hedonisƟc celebraƟon. penitenƟary
Table of Contents
Abstract DP Board
Unfulfilled Desire Picture of Dorian Gray
Aidanâ€™s Notes Character Phases
12 14 15
Meaning of Windows Narrative Points of View Shifting Modes of Narration
interaction between spaces
Landscape Interpretation Combined Geographies
On Education The Campus
Nobody knows when, why and by whom this tower on the sea shore was built [;] nobody knows when and why it fell down. But it fell and broke into thosands of glass fragments, and since that Ɵme it lies like a transparent mountain range, like a dead city[,] like a skeleton of a giganƟc animal that became exƟnct in prehistoric Ɵmes. Its foundaƟon reposes on the shore, its peak is lost in the depths of the conƟnent. The people living around it build new ciƟes and new towers, one higher than the other[.] and no one noƟces this Tower, and no one remembers [the] Ɵme when its peak was lost in the clouds... And so it will lie shining in the sun, accessible to [one’s] understanding only from a great height... Brodsky & Utkin
But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signiĮed, the copy to the original, representaƟon to reality, the appearance to the essence... illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enchanced in proporƟon as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness. Ludwig Feuerbach
According to Feuerbach we Įnd ourselves in the age of the thing, when “illusion only is sacred, truth profane.” Today, it is fashionable to see and celebrate the surface of things. Some say we have become obsessed, self-consumed, by the idea of obtaining the perfect thing. In doing so, we have thrown ourselves into a material world driven by hubris, with the belief that we have or will achieve perfecƟon. However, we may be fortunate enough to gain consciousness of the situaƟon. It is at this moment that we transform from vicƟm to witness of the spectacle. SƟll the celebraƟon conƟnues, though the witness is conscious and takes pleasure in watching the vicƟms. In the end, it is solely up to the vicƟm to Įnd liberaƟon and join the witnesses. It is only through the experience of the ridiculous spectacle that one may learn. The vicƟm that does not come to understanding will be leŌ an unconscious prisoner; leŌ to the mercy, mockery, or pleasure of the enlightened witnesses. It is interesƟng that the vicƟm and witness may share similar fates as both encounter an eventual collapse. Nevertheless, there is an important disƟncƟon. The conscious witness understands the dangers of the spectacle. A witness is given opƟons: one can leave, conƟnue the celebraƟon unƟl death, or a combinaƟon of both. The vicƟm, on the other hand, is caught by the illusion of the spectacle and may never be given an opƟon. I seek to explore the transformaƟon of vicƟm to witness through the transformaƟve nature of an educaƟonal program.
Degree Project Board
ItakeinspirationfromaquotefoundinAndyWarhol’sfilm,Flesh.Whilephotographingthemain character,Joe,anoldartistramblesaboutbodyworship: “Body worship is in the makeup of the human animal. All human beings, whether they’repuritanicalsorwhatevertheyare,theyloveit…theyalldigitandtheygetwhat they call the “sex kick,” which is bullshit, there’s no sex in it, its body worship, which becomessex.It’slikeifIpickupaviolinandIcan’tplaythedamnthing.Whathelluseis it?...You’vegottohavethemusic…Yesfood,that’stheotherthing.Foodandsexgo together.It’sabodyworship.”(0:36:53) ThisremindsmeofmyexperiencewhilelivinginQueensandinterninginManhattan.Queensiseastof Manhattan,dividedbytheeastriverandthethinstripthatisRooseveltIsland.Thecloseproximityand contrastbetweenthetwoboroughscreatesaneroticscene.Queensisacharacterinconstantdesireof Manhattan’simage. IfacharacterweretocomplywiththedesiresofQueens,thecharacteruponcrossingintoManhattan willfinddissatisfaction.ThecharacterwillnoticethattheskylinethatQueensworshipsistransformed andnolongerexists.TheskylineisonlyanimagethatonlyexistsoutsideofManhattan;itcannotbe attained;itcannotbeheldorhad. Iaminterestedinthemomentofbodyworshipofathing;thetease.Ifthecharacterfinallyacquiresthe thing, the character will lose interest. I would like to investigate a narrative in which the character desiresathing,animage,ofdesirewhichcanneverbeattained.Thecharacterinthiscaseisteased, tauntedandheldinaperpetualstateofdesire.
Degree Project Board
The board was made with a set of 24 anaglyphic photographs. Which displayed a variety of desirable objects. The idea here is to captivate the viewer; keep them searching for a thing they believe theyâ€™d like. The anaglyph is a simulation of reality. Though in the end, the viewer may be tantalized since the 3 dimensional illusion can never be attained.
creaƟon of material metaphor/meaning
expression material self; you are what and how you consume
consumpƟon and commodity feƟshism addicƟon
Flow Diagram: Path to Narcissistic Masochism
lack of consumpƟon and loss of meaning threatened false self; narcissisƟc self
depression frustraƟon denial of material expression
masochisƟc pleasure pleasure of denial/frustraƟon narcissist in “control”
true self freedom from false consumer self
“And beauty is a form of Genius - is higher, indeed, than Genius, as it needs no explanaƟon... You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won’t smile.... People say someƟmes that Beauty is superĮcial. That may be so. But at least it is not so superĮcial as Thought is. To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances...” (Wilde 24) AŌer learning this, Dorian wished his portrait take place of his aging. To his surprise the wish came true as he began to noƟce the grotesque signs of aging in the portrait.
The Įrst of my interests in this novel are Lord Henry’s hedonisƟc aphorisms. He seems to equate enlightement, consciousness, or educaƟon with immorality. Perhaps this has to do with the idea that an enlighened individual of his Ɵme Įnds themselves at odds with the common public. Therefore, from a common perspecƟve, to be enlightened is to be immoral.
I believe this common perspecƟve may conƟnue to be true today. The division between commercial and noncommercial culture exhibits a similar story. Commercial culture, a common culture especially throughout the U.S., can be said to blind its target audience for the sake of economic gains. Inversely, a noncommercial culture does not seek economic gains, but may rather aƩempt to Įnd honesty. Though, I think it is through enlightenment/educaƟon that we will reach a sense of honesty over a culture that will try to deceive us for economy.
Picture of Dorian Gray
This novel tells the story of a young and dapper Dorian Gray. Naive, he is seduced and corrupted by the aphorisms of Lord Henry WoƩon. According to Lord Henry’s philosophy, the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and pleasure through the senses. In a short speech Henry warns Dorian of age and its threat to beauty.
The second character that interests me is of course Dorian. He shows to be an example of what I’ve been looking for, a narcissisƟc masochist. He is a narcissist or sadist since he only considers his own experiences and opinions. For Dorian, these experiences are what make the world. The world is wriƩen by him; it is according to him. To an extent Dorian is masochist as he knowingly takes pleasure in the vices that will lead to his downfall. SƟll, I am not saƟsĮed. Dorian falls short as a masochist. He pleasures his vices yet fails to express simultaneous pleasure in pain brought by his vice(s). In other words, he may enjoy a vice, but does not express pleasure in pains the vice may induce at the moment. I think I’ll create my own version of Dorian, I’ll call him Aidan...
Aidan’s Notes 6
Sigh.* How I love walking through the late night. So dark, so quiet, everything is at a still as if time froze; all action but mine at a pause. I am the only thought awake. I am grateful to understand this very moment, when the world is humbly mine. Here, I stop to sit in the cool of the night to absorb every sensation that is awarded. It is at this instant I feel most alive. I know this and surrender my senses to my surroundinsg. It takes me; I become an extension of its power as I leave my body to react in its most primal form. Left in awe.
The lights, lights, the lights, I see them everywhere! haha. Twirling, vibrating, blinking, about like splendid little explosions. They sting
The city lights, so brilliant and many, they hold me captive. Unconsciously, I walk following the others like a cow following its herd. I cannot think, I just follow and do as I watch the dizzy glitter of lights sparkle up above. They tease me with their varied colors, deceptive proximity,
and winks. Clouded and mesmerized I drift into the bright. So close and many, I am tantalized. How can I settle for one? The next is bound to be better and brighter. Oh, how much I would do to touch them.
Perfection’s a funny thing, especially when it happens to you. Right? Ha, lol! I love it. I’m disgustingly rich and wasteful and have honestly become quite the spectacle. It really is terrible, right? But, fuck it! I love myself. What would life be without celebration of the self ? Lets celebrate our desires, toast to our wastefulness, our greed, and grotesque reflections. I’ll tell you the clock is ticking and there’s no hope for our impending collapse. To hell with the world!. Life... what a shit show. Ha, want me now? love me? hate me? I dont care.
with a sharp pain, but soon deliver unbelievably delicious sensations. I feel the stars in me. Yes, Its a spiral to my end. I know and feel it closing in. Fuck, lets continue the toast: to freedom, immorality; to hedonism! But, careful, demon might get you. hahah haha
Perhaps Aidan has died, abandoned his position, or on break. In any case, we are left to write our own conclusions, endings, or beginnings as his story seems to have closed...
Phase I: Simple Days
Correlation: Concept and Material Mortality: Weathering Steel Left: Aidan allows his facial hair to grow and leaves his subtle acne exposed. In a similar way, weathering steel is left to age with rust, awarding it with a protective layer. These choices and materials serve to represent comfort with mortality.
Imperfection: Rammed Earth Left: A detail of the imperfect wall. Rammed earth serves to express similar ideas of imperfection. Aidan for example appreciates the beauty of the flaw. This method exhibits an honest story of its making. The reality of conditions are accepted.
This phase of Aidan’s character is most aligned with the virtues of: Temperance, Charity, Honesty, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility. Aidan, at this point has great appreciation for the simple things in life. He‘s a happy-go-lucky type of boy, content with his life.
Song: Sabali - Amadou & Mariam Camera Height: 9’
Natural Connection: Grass, Sky, Water Left: Aidan is showered in natural day light. The use of organic materials aides to connect one to the natural world. This connection is vital in awakening our curiosity /wonderment of what life is. What is our place in life; in this world?
Economy/Reuse: Tires Left: Aidan’s clothes are simple and economic. Corresponding to Aidan’s choice of apparel, is the idea of recycling simple materials. For Aidan, material use is modest. Material is about utility and economy.
Correlation: Concept and Material Illusion: Projection, Special Effects, Tech. Left: Ads are projected in space above Aidan. Projections, special lighting and effects, and machines etc., can be used to create a deceptive environment. The idea here is to mislead/manipulate Aidan through technology. Mask truth with illusion. Control + Hardening: Concrete Left: The wall behind Aidan begins to harden. Cracks are le ss aparent. The new material, concrete represents a shift in Aidanâ€™s opinion. He now strives to reach an idea of perfection and control. Finishing is now more controlled.
Young Aidan is tempted by the flashy ads and their special effects. This phase represents the bombardments of technology as an attempt to seduce its audience. It is within this period that Aidan will be persuaded to release his previously held virtues. He will not think, he will only begin to feast on the visuals.
Song: Empire State of Mind - Jay Z Camera Height: 5
Phase II: The Seduction
Natural Mutation: Interior landscape Left: Aidan is now in a combination natural and incandescent lighting. This suggests an outside inside space where natural landscaping objects are brought into the interior. The suggestion stems from a desire to control and make our own nature. Simulation of reality begins.
Phase III: The Narcissist
Correlation: Concept and Material Immortality: Stainless Steel Left: Aidan is now cleanly shaved. Acne has been treated. Stainless steel expresses a sense of sharp cleanliness. A disregard of history and age is also conveyed. Both Aidan and the stainless steel attemped to freeze time for their own sake.
