proposal for mid-review installation

christopher norman october 31 2007


space 8, sci-arc... the room between the main space and the twoga studio, 12' wide by 20' deep by 25' high


build a 1:1 experiential environment to research the ability for tectonics and space to control and influence perceptual saliency and experience

tectonic system:

black semi-opaque stretched fabric on an elastic cord frame occupying, restructuring, and challenging the existing space

mediated space types:

contemporaneous, durational, cyclical, overlapping


my preliminary research has shown that visual saliency is the foremost perceptual mechanism we use to understand our current temporal environment and therefore our temporal perspective. based on my research in understanding native temporal environments and how to control individual or group temporal perspectives i feel that experiments in decreasing visual saliency along with mediation of other experiential mechanisms can create experiential environments that yield different or mediated temporal perspectives. my mid-review is designed to test temporal-spatial hypotheses and will collect data related to user’s experiences

four test temporal-spatial environments:

contemporaneous – a mediated environment where the media used is explicitly contemporary to the viewer. the viewer in this space is presented with the armature used to mediate the other temporal-spatial environments in this installation. the intention is to confront the viewer with their own temporal perspective and the fallacy of the other mediated environments calling into question the truth of their own perspective

durational – a claustrophobia inducing path used to heighten the viewer’s sense of passing time and anticipation of time to come in an environment that is hyper spatial-temporal. at the end of the eighteen foot path the viewer is presented with uncomfortable images of architectural durational situations, specifically images of war damaged buildings in beirut… sublime temporal complexities in the built environment

cyclical – an environment that has two means of egress; creating a beginning and end or any other permutation of egress. the viewer will participate in a record of the accumulation of cycles that have come before them and in the cycles that have not yet happened. a semi-live projection of the record of this accumulation will be presented to the viewer at the midpoint of the spatial cycle

overlapping – the destination of viewer is withheld until they reach the end of the path where they have taken on the role of temporal-spatial voyeur. the media presented is the other temporal-spatial environments and their inhabitants and experiences

these environments will be created through tectonics and mediated perceptual saliency. the spatial mediation will be accomplished through black fabric with moderate elasticity on an elastic cord frame. the spatial configuration allows for physical overlap and physical interaction between viewers, deliberate or accidental. lighting will be controlled to withhold views, concentrate attention, and maintain deliberate opacity and transparency. projections and aural presentations will be used to reinforce the individual goals of each environment

the objective of this test installation is to practice and understand the ability of modified perceptual saliency to instrumentalize spatial experience and allow the inhabitant to focus their perception and understanding or unfocus their preconceptions.