suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
greg NEMES: Étienne-Louis Boullée designed a Cenotaph for Sir Isaac Newton, a pure sphere, perforated with openings to allow for natural light to stream into the space – connecting the viewer with the light, the pure volume, and the cosmos. The space sought after a classical sublime experience – of immersion in awe, reverence, and wonder. This installation can be read as a contemporary deformation of Boullee’s Cenotaph. An augmented, mediated, defamiliarized space. The space seeks an immersion of the viewer into the space, an embodied experience that is evolving and unfolding over a duration. It is a study in choreographing multiple narratives of affect through a single spatial mechanism of the Architectural surface