This is a conceptual piece that I developed for one of my classes. The assignment was to build a location that had to deal with space - any type of space. The first thing that came to my mind was a book that I had attempted to read earlier in the year - "The House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski.
The book follows a photojournalist and his family’s relationship with their house; the house has a greater space inside in one particular room than the outside. Something about this violation of space made me uncomfortable - it became something I wanted to explore. Additionally, one of the most memorable parts had to be its description on echoes. The narrator explores echoes’ connotations in the mythology and its relation to space and self.
“Myth takes Echo the subject of longing and desire. Physics makes Echo the subject of distance and design. Where emotion and reason are concerned both claims are accurate.; And where there is no Echo there is no description of space or love. There is only silence.”
What this book reminds me of is the time that everyone goes through as they grow and develop – a time when everyone struggles to find one’s self in relation to the vast space that is put before him/ ber. Something about the vast unknown is terrifying and unsettling and I think that Danielewski gets at that with his book with echoes. He touches upon something that is innately human: it is the vastness of space that makes us, humans, feel claustrophobic, for when there is that much space, there is no echo, and thus description of space or love – only silence.
This is what I chose to explore in this piece.
As shown, the structure will be imposing with a white marble facade, and once you enter the main area, you will be greated by a circular black structure, that is made of a shiny, black material - like obsidian.The image below shows the entrance of the black structure, without the white facade over it. The internal, black structure is off centered, so that visitors may encircle it to get a sense of its size and dimensions. This is the contrast what happens when one enters the internal structure - for their senses are stripped and it is hard to get a sense of the the structure's dimensions.
The following is a floor plan of the the structures. The idea is that the visitor enters from the south side, and walks directly through to the north end, however if they are brave enough, once inside the internal structure, they are encouraged to enter the eastern or western sides of the internal structure.
The structure is my play off of an echoic chamber - ideally as one enters, sound gets muted. Additionally, the inside is painted with a substance called vanta-black - a paint that absorbs almost all light. At the point one enters from the south side, the only source of light coming through is via the sliver of opening from the top, and with vanta black, one is confronted a seemingly endless space on both left and right sides. If they venture into the left and right openings, the inside is actually a mirrored surface - playing with the idea of confronting yourself in loneliness.