This 12,000-button project will display images that possess clear and direct dialogue, whereas others will be so abstract that the original memory is lost.



 All of the buttons are currently on sale. One for $2 and nine for $15. 

Mackenzie's project was also featured in a recent Philadelphia Weekly article here. 

Check out all the progress that Mackenzie has made on her tumblr page.


Opening Night Photos: