Using 40,000 coffee stirrers, Jonathan Brilliant has recently completed ‘The Mankato Piece’ at the Conkling Gallery at Minnesota State University. In addition to the coffee stirrers, the piece also includes 2,600 coffee cup sleeves staked on the braided aluminum cable, and ferrules.
The work references that of Andy Goldsworthy, who takes items from his natural surroundings and builds installations specific to each site. In this case, though, the natural surroundings would be a coffee shop instead of the great outdoors. It seems fitting considering our culture’s obsession with coffee and coffee shop culture.
The end result of The Mankato Piece is an undulating latticework universe, elevating an object most of us use and discard without a second thought.