— What’s Behind the Curtain?
In the Production of Space, Henri Lefebrve states, “[Space is] A representation which passes itself off as a concept, when it is merely an image, a mirror, and a mirage, and which, instead of challenging, instead of refusing, merely reflects.” This project is an analysis and critical discovery of the means of representation and production, in regards to aesthetic trends in contemporary architecture. These images, reproduced and re-appropriated, have reached a global audience through social media.
At the forefront, I acknowledged the constraints of the software provided, partially discovering my own processes through the frustrations and quirks of something seemingly made to be easy. In earlier iterations of animation and rendering, there was a desire to explore the dichotomy of the finished product versus the process—the uncanny versus the “real”. This drive continued throughout the final project.
With the goal of taking the sample of an existing building and curating of domestic objects, the end image products were determined from the beginning. The building itself is siteless, only the areas that are viewed in the “images” are articulated in some form.
Slicing up the building in Providence, RI to create curated spaces for each of the programmatic standards of a single occupation “house” ︎︎︎
The understanding that the final product would only exist virtually and be consumed on social media determined the representation. Extreme gestures were taken—slicing and shifting— to light or stylize each of the curated domestic spaces in a particular way. Each domestic space reveals a snapshot of the occupant in the space; through the unpacked groceries on the floor or the iPhone and coffee on the table, as if the occupant were there just moments ago.
In addition to the placement of the domestic objects, the curtain1 is meant to conceal, to assist, and to guide. Within the six images, the curtain doesn’t seem to do much and yet in the reveal of the whole, it becomes an integral part of the system.
The goal of the final outcome was not to end at an aesthetic acceptance of what “looks good” on a social media platform. I wanted to emphasize moments of frustration, labor, and hilarity; realizing that a given software can only do so much to achieve a certain look. Perfection can sometimes come at the expense of time and work.
1 “‘Behind the curtain there is nothing to see,’ says Hegel ironically somewhere. Unless, of course, ‘we’ go behind the curtain ourselves, because someone has to be there to see, and for there to be something to see. In space, or behind it, there is no unknown substance, no mystery. And yet this transparency is deceptive, and everything is concealed. Space is illusory and the secret of the illusion lies in the transparency itself.” – Henri Lefebvre