Project Name: SHUTTER
Proposal & Concept Video:
We have at our fingertips ease and comfort, which we use unabashedly. We have enhanced ourselves as beings who can control and contort the inherent miracle of the modern technological landscape in ways that make it increasingly manageable to handle with each passing day. What was once a game with staggered rules, with pacing ruled by intellectual property, we are entering a new stage of the technosphere which appears to be more leveled playing field. Networks create the ability to broadcast from the most remote locations, through any language, at any time, with ease. The spirit of our time is attempting to persuade us that we can have what we want, when we want it. We are being told to believe that doctors are on the other side of the screen and food will arrive shortly. We have altered the way we receive our basic and most vital human needs, yet as the technological groundwork has been built, ultimately the same compartmentalizing geography that discourages interaction and creates inequality between societal groups still exists.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy amplified this existing socio-spatial inequality that exists in The Rockaways and demonstrated how harshly this affects its most vulnerable inhabitants. With large parts of local infrastructure destroyed, those who were most vulnerable (undocumented migrants, people of color, low-income residents and the elderly) had their basic needs taken away. Hurricane Sandy is an apt representation of how natural disasters affect regions and populations of the world which are largely ignored, marginalized, and underrepresented.
The intention for my installation is to use the ON/OFF effect of the piece to convey the idea of HAVE/HAVE-NOT, a notion that was seen in many forms during the storm and long after it had left. Using the context of a natural disaster and the physical location of the Rockaway Festival, the piece will discuss issues of disparity in health care coverage and care, lack of electricity and water, and raise important questions such as what a general loss of basic needs means in our modern technological landscape. I intend to confront the ramifications of what happens when wireless and electrical networks are destroyed, basic needs are taken away, and the risks of geographic isolation, lack of safety networks, and societal boundaries manifest themselves unevenly along class lines, citizenship, age, and race.
Using the existing light box template I will create a three dimensional habitat in which the viewer can immerse and fuse with. Inside the dwelling they will be surrounded by opening and closing shutters, a full sphere soundscape, and pulsating lighting effects. Playing with and disrupting the viewer’s senses of sight and sound, the space will immerse the viewer in the hectic, placid, and disruptive states of a natural disaster, creating a feeling of isolation and a loss connectivity to the outside world.
Materials: Mixed media installation