Perfection: Polished Concrete Left: The wall is now completely smooth. Polished Concrete illustrates a desire to be perfect. Aidan’s narcissism persuades him that he only deserves the best.
Aidan has transformed himself into a self-absorbed, shallow, and chichi yuppie. He has knowingly become obsessed with material expression, perfection (according to his nacissism), and the pursuit of a hedonistic lifestyle. He takes pleasure in flaunting his and the world’s apparent corruption.
Song: A Perfect Lie - Engine Room Camera Height: 3’
Mocking the Natural: Plastic Flower Left: Aidan is now completely under synthetic lighting (halogen). On the right, is a plastic flower. It is Aidan's way of mocking connections with nature. He controls nature and therefore has proclaimed himself god.
Commodity Fetishism: Faux Columns Left: Aidan displays multiple neckalces. For him they are about flaunting or perhaps mocking his own wealth and power. Faux columns demonstrate a similar idea. They are an unessecary collection.
Correlation: Concept and Material Vulgar Imitation: Faux Gold Left: Aidan has applied cover to change the color of his skin. Faux gold is relvealed through scratches on its surface. This is to reveal the falseness of Aidan’s character. Faux gold serves to symbolize the absurdity that everything has become a tacky imitation; a copy. Vulgar Imitation: Plastic Board Left: The wall is still smooth, but has been reduced in quality. Plastic board signifies an imitation. Denied funds to cover costs, Aidan no longer cares for quality. Pure aesthetics is all that matters.
Aidan has finally acknowledged that he will never reach his ideal state of perfection. Nevertheless, he continues to feed his noxious obsession. Aidan finds pleasure in being deined the things he once struggled to attain. His person has mutated into a narcissistic masochist. He is in control of his self destructive habits and obsession. Song: Overdose - DJ Tomcraft Camera Height: 2’
Phase IV: Ecstatic Death
Unnatural Landscape: Plastic Left: Xenon lights used for illumination. Aidan’s ambition to mock the natural world has gone a step further. His interior landscape no longer references a natural world. The landscape is a projection of his inner thinkings; of his self created world. Treasured Waste: Junk Left: Aidan has accumulated a ridiculous amount of unnecessary “treasures.” Each piece is just one more object in a field of many. It is worthless and objectified. They create a landscape of obstacles.
Windows and Perspective
Futhermore, I begin to quesƟon how windows and façades perceive themselves and eachother and how they interact?
Windows and PerspecƟve
When in New York, I am always capƟvated by the endless series of windows. Façade aŌer façade, I think to myself, each window is a peek into a life, story, and possibiliƟes. Each façade is like a publishing house, with the intenƟon of gaining noƟce from a viewer. To be seen is to exist.
These quesƟons have lead me to Sartre’s theory of Being for Others and Being for Self. For example, when Aidan is for others, he aknowledges that he cannot see himself. Only others can see his face, therefore he is for others. When Aidan is for self, he aknowledges his inner opinions, thoughts, and emoƟons. It is he, the individual, who deĮnes himself. It is both views that create who Aidan is. He is both, who they say he is and who he says he is. An imbalance of these percepƟons becomes a sadism or masochism. The masochist is the person that is looked at, but does not look outward. They say: “I am who they say I am.” The sadist on the otherhand is looking, but is not looked at. They say: “I am who I say I am.” These concepts allow greater dimensions in Aidan’s story. I now quesƟon how diīerently the reader may percieve Aidan if narraƟve perspecƟves are changed.
Phase III: 1st Person, Photograph
Phase IV: 1st Person, Video
See Pg. x
Phase I: 2nd Person
In comparison to the following set, these photoâ€™s are taken in the 2nd person. Both viewer and Aidan share the same space.
Narrative Points of View
Phase II: 1st Person, Hybrid Drawing
Phase I: 1st Person, Drawing
Samples of drawings, which also come accompanied with short notes are drawn and written by Aidan. Viewer experiences space through Aidanâ€™s perspective.
