Monuments of Marfa

This project explores an alternative network of monuments embedded in Marfa, TX. The town is a venue to view the works of Donald Judd and his close associates, but it is also a classic American small rural town shaped by the railroad and the arroyo. Judd chose to move to Marfa, buying buildings and converting buildings and land to house and display his work and those close to him. His presence in the town is still quite palpable - Judd’s work and life in Marfa is a networked space, similar to infrastructure, connecting interior and exterior spaces throughout the town. Because this town is also still a functioning outpost in the area - not a simple museum to house Judd’s work - the space is complex, and complicated by the extreme polarization of city-dwelling art lovers pilgrimaging to the town to see his work in juxtaposition with the dusty ranch hands buying groceries in the gas station.


Monuments of Marfa analyzes a more incidental infrastructure of the town as an alternative network that recognizes Marfa for what it is now, a complex spatial field where art and every day life coexist in an unusual tension. Borrowing from Michel de Certeau’s notion of the walker in Spatial Practices, we were interested in the idea that many of the residual artifacts of the town could be uncovered by walking through it, observing elements that were by happenstance entirely subjectively and temporally noticeable, but also acknowledging that the act of walking through/by and observing these elements makes them a critical part of the infrastructure of the town. The project proposes an intervention to mark this field condition – these markers call attention to the incidental infrastructure of the town, creating a new network that can act as a kind of counterpoint to Judd’s work and influence within the town. These markers are intended on one hand to be virtually invisible – an integrated element within the town, but on the other hand establish a codified system that could mark or elevate these elements even when they are gone or irrevocably change.





Monument Marker: Construction Details



Monument Marker: Construction Details

Monuments: 1 - 36




Markers: 4 Typologies - Construction Details


Monument Markers - Typical Grouping around Happenstance Artifacts



Monument Marker Location Diagrams and Marker Mock-ups

Site + Marker Composite 1


Site + Marker Composite 2