Design Seminar 2 » Blog Archive » one cozy minute of isolation

one cozy minute of isolation

By lou suSi March 4th, 2009

a crisp, saturday evening in autumntime

down in the fort point area of Boston, the mobius annual artrages fundraiser party takes over an entire floor of commercial space to create an atmosphere of surreal, unbound creativity — the crowd warms the space — the rawness of the space goes unnoticed as people walk through and enjoy the art installations, participatory music and performance art, roving performances, and the company of so many amazing, creative people — lights and sound cascade and echo across the hardwood floors — there is a sense of celebration, uncanny premeditation and a joy for the subconscious enjoyment of this ocean of possibility

the night sings of timelessness — suspension of clocks and watches — a quarternote of one moment

i am waiting in line — the half hour passes fairly quickly as i talk with the waiting people — there is an installation up ahead — conversation in the line compresses time even further — there are people to watch, performances to figure out and discuss, distractions and thoughts pouring in like sunlight

as i get closer i see a man in a dark suit — very much a sombre sight — serious and cleancut — either a bit of business is being conducted or there may be a funeral, i can’t quite figure it out — but he is opening and closing a wooden door { the door to the installation } — letting people in and out, one by one — he is pleasant enough, but tall and calm in demeanor

every once in a while there is another person — shorter, wider — dressed in overalls and a thermal shirt, workboots and a red and black plaid hunting hat — he seems to have tools and occasionally goes into the wooden space between the flow of the line — he’s a bit nervous, but all smiles —  almost a living contradiction to the suit

as i get closer i can see that the wooden door opens into an outhouse construction labeled with a large ‘#1’  above the door — the man in the suit talks to each person at the head of the line — he literally helps each person in and out of the installation — i can see each person being pulled up and out from behind the door — everyone that emerges from the installation seems happy, pleasant, a bit relaxed

i look at the artrages map — apparently the piece is called ‘claustrophillick enclosure #1’ — i am almost at the front of the line — people are wondering what’s inside

i finally get to the front of the line and the man in the suit welcomes me — he explains that one person is allowed in the space for exactly one minute — he warns that the space is tight and if i have any fear or phobia of being alone, enclosed in a tight space, then i may want to reconsider experiencing the enclosure

he opens the door, reaches in and helps a young woman get up and out of the space — the interior of the outhouse is lined with a pink, floral cushioning material — the woman stands up, readjusts to the light of the mainspace and moves to re-gather with friends at the party — the man then helps me curl up inside the womblike fabric of the inner space — as he closes the door i am completely alone, surrounded by darkness — it is warm — the scent is that of flowers, perhaps the previous visitor to the enclosure

since i am enveloped in pitch black — my attention is drawn immediately to a subtle soundtrack — no real music, or at least no instrumentation — just many sounds, a soundscape — water dripping — passing traffic — a jet flies by — little girls singing together — songs from a playground — hopscotch or jumprope comes to mind — a muffled heartbeat becomes the most overwhelming sound in the mix

the space is warm and soft — very accommodating

my eyes begin to grow accustomed to the dark — i see what looks like someone moving, directly in front of me — just the silhouette — a little scary — i am looking into a mirror — a mirror on a medicine cabinet that is clearly marked ‘PRIVATE’ — an image of an angel dangles from the edge of the cabinet — i am facing my reflection in the mirror of the medicine cabinet — i notice a sign that says ‘Open Me’ — i open the door to the cabinet and can see restroom signs, the symbols for ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ — between them is a small jar with a magazine clipping — the image of child inside the jar — just the child’s face — there is also another clipping that says ‘True Love’ — and then i notice a sign that says ‘Close Me’ { very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland | Through the Looking Glass } — i close the medicine cabinet and quite suddenly the door opens up — the man in the suit asks me how i am doing, let’s me know my minute in the claustrophillick enclosure is up, and reaches down to help me exit the outhouse — my eyes hurt a bit as they begin to readjust to the light

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blogpost to Design Seminar 2 for The Dynamic Media Institute @ MassArt :: in response to Kevin Brooks’ session on Storytelling and Narrative …

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