Shims: Thousands of Uses- Use #3 - CODAworx

Shims: Thousands of Uses- Use #3

Submitted by Christine Lee

Client: Art Produce Gallery

Location: San Diego, CA, United States

Completion date: 2007

Project Team


Christine Lee


Art Produce Gallery


Shims: Thousands of Uses- Use #3, 2007 is a 12’H x 26’W x 2”D temporary site-specific installation on display at the Art Produce Gallery in San Diego during the fall of 2007 involving the individual placement of wood shims around appliances that were borrowed from the local community.


It was my intention to create a perceptual experience through the unexpected placement of appliances we commonly use, surrounded and supported by wood shims which are frequently used, but rarely seen. At this particular location there was a combination of high pedestrian foot traffic, public transportation, and access to major freeways making the installation readily accessible. The installation could be viewed from many different vantage points- whether you are stuck in traffic, taking the #7 bus, or walking the dog. I was delighted with the thoughts of people coming across the piece unexpectedly or within their daily routine. I feel this type of interaction helps to reinforce the connection between the surrounding community and perceptual discoveries.


Home appliances were borrowed from the local community with the help of the Art Produce gallery staff, then arranged and shimmed within the four large windows that comprise this gallery’s storefront. Through the simple and repetitive tasks of arranging, placement and stacking, I developed an understanding and appreciation for the shim material beyond its common associations and intended function. The combination of repetition, rhythm, and craftsmanship applied to this installation illustrate the importance of the tactile experience within my creative process.

Additional Information

The ephemeral nature of this installation also serves as a subtle promotion of alternative ways to use materials with respect to our environment. Since the shims are not permanently affixed or glued together, they can be reused after the installation is removed. At the conclusion, the shims were delivered to the San Diego Habitat for Humanity, where they can be used again in construction and sold at the Restore.