See Pgs. x, x, x, x
See Pgs. x, x, x, x
Samples of drawings, which also come accompanied with short notes are drawn and written by Aidan.
Phase III: 1st Person
Phase I: 1st Person
Multiple perspectives of a single story offers distance to analyze each chosen path. In other words, it allows for deeper reading and analysis than a single perspective. Of course, interpretations differ as readers may choose different combinations of paths. However, the story will begin at Aidan’s simple days and ultimately end at his self induced collapse. There is a beginning, there are flashbacks, perspectival shifts, and an end.
Phase I: 2nd Person
Reference to notes by Aidan.
past / Ňashback
Reference to notes by Aidan.
Reader transported into Aidan’s space.
Shifting Modes of Narration
Phase II: 1st Person
Phase I: 1st Person
To shift modes of narration is to create various experiences for the reader; various spaces for the inhabitant.
Again, multiple story paths permit the reader or inhabitant a choice in how to view the story. The story that was once a single tunnel has now become a complex cave.
Aidan takes self portrait.
Landscape Interpretation 16
After understanding the characteristics of each phase, I jumped into their physical expressions. Each of the following (landscape) models explores a word and a narrative. For example, the model below conveyâ€™s the relationship of man to the existing landscape..
Human intervention is timid and words with its surroundings,`
Human intervention, now bold, begins to manipulate the landscape to create a constructed ground.
The transition between the natural and the constructed or human intervention. This transition attempts to fool inhabitants that follow its path. It wants us to believe that its constructed ground is not constructed, but naturally developed. It is not until we are afforded a different perspective that we uncover the truth of its human construction.
Thread acts to connect each stable point. Its man’s desire to create network. Lift. Representative of man’s fearlessness; hubris.
Aidan’s Scape: The Summary 18
Again, Aidan’s story is collapsed into a single landscape model. The story here begins with a purely untouched landscape. A human or character intervention has created a tunnel through a mountain side. As the tunnel continues its penetration, the drilling becomes deeper and higher within the y axis. This is to comment on man’s threat and desire to conquer a natural landscape.
Aidanâ€™s Scape: Deception
Like the first landscape, this one attempts to fool its inhabitant. From the image on the left, this landscape is untouched except for a shallow orthagonal cut into the ground. It is a timid cut for us to believe as the full extent of human intervention. However, if given a particular perspective one may learn that the timid cut is really an indicator or reference for a much greater intervention uderground. The inhabitant on the surface is unknowing of the false ground they walk upon. The landscape has become a lie; a deception.
Aidanâ€™s Scape: Wrath 20
Here we see random orthagonal cuts into earth. With no apparent justification they are cuts of anger. It is a display of manâ€™s wrath and power over natural landscape.
Aidanâ€™s Scape: Lust
This landscape speaks of lust. From one end a mound of earth is hollowed with small peep holes. These apetures look over an untouched/virgin valley and through two mounds. Exploring further, one may find a tunnel which fails to penetrate the view port framed by the mounds in the distance.
Aidanâ€™s Scape: Pride 22
As we can see, a large rectangular shape is cut into a narrow valley halting possible passage. The cut, until previous examples, is clear to see. It does not hide and shows pride in its doing. It is prideful and obnoxious.
Aidanâ€™s Scape: Gluttony
Lastly, this piece was created to express gluttony. Like the model on wrath, most of the carvings have no justification except for a tunnel that connects three openings. Though this tunnel connection is modest initself, it is slanderous within its context. It is offesnsive to make so little use out of many obvious opportunities.The multiplicity of similar unnecessary shapes is what makes this gluttonous.
Combined Geographies 25
Combined Geographies 26
The collision and combination of disciplines frees us to see the world with honesty. Cuts into the earth allows air and light into underground lecture halls. The collision of these underground spaces and apetures allows for the unity of disciplines. As a result, the spaces of greatest unity are also the spaces which breath and open up to the landscape above.
Again, I believe it is through knocking one off balance that one is forced to make conclusions to create balance. It is through this process that we will discover honesty, the closest we may ever get to truth.
On the other hand, I believe commercial/consumer culture to be the antithesis of the process described. Unlike surrealism, consumerism relies on finding unity of thought. For example, it is a marketer’s function to effectively brand a product to reach a specific or mass target. It is the marketer’s hope that the targeted individuals will identify and desire a product (or what a product may symbolize). With success, the marketer would have created a mass of individuals who pretend to think and act the same according to the product(s) they have identified with. Thus, consumer culture is composed of a hype, a desire, for identities (individuals) to find place within the mass.
We can say the student comes in young, arrogant, and without education. This translates to a narcissist coming into a therapeutic institution. Throughout the transformation of education the students grow and learn of ideas and worlds outside of the ones they knew. The student and patient show signs of recovery as they empathetically recognize the other. Both patient and student have been humbled by the forms of knowledge they have discovered.
Though, we may argue for the wide variety of products and brands an individual may create identity with. In theory it might be possible for commercial culture to fully express the nature of human identity. Then again, the market is expressed by a majority and controlled by a wealthy minority. This leaves us with little interest and tolerance for minority expression. What is left to dominate is a Pop/Mass culture that is diluted in meaning to accommodate the greatest audience.
In connection to Dorian and Aidan I imagine students to have similar characteristics. Both Dorian and Aidan for example are narcissistic and to different extents masochistic.
a student in the middle of his academic career which never seems to end. He is a narcissistic masochist. Lastly, Lord Henry’s spirit of hedonism and mockery of immorality is represented through the school’s desire to explore and experience new knowledge. As mentioned before, new knowledge, different knowledge, is initially at odds with common/mass culture and therefore “immoral.” It is the schools intention to continue Lord Henry’s mockery that enlightenment is immoral.
My experience in education here at RISD has been like a complex surrealist film. Many times, especially during Design Principles, the method has been to disorient, confuse, or imbalance in order to find. In the same way a surrealist film, such as Enter the Void, showers the viewer with layers of pastiche. By the films end the viewer is left with multiple readings but no concrete answer (ending). It is up to the individual viewer to decide what paths and readings to follow and produce their own questions and answers.
By the end of the educational process that I have drawn, I have placed a clean slate after the disciplines have merged. This is to signify a demand for position, opinion, and action by the educated students. It is the moment when the students must make sense of their surrealist educational experience. It is a clean page for their making.
However, the knowledge they have acquired has also made them conscious of the problems, complexities, and dangers the world faces. The student enjoys being aware, but is anxious to do something as they feel the weight of the world upon them. This here translates to masochism as student and patient enjoy their enlightenment/cure as well as the pains they discover. In continuing to analyze Dorian and Aidan, they begin to represent two different stages of a students path. Dorian is characteristic of a new student as he exhibits narcissistic tendencies, but falls short of masochistic tendencies. Aidan is
The Campus: Program
Administration Faculty Union Library 28
Tram Station + Parking
Once at the mountainside, there is a tight tunnel carved into the limestone mountain. While pasing through the dimly lit tunnel, one will notice how the space grows as its cielings vault up high and ground steadily ramps down. There is a strip of daylight craking through a cieling plate, which acts as a curious visual anchor. This light strip is the only visible daylight available since the five minute walk from where the tunnel began. Continuing into the light one is forced to make a decision: go up, down, or continue on the same plane. However, the quantity of day light and air coming from the path on the current plane seems to promise freedom from the limits of the underground. Turning the corner now on this path leads to a lengthy passage, roughly 200 ft long. Though, open to the air it is unfortunately not as free as anticipated. Concrete holds the earth on each side while the passage ramps and steps deeper into earth. One must commit to the passage as there are few opportunities to break the lengthy path. And not only is it long, but also taunts its passengers through its circulation and teasing visuals. The circulatory challenge is applied by the ziggzagged order of ramps and steps. To follow in a straight line, one will encounter a pattern: 12â€™ of ramp, landings with
trees or shrub, steps, landing with tree and shrubs, 12â€™ ramp... and so on. In other words, a straight uninterrupted passage is not possible. This passage is also a visual tease. As the the path deepens down into earth an inhabitant is allowed small glimpses of a world on the platform up above. Those in the passage play the role of the average student on their way to class; the victim on their way to therapy. Those on the platform play the role of empowered students, faculty, and administrators. They share greater responsibility on the happenings of the college. This elevated population is granted the rold of the witness, who may vigilantly prey on the victims in the passage below.
Below: a diagram shows the seperation of disciplines and their eventual but carefully calibrated union.
The Campus: A Narrative
To begin, a tram is to slowly transport students, faculty, and staff accorss a valley and canyon. From the tram station the only visible part of the campus is a timid library tower peeking out just above the mountainside. The tram will leave its inhabitants once at the other side of the canyon. From here, one is to continue treking towards the small but visible library tower.
Again, within the passage the far end darkens as a stage bridges accross, connecting faculty/administrative programs with an ampitheater. The inhabitant within the passage is again denied a visual, but may hear the activites on the stage above through open side slits. Going further into the passage the inhabitant is once more engulfed by a tunnel system which eventually leads up into the ampitheater. The ampitheater, open to air, is a space that will attempt to showcase moments of enlightenment. It is administered by an administration and faculty, which is in turn checked by a student untion and government. Lastly, the ampitheater posseses multiple entrances which lead into seperate underground schools. Ultimately, the schools unite in the collegeâ€™s desire to find honest truth/knowledge.
The Campus: Library Tower
The Campus: The Cut
Library: Concepts and Ideas on Ground 34
As mentioned before, the Library and entrance to the campus also acts to summarize the narrative and philosophy of the school. When passing through the tightly carved entrance tunnel, the inhabitant is unaware of the multiple floors above. They are guided by light that creeps in from the ceiling. Sectionally, the density of floor plates thin out as one progresses to the top. This is to allow inhabitants from above (witness) a vigilant view of those below (victim). The progression of openings and loss of density also act as a metaphor for enlightenment. For example, the higher up one goes the more visual power they will have on those below. It is also not until one finds themselves at the top that they are able to understand the construction below them. Lastly, I find the moment just before and after the ground plane to be important. The ground reminds me of the character Travis of the film Paris, Texas. Travis is representative of a character that wanders a landscape (ground plane) in search for his origin; for his truth. The ground plane represents a surface that is most natural for human inhabitation. To construct below means to blind and bury oneself deep into their subconscious. To construct above means to seek great power and consciousness. In this case, the Tower of Babel always serves as an allusion. And in between, the ground plane serves as a balance between the subconscious and super conscious.
Library: Concepts and Ideas on Ground
Kearney, Richard. The Wake of ImaginaƟon: toward a Postmodern Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1988. Print. Paris, Texas. Dir. Wim Wenders. 20th Century Fox, 2009. DVD. Sadism, Masochism & Bad Faith. Perf. Corey Anton. YouTube. 25 July 2009. Web. 10 Jan. 2011. <hƩp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEX3_V-wz1I>. The Shape of Things. By Neil Labute. RISD Museum, Providence. 4 Feb. 2011. Performance. The Century of the Self. Dir. Adam CurƟs. BBC Four. YouTube.6 Jan. 2011. Web. 7 Jan 2011. <hƩp://youtube.com/watch?v=UcYBSXgtmKQ>. Valbuena, Pablo. Augmented Sculpture. 2007. Digital Media. Museum of the Moving Image, New York. Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003. Print.
Kanner, Allen D., and Mary E. Gomes. “The All-Consuming Self.” Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind (1995). Ithaca College: Department of Biology. Web. 5 Jan. 2011. <hƩp://www.ithaca.edu/biology/335_fosterwiseconsuming.pdf>.