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Change of Unit this year, fresh start! We’re into the second week and it’s already at full throttle! Really exciting brief, here it goes:
The first phase of Unit 18’s journey through the ambiguous world of the techno-social condition will start with looking at the near future, more specifically 2030. In this exercise of speculative narratives students are expected to investigate current environmental conditions existing today and explore them further in future scenarios. Statistics, predictions, world tendencies, urban myths will serve as inspiration.
In Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ nature is mediated with narrative elements, contemporary religious symbolism and cautionary imagination. In the triptych the garden is a scenario of mankind’s free will. Each student will individually design a garden (of earthly delights) in the area of China Town in London. You will look for a site to contextualise your project. It can occupy a pocket of space, be a bridge connection or a parasite to existing buildings. Based on 3 categories students will create their first speculation. Each category isa departure point with a set of references for each student to articulate their garden design.
I chose the ‘Sentient City’ - Tales of an Internet of Things. The book is fantastic, if you want to have a read. Sentient City - edited by Mark Shepard.
I’ll be posting my work very soon…
above image: The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch
The inspiration for this project lies in moving or manipulating a threshold in such a way that it can provide and represent more than merely a passage into the following space. One of the key aspects aspiring to these aims is the Motion of the element, the twist. These images capture the movement of the physical models.
Intensifying the power of the “threshold” between outdoor and indoor spaces; Introducing different layers that need to be penetrated to reach the objective; Adding to the mystery of the performance by veiling the view into the theatre; Enhancing the magic of performances by filtering daylight and shaping contrasts.
Exploring the simultaneity of movements and the resulting atmosphere of one frame in the sequence of twists.
Jean Cocteau’s Orphée was a great inspiration to my project. The motion picture, made in 1949, tells a variation of the classic greek myth of Orpheus, who charmed Hades and Persephone (gods of the underworld) with his music, into bringing his wife back from the dead.
In Cocteau’s motion picture, a young and successful poet of the 1920’s post war paris, is infatuated by death, who is represented as a dark elegant princess who enters the living world through mirrors. After she inflicts the death of Orphée’s wife, he enters the underworld to retrieve her, however truly wanting to find the princess.
The adjacent image illustrates the threshold (similar to the mirrors in Jean Cocteau’s Orphée) between two poetic worlds - one known and the other unknown.
The known world has less light, no colours and less dimensions – this suggests that people become less sensitive and aware of diversity in contexts they consider familiar, contexts that don’t interact with them and that are not dynamic.
The unknown world, on the other hand, here represented as a wish or a hope, is bathed in light and colour, has an occult dimension and thrives on the magic of nature. Yet there is an element of fear, represented by the darkness of the occult dimension from which the energy of life grows.
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