“Gasoline Prices” is a weather-modified work of art in the tradition of wheat pasted graffiti. Because of its temporal nature, it may at times be “unreadable” as the rain dissolves the glue and the small pieces of hexagonal paper shift and float away, taking on random abstract compositions before disappearing completely. The artist will periodically be on site to “refresh” the art work with the addition of new wheat pasted gasoline prices, arranging the small hexagonal paper pieces to form numbers that mimic the seven segment display commonly seen on pocket calculators, digital clocks and gasoline pump displays.
Cole’s approach to this work is conceptual, narrative and visual. Conceptually he sets up a rule, to represent a finite group of numbers that are relational to retail consumption of gasoline. This simple gesture brings with it the whole history of oil production, international conflicts over resources and the ensuing history of domestic economic crisis’s that have rippled through countries due to price fluctuation. That, in turn, opens up a collective narrative, relative to one’s personal timeline and an earliest identity with or memory of a lowest gas price. The imperfect “piece by piece” hand assembly of each hexagonal piece of paper, random order of numbers and linear arrangement create off-kilter visual alignments, while its inevitable disappearance reflects the prospects of an economy based on non-renewable resources.