Development: Space, Identity and Projection

To perform within is to ‘conceive the site as something more than a place.’1 The Library is expected to never change, it always has been and always will be a place where endless amount of books exist, silence is expected and formality is assumed. We know that once a place has been worked with in a performative way, it is seen in an entirely different perspective. As a group, we understand that ‘the site of art begins to diverge from the literal space of art.’2 Therefore, it is obvious that the space needs to be explored before we can expect a finished piece. Although the library’s features are pretty much apparent, it is our intention to make the building/place more noticeable.

Everything, including people, objects and places all have an identity, but all identities can be adapted. It is said that the difference between a personality and an identity is that a ‘personality describes qualities [that the] individuals may have but identity requires some element of choice.’3 We know that we cannot give the library a personality, but we can enhance its identity. We had started this project focusing on the term ‘infinity’ and we slowly and unintentionally had wandered away from this idea. In order to bring this notion back, we began to look into books with the word ‘human’ within the title. With this information, we would post these chosen book titles onto a projection which would be shown on the exterior of the library resulting in an idea of flipping what is normally shown on the inside and expressing it outside.  After researching 100+ books, we started to recognise that this would not justify our intention of humanizing the library and so we looked elsewhere for influence.

Books in Library with the word 'human' in the title

Books in Library with the word ‘human’ in the title. Taken by: Casey Wells 14/03/13

Luckily, after many sessions of various ideas, we were collectively inspired by, Jonathon and Sep Kamvar, [accessed on: 14th March 2013] This site collects all tweets from all over the world and organises it into many graphs. We really enjoyed this idea and thought that we could take note of people’s conversations inside the library and document them somehow. Kath Woodward claims that ‘identities are formed through interaction between people.’4 This relates nicely with why we are co-operating with people in order to form identities.

In relation to wanting to project something onto the exterior of the library, Wes gave us a suggestion of actually projecting an image of the human organs onto the side of the exterior instead of using conversation. This seemed like a lovely idea and would really justify our want to humanize the library as it would give the building a living heart. My group also liked the idea of using words that build a person emotionally and anatomically and so for another development on top of our ideas we began to research these words within books, photographing them and making a note of the titles of the books. We gathered that we could use these words to actually create the heart rather than using an actual image. This would obviously need a lot of research and experimentation and so organising to work with a professional to give us a few ideas would be the next best step.

  1. Kwon, Miwon. One Place After Another ‘Site Specific Art and Locational Identity’ (USA, MIT Press, 2004) P. 30 []
  2. Kwon, Miwon. P. 19 []
  3. Woodward, Kath. Questioning identity: gender, class, ethnicity (London and New York: Routledge, 2008) P. 6 []
  4. Woodward, Kath P. 1 []
Posted: April 1st, 2013
Categories: Babel: Lost Words, Early Research, Library, Performance Art
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