I have created a paper head installation as a test for size and positioning. I went with 12 inches as a length for the sides. I think I am quite content with this size because it sits comfortably on the shoulders and so gives the viewer an interesting form. Initially, the head installation was going to be positioned so that the viewer would be facing a flat surface, however I found that this looked too cliché and overdone. I think that when the box is positioned so that the viewer is facing a corner, the whole composition looks far more interesting; it makes the box look slightly unreal and computerised. However, I need to be careful to avoid the appearance that this is a statement about How Technology Is Taking Over. I believe that when the sound recordings are installed inside the boxes, there should be little to link this concept.
Formally, I was inspired by Pierre Huyghe’s following image from his multimedia installation In Border Deep.
Huyghe has long been influenced by “Locus Solus,” Raymond Roussel’s 1914 novel about an inventor who invites friends to a secluded estate to show off his creations, one of which is a tank filled with cadavers that re-enact the most important moments of their former lives, animated by a miraculous substance called resurrectine.
I was very drawn to the idea of the happening in the above image taking place in a gallery. I feel like the viewer would feel as though they’ve been flung out of their familiar surroundings and placed into a foreign environment. This is an interesting idea to heave into my own project because I am looking at the fluid nature of time, and so being pulled out of familiar surroundings and placed into an environment so seemingly alien as the above would pose questions about time, as one would lose sense of normality and thus time. I think therefore the recordings inside the head installation would be interesting if they were of mundane reality taking place outside of the installation. Hence, the viewer would be standing in a foreign, unidentifiable environment -an interzone, I would like to think of it as-, whilst having a slight access to the outside world. The interzone would be a space in which time isn’t counted nor thought of and thus doesn’t exist (the possibility of this is something I should research into), and the head installation could be the window, so to speak, into our mundane reality, thus gaining the viewers a peek into the fast-moving nature of time from an outside perspective. For this to work, the installation would have to feel stale, still and empty. I think if there were lack of other human presence this would receive the most powerful response. Although, it would also be interesting to have an installation in which many people were standing in these head installations. The fact that audiences must be standing in one spot without moving to hear the audio could create an interesting, still atmosphere in which humans appear to be ‘plugged in’ almost to these bizarre devices that gain them access to the outside.
To continue this project, I think that I will play around with materials used for the boxes. I used paper as a test for size, however I think the simplicity of the plain white thin material is quite effective because it contrasts against the complexity of the human body and outfit. Perhaps white acrylic could be interesting; the hard and shiny surface will give the device a futuristic look about it, while also being more sustainable; people are going to be touching this piece and so paper will not be durable enough. I would also like to try wood, perhaps rock (the rough, natural materials against perhaps a smooth, completely black interior). I was interested by a small aspect of Helen Marten’s exhibition at the Turner Awards, Tate Britain. I also need to experiment with ways in which to hang the mask; should fishing wire be used to give the installation the appearance that it is hovering, or something more noticeable such as black string?
I became intrigued by the idea of holes in a drainpipe, and how I could create an installation using drainpipes through which viewers could poke their heads and thence hear the recorded sounds of the outside world. Conceptually, this is fitting since drainpipes can be placed between walls, and if the installation is an ‘interzone’, it is quite fitting that it be based inbetween walls. Inside the walls, we design our idea of normality with furniture and objects that we believe shape who we are. In mundane reality, time ticks forwards constantly. Between the walls is space which we reject and to which we pay no attention. It brings to mind rats, dirt and a repulsive odour, all to which humans turn a blind eye and pretend don’t exist. I think this is an interesting idea which I would like to develop alongside the head installation. Time, according to us, still moves forward in these place. Yet humans are the only creatures who actually measure time. And so, to these environments and the creatures who inhabit them, time is not a concept. Time does not exist.