Something there but not there, something not there but there

December 1, 2009

Something there but not there, something not there but there

After the teacher introduced the project, I start to think how to make the concept ‘missing part, something (should be) there but not there’ realized by the material of a 5*5*5m box/space. I came up with several ideals. They all have something to do with the visual perception, the illusion tricks. After some thought of those ideals, I found myself more interested in thinking from an opposite way: something not there but there. It would be excited to combine the points together: ‘Something there but not there, something not there but there’. Only this time it is more than a pure optical illusion, but a illusion of consciousness at the same time.

Since this 5*5*5m box will be installed in a shopping mall, than what shopping mall has? Shops, products/gifts; mini-garden, plants, benches; people, flow of people…etc.

Flow of people

It is interesting to see what people react when they meet a roadblock. (If the corridor is 10m wide, than a 5*5*5m box is than obviously a road block.) Some people will stop and turn as soon as they see the roadblock. Some may just pass it. But Some people might go toward it to have a better look. What if that road block is meant to attract people? Is it still named as a road block anymore? How to play with this reversible concept?

The ‘Something’

A 5*5*5m can be said as a space, but it can also be viewed as a ‘giant object’. With kind of an intension to attract people, it should be something meet people’s desire and eye-catching as well. Than question comes, what is people (customer’s) desire? Perhaps some were to rest after long time of walking? Somewhere relax? Or maybe some place can…? How about a place where they can find some surprises? Maybe something has some kind of visual impact or eye-catching such as public art?

A series of experience

Consider this 5*5*5m space as a pausing-hub. Imagine this, when people walk along the shopping corridor, they may pause because of this space. Maybe they just simply take a rest at the lounge, and possibly have their ice cream or sandwiches. And latter on continue their journey. Or if they are curious, they will find something different inside the box than what they see 10 meters away. They might be interested in the exhibition, which is not only here but spread all over the shopping mall. Since then, the box now becomes the trigger of a new journey, a trigger which motivates people to search other boxes or follow the planned exhibition rout.

The link with Potemkin

The concept of Potemkin in brief is that what the phenomena shows may not be the same as what it is. Thus, in this proposal, the illusion/camouflage of lounge is actually an exhibition space (the black room).

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