LANDSCAPE OF THE I
In the unit we are given no context and no site but only the task to link things, objects and concepts. In the absence of a place to work with I am simply making my own site, comprised of ‘self portraits’. Each of our lives consists of many sites, mine exists at the AA, my flat in London, in Holland, my commute over Waterloo bridge, on a holiday, in a way the site is a very disparate and disconnected landscape and yet it is connected through the continuum of my life. Our lives also continuously come into contact with other people, with other self-portraital landscapes. My designed landscape is a multiplicity of sites taken from different people, essentially a collective landscape. The model that you see here is my current investigation of how to make these places spatially meet, interconnect and how they are displaced. The apparatus of my project is landscape (the site) and the machine is the delivery of the it.
Throughout the year I’ve been making different machines that deconstruct space through vision and investigate the relation between viewer and viewed.
- From the peepshow box called the Wonderbox that confines it and distances it from the viewer,
- to the Mirage periscope that still confines it inside but starts to turns space back and around through mirrors and transports the viewer into the constructed space
- to the Mirror telescope that turns space back inside the viewer.
- The viewer thinks he’s viewing his surroundings but actually observes his insides, the interior of the eye, the blood vessels are projected on top of the view.
- to ultimately the Landscape Orrery, which combines and connects the landscapes gathered through the previous machine. Here the viewer is in front and around the space, able to see it from many different angles.
Further explaining the last two machines I start with the Mirror telescope. The reference for this machine is the story of the Canals of Mars, in the early nineteenth century a popular theory was that there was life on Mars. Scientists were looking through their telescopes and seeing lines on the surface of mars so geometrical and distinct that no environmental phenomenon could have caused them, Schiaparelli drew them and further popularized the theory. What the scientists were actually seeing was the shadow of the veins in their eyes overlaid onto the image in the telescope. I think this is a great story about how we constantly project our own interpretation onto the things we see, and based on our identity and experiences this is different for everyone, it forms essentially a self portrait, much like my machines does.
The Mirror telescope is the device through which I captured the pieces of my landscape. It is a product of self portraiture and interpretation or imagination.
The process behind the construction is as follows.
- By looking through the Mirror telescope I observed and drew my self portrait.
- I showed other this seemingly abstract drawing and asked the question:
‘What is this a drawing of and at what scale?’
- I noted down their interpretations, subjective views which became their self portraits
- All the collected ‘self portraits’ are compiled in an imagined architectural site.
Each person’s subjective view sees a different part of reality, together they form the whole picture. Collecting these subjective views into collective sight forms my contemporary architectural site
The landscape orrery is based consists of several landscapes, the rice paddy fields from the interpretation of the canals of Mars, the landscape of mars itself and central park from both sides as a landscape showing the theme of man-made vs nature and incorporating the interpretation of tree canopies and city diagrams.
I argue that landscape is comprised of a disconnected array of sites taken from our lives. Landscape doesn’t just exist in one set of coordinates anymore but in many places at a time connected through vision and memory. In my project I attempt to spatialize this concept through the Landscape orrery.
For further development of the project I aim to expand the landscape orrery and investigate in what other ways it can perform, working with another dimension of movement, possibly incorporating some of my former machines effects, using mirrors, and or screens.