Acid Rain 2001

Chakaia Booker, Acid Rain, 2001; Museum purchase: Members’ Acquisition Fund

Acid Rain comprises recycled rubber tires and tubing that Chakaia Booker has sliced, stripped, woven, twisted, and riveted into an expressive tableau. Her sculpture highlights the allusive power of her assemblage technique, intertwining the traditionally domestic, feminine pursuits of weaving and handiwork with industrial technology, using saws and drills to work with her unwieldy medium.

Their relationship to technology and prior function as a means of mobility makes tires apt metaphors for our post-modern world’s fixation on progress and connectivity. Booker notes: “Acid Rain symbolizes both the destruction and the creative possibilities of our interaction with the environment. Old, worn-out tires that are recycled symbolize opposing energies that are being resolved into new works of beauty.”

Although her sculptures express a dynamic energy, Booker meticulously plans her works. Acid Rain weighs more than 2,000 pounds; structurally, it is formed from 12 wall-mounted sections that join seamlessly. To devise her larger sculptures, Booker uses computer-aided design software, creates detailed models, and constructs armatures from pressure-treated wood and steel rods.