Space & Time
“Remember that space does not correspond literally to time.”
Cornelius Cardew, Treatise Handbook, 1971
Place & Time
“Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve”
Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 1980
Land & Place
“The land is important to me, but even more important is the idea that it becomes a ‘place’ because someone has been there.”
Marlene Creates, quoted in Lucy R. Lippard, The Lure of the Local, 1997
Project 4: A Void
Four weeks, final review as city walk, Mon Dec 3
Identify an empty space, a void, in a specific Providence location. The place could be anywhere from a small RISD interior detail to a public space in the local urban environment: a corner, a gap, an aperture, an opening, an interstice, maybe even a path, a trail. Propose a way of highlighting, activating, charging, utilising, and/or exaggerating your chosen space. It might be an intervention, an elaboration, a detournement (“rerouting, hijacking”), an addition, even a subtraction. What kind of message, concept, or critique might be communicated through such actions, however latent or overt? The work can be actualised in a space (as a superimposition, a projection, a cropping, a framing, an application of surface or substrate), or it can take the form of a speculative proposal, presented in person with visual aids (AR, mobile web, rendering, publication, &c.)
In making a real or speculative intervention, consider both sound and light as key materials in your design palette. What kind of ambient sound already exists? How does light change at different times of day? Might sound provide an atmospheric, responsive, expository, documentary, or interpretative role? Could sound be present in the space, or be an accompaniment accessible on a mobile device? Think of ways that light and sound typically operate in space: as wayfinding, as audio guide, as latent presence.
Research and establish precedents of sound, light, and space interacting: artistic, conceptual, and/or perhaps just municipal, operational. An articulation (in slides, print, web, as appropriate) of such urban, historical, and/or contemporary contexts alongside (or perhaps even becoming part of) your spatial work will be an important part of this project: as we progress, and as part of the final presentation.
Timeline and Process
Week 1: Mon Nov 5–Mon Nov 12
Undertake research in general art, design, light, sound works, as well as more specific local historical, architectural, spatial, cultural groundwork. Prepare a short presentation (5–10 mins) of your findings for next week’s class. This can be in whichever form(s) you deem appropriate: pictures, audio, video, books, charts, maps, &c. Be ready to discuss initial ideas for location, media, subject matter.
Week 2 & 3: Mon Nov 12–Mon Nov 26
Make use of this next week in terms of further local reconnaissance, location-scouting, and planning. With Thanksgiving break the following week, you will have a two-week gap between class on Mon Nov 12 and Mon Nov 26.
Week 4: Mon Nov 26
Post-Thanksgiving discussions and planning. The final project review will take place next Monday: a walking tour, a kind of dérive (“drifting”), a treasure hunt, even, through and across the campus and the city.
Week 5: Mon Dec 3
Wrap up warm and wear comfortable shoes. Our class this week (and the final review for this project) will take the form of a city walk, a tour around Providence to review each of your site-specific works in situ (or perhaps even along a path, if your work is less routed in a specific geographic coordinate).