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August 2, 2011

We at Dwell know Jay Atherton and Cy Keener mostly as architects; we profiled them and their beautiful extreme-minimalist house in Phoenix in our December/January 2011 issue (story online here). But they also explore their concepts and interests through the medium of installation art, including a show that featured 1,200 pounds of slowly melting and dripping ice at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art last summer. So I was intrigued to hear about their latest project, an exhibition entitled "Light Lines" at the University of Texas at El Paso's Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, on view until September 21st. Using simple materials—wire, eye hooks, paper soaked with plaster, mirrors—the show has transformed the Rubin Gallery into a vessel of light. Sculpted walkways reflect and refract sunlight from mirrors that are strategically placed in the hills surrounding the Rubin Center. Here's a look at the exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes peek at the installation process. All photographs by Heriberto Ibarra.

Jay Atherton and Cy Keener pose in the midst of their "Light Lines" exhibition, on view in the Rubin Gallery at the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts.
Jay Atherton and Cy Keener pose in the midst of their "Light Lines" exhibition, on view in the Rubin Gallery at the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts.
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Copyrighted. All rights reserved. All images and content is the property of Heriberto Ibarra Photography and may not be used or
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The installation consists of nine mirrors and thousands of plaster-impregnated pieces of cloth.
The installation consists of nine mirrors and thousands of plaster-impregnated pieces of cloth.
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Another view of the exhibition, capturing how the light plays on the textured paper.
Another view of the exhibition, capturing how the light plays on the textured paper.
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This is one of the nine mirrors situated in the hills surrounding the Rubin Center that reflect light into the gallery and through the square cloth.
This is one of the nine mirrors situated in the hills surrounding the Rubin Center that reflect light into the gallery and through the square cloth.
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Copyrighted. All rights reserved. All images and content is the property of Heriberto Ibarra Photography and may not be used or
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First step of the installation: embed the wall with eye hooks, which will anchor the stainless steel wire that will crisscross through the gallery, from floor to ceiling.
First step of the installation: embed the wall with eye hooks, which will anchor the stainless steel wire that will crisscross through the gallery, from floor to ceiling.
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A plan view of the wire and column locations.
A plan view of the wire and column locations.
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Exhibition Practices students worked together with Atherton Keener to install Light Lines.
Exhibition Practices students worked together with Atherton Keener to install Light Lines.
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Preparator Daniel Szwaczkowski measures metal corner guards that will be fixed to columns in the Rubin Center.
Preparator Daniel Szwaczkowski measures metal corner guards that will be fixed to columns in the Rubin Center.
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Jay Atherton affixes the wire to the hooks.
Jay Atherton affixes the wire to the hooks.
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Cy Keener checks to see how tightly strung the stainless steel wire in the gallery has been hung.
Cy Keener checks to see how tightly strung the stainless steel wire in the gallery has been hung.
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Assistant preparator Gabriella Caraballo begins to hang pieces of plaster-impregnated cloth onto the stainless steel wire.
Assistant preparator Gabriella Caraballo begins to hang pieces of plaster-impregnated cloth onto the stainless steel wire.
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Copyrighted. All rights reserved. All images and content is the property of Heriberto Ibarra Photography and may not be used or
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Jay Atherton mists the cloth with water and then crinkles it to give it texture.
Jay Atherton mists the cloth with water and then crinkles it to give it texture.
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The installation in progress.
The installation in progress.
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Another view of the installation.
Another view of the installation.
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Copyrighted. All rights reserved. All images and content is the property of Heriberto Ibarra Photography and may not be used or
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A detail shot of the crisscrossing wires.
A detail shot of the crisscrossing wires.
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A hand emerges to finish some last-minute misting!
A hand emerges to finish some last-minute misting!
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Nearly done!
Nearly done!
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A close-up of the crinkled plaster-coated paper.
A close-up of the crinkled plaster-coated paper.
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A view of the reflection in action, in the darkened gallery.<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dwell/id411793747?mt=8"><em><strong> FREE app from iTunes</strong></em></
A view of the reflection in action, in the darkened gallery.

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Courtesy of 
Copyrighted. All rights reserved. All images and content is the property of Heriberto Ibarra Photography and may not be used or
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Jay Atherton and Cy Keener pose in the midst of their "Light Lines" exhibition, on view in the Rubin Gallery at the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts.
Jay Atherton and Cy Keener pose in the midst of their "Light Lines" exhibition, on view in the Rubin Gallery at the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts.

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