“Re: Positioning Fear”, 1997, Lozano Hemmer’s third Relational Architecture piece, is a large scale installation on the court yard facade of one of Europe’s largest military arsenals, Landeszeughaus, in Austria.The installation is an interface projecting shadows of city dwellers, finding themselves in front of this fortress. The shadows of the dwellers were automatically focused, and generated sounds through the use of a tracking system. The shadows projected onto the military interface were accompanied by a real-time IRC (Internet Relay Chat) discussion about the transformation of the concept of “fear”, as the title implies, between thirty artists and theorists from seventeen countries around the world. The interface, called “Teleabsence” only allowed the text conversation to appear where the physical participants placed their bodies in front of the facade. The participants had to use their bodies to read the text, making it a highly interactive piece, both through the physical presence of the audience, and the virtual presence of the Internet contributors. A numerical count also followed the shadows wherever they went, calculating their distance to the facade, confronting the participants with the eery and fearful reality of surveillance technology. The sound accompanying the installation also fortified this contemplation on fear and made the experience all the more sensory. The title of the installation also deserves attention in studying this piece. Lozano-Hemmer along with all the artists and theorists involved literally made the participants reposition fear; both bodily and intellectually. Through this installation, fear is explored as both a collective and personal concept, projected onto a historical military landmark to invite the participants to consider and question it within that historical realm, but also outside of it, through the IRC discussion. “Under Scan”, 2005, Lozano-Hemmer’s eleventh Relational Architecture piece, is an interactive video art installation created for public space, in which city dwellers within that space are detected by a computerized tracking system, which simulates video-portraits projected within the dweller’s shadow. This installation is truly amazing in that it speaks to the concept of surveillance that is increasingly inherent to our cities today, while also serving as a live performance art piece. As the dwellers walk away from their shadows, the video-portrait looks away and eventually disappears if no one activates it, establishing a sense of ephemerality and anonymity, which reflects on the concept of the city being a public sphere and terrain for complete strangers that are nonetheless linked by their shared spaces. Over one thousand portraits of volunteers were taken, and in the presentation of the installation in Trafalgar Square in 2008 the portraits appeared at random locations activated by the dwellers’ shadows. Every seven minutes the piece stopped and reset, to reveal the computerized surveillance tracking system during a brief intermission lighting sequence. This is extremely important to the piece, as it directly confronts the audience with the reality of surveillance and tracking technologies.
Lozano-Hemmer’s sixteenth Relational Architecture installation, “Solar Equation”, 2010, is a large scale public art installation featuring an animated three-dimensional maquette of the Sun, visible at night. This installation premiered at the “Light in Winter” Festival Federation Square, in Melbourne Australia from June 4 to July 4 2010.“Solar Equation” consists of an authentic simulation of the Sun, only 100 million times smaller than our actual Sun. Lozano-Hemmer created the word’s largest captive balloon and animated it using five projectors. The solar animation of the balloon is generated by live mathematical equations, simulating the visual surface of the Sun, which emphasizes the importance of Lozano-Hemmer’s scientific background. These equations produce a display that never repeats itself and that give the viewer an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the beauty of our most beloved planet, the Sun, otherwise only observable at the solar surface. The installation uses the latest SOHO and SDO solar observatory imaging available from NASA, overlaid with live animations derived from various equations. While viewing the installation, viewers have the ability to interact with it in real-time by using an iPhone or other device which disturbs the animations. This installation creates a highly interactive experience. This piece is extremely powerful in the largeness of its scope. It invites the audience to experience the Sun in a variety of manners: to experience its romantic quality inherent to its ephemerality, to perhaps contemplate the urgent question of global warming, but also to create their own personal narrative around the piece. Its scale and beauty engage the viewer to interact with the piece, yet its design assures the minimum urban disturbance. The balloon being tethered 20 meters above the ground, the audience is able to roam freely under it, during night and day, making it extremely subtle yet so powerful. Its power is expressed through this very subtleness: city dwellers can decide weather to be impacted by the work, which mirrors the very nature of the Sun; everyone is aware of its presence, yet its distance prohibits it from being forced upon us. The piece is also accompanied by sound; a live channel or rumbles, crackles and bursts, that is a live software simulation of solar activity, heard only faintly under the maquette. By bringing an audience together under this installation, Hemmer seems to make a metaphor about the very nature of the Sun in relation to society; we are collectively constantly standing under it, no matter where we are in the world, and it connects us without having to interact directly. This places his installation at the intersection of architecture and performance art and through this work, Lozano-Hemmer embraces urban media technologies to create platforms for public participation.
Mathilde and Simon, for their conference project, have created a set of uniforms to use as wearable maps. The uniforms are a short and T-shirt set in all black. The shirt have a grid of holes.
The mapping project, will be to weave through the holes with grey, white, and black string to record their movement based on their decoding of signs throughout the East Village.
The signs will be attached in the turning or transitional moments of the grid, each block will be another stitch, and each symbol will mark the transition. The symbols will be morbid tattoos, signs of death, and signs of caution in the physical realm.
The project was inspired by Merlin Coverley’s Psychogeography and Marina Abramovic’s trauma performance art. Mathilde and Simon will be wandering through the city as psychogeographers, while creating a performance art piece at the same time.
The purpose of the project is to uncover an untold narrative in the urban landscape and to archive the accumulated knowledge in an abstract context. the wearability of the map emphasizes the transformative nature of costume in urban exploration and geography, it allows for the participants to separate themselves from their preconceived context, and consistently re-imagine the world, as if they were seeing it for the first time.
Our two perspectives will create two maps, and our collaboration an entirely new narrative. Our perspectives both unique in the sam experience.
For my text project, I decided to explore “questions of space”, narrowing it down to the concept/notion of home. I was really inspired by the “Dakota” video by Young Hae Chang, so I am trying to follow the same style.
questions OF space
notion OF home
“owning a property affords someone a house in which to be at home
at the price of being homeless in the world”
where do you live?
here? but you don’t
here is not your home
home is supposed
a permanency in it
but yet here is still what you call home
what is home?
“the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.”
the space is our home
your house is not a home
or at least
it shouldn’t be
so you try to build yourself your own home
in the hope to feel comfortable
and mostly to belong
creating a home is using space
but what kind of space will YOU use?
will you use your mind?
not everyone survives bohemia
a return to nomadic existence
the world is a space of collaborative space making
so why the fuck
aren’t we yet collaborating
start embracing space
start embracing your surroundings
“freedom is the most difficult way of living that man can lead. For freedom can only be realized in creation and creation means discipline”
The City and environments we live in play a huge part in the vision we have of ourselves, our work and interactions with others. When I say city I mean everything from outside spaces to indoors (stores etc). Signs are everywhere, the people are everywhere but in a way, I feel like there is little space for our creativity to be fully expressed due to the boundaries our society places on us. The subtleties of society are what without us even knowing, impact our ways of thinking/creating. This class and the idea of reframing places huge emphasize on these subtleties and commodities that we conform to without giving second thought to. I think what rules society most these days is consumerism, which we all take part in and accept even if we would prefer not to. Materialism, big corporations etc rule our cities and lives, and that is a huge problem especially when starting to think about the future of our cities/lives.
My sticker campaign changed a lot during the process of making the stickers. My idea was to criticize consumerisms and big brands, so I first made this sticker:
I thought it was quite poignant and liked the “work buy consume die” text in the middle, which was straightforward and a bit intense. However, I think the image was maybe a bit much and also too much of someone else’s work, especially the background, which isn’t mine. I then decided to change the idea and made a Buddha sticker:
The sticker said “the root of suffering is attachment”. I thought it was fun, but not complex enough. I was looking for ideas online and whenever I typed in consumerism into google images, I found barcodes everywhere. The barcode was present in my first sticker but not predominantly. I think nothing says more consumerism than a barcode, and eventually the barcode becomes somewhat our “identity”, when consumerism takes over our lives and environments.
The barcode’s big black lines immediately made me think of bars, and made me think of “being locked in”, so I thought I would add big hands as if they were holding on to jail bars. I then added the text “the things you own end up owning you” in small font next to the barcode to slightly illustrate it.
The visual code of Heimbold played an important part in the making of my sticker. I was constantly thinking of where I would put it/why. The visual code of the building in my eye is quite hostile and simple in the sense that the only colors are white (the walls) and gray (silvery kind of). I thought my sticker should match the simplicity yet strength of the building. I think Heimbold is a great building in terms of creative thinking because it is all about vagueness. However, I think it sometimes lacks art and creations, aside from the Barbara Walters Gallery.
I was wondering where to put up my sticker in the building for it to have a significant meaning. It could be placed anywhere really but I thought it should be somewhere consumerism related in the building. I decided on the vending machines. I placed one on each: one on the glass part of one of the machines, and one on the bottom part of the other. The other place I am putting my stickers in on laptops. I have one on mine and started giving them to my friends to put on theirs.
Something pretty interesting happened though. I placed my stickers at night, and the next morning as I walked by the vending machine realized that the sticker that was on the glass was gone. It’s funny because it wasn’t completely removed, just moved to the black opaque part of the machine. I am not quite sure what to think of that/who could have done it but I think it’s interesting that it wasn’t completely removed!