Field; The Black Box & Documentation 17/03/14

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A ‘Monolith’ from Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Space Odyssey’ series

One of the first ideas that was conceived within our Collaboration group was somewhat reminiscent of these monoliths from the ‘Space Odyssey’ Series. As we were interested in the aspects of Sensory Deprivation, and my first immediate thought was of a ‘Large, Dominating, Black Object which provided no sensory feedback’. Now of course, this is quite the difficult concept to pull off in our reality, but was something that I wanted to craft.

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I began to think back to a concept I had thought up last year; a large, smooth black object, that seemed to provide no sensory feedback to the viewer. If anything, it would be cold and seemingly metallic, but I’d prefer if it provided no feedback. Of course, this seems like an almost impossible task, and so I began to think about the possibility of overloading the senses with some form of inscription upon the surface of the ‘monolith’; either through braille, or some form of language/symbols. Interestingly, this braille would mean nothing to the vast majority of people how came into contact with it, as they more than likely would be unable to read it, however, those who are blind (and therefore are deprived of one sense), would have a field day with this object; It would be as if their sense of touch had actually been heightened by the deprivation of the eyes, an interesting take on the concepts of deprivation/overload within the senses.

The beauty of the object is in it’ simplicity, it’s darkness holds a great amount of untold dreams and unrealised potential, much like the monoliths within the Odyssey series; as well as my own interests in the aspects of Entropy and inherent potential and void that objects hold.

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Unfortunately, I began to think less of this ‘Monolith’ as a feasible concept, and so stepped back and reinvented the concept of the ‘Black Box’, and through some discussions with others in the group, began to perceive the box as an object that the viewer can interact with on a far more personal level; including the ability to clamber inside of the space. This then developed into a rather dark experiment where I wanted to experiment with the effects of sensory overload on a subject, by placing them in the closet and playing white noise into the ‘box’. The idea is to research the length of time that people can remain within the space, especially if they have varying mental states.

Of course, there was a great ethical issue with this, and so my ideas fell back into the ideas of the ‘Monolith’, which I’m far more interested in the concept of, and will endeavour to create a piece out of.

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I have also been creating a ‘nest’ like structure within my own subject work, as another example of the feelings felt during loneliness within the city. Much like the Cocoons I made last year, it is a space that provides comfort for us as humans; a space where we can go to reflect upon ourselves, and our lives, as well as meditate on our day-to-day routines. I am interested in blackening or whitening the piece, but if I am to blacken it; it would be through the process of burning the piece, exuding a sense of fragility and death not seen in the ‘whiter’ structures I have been creating. I will continue to burn this tomorrow.

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Detail of Nest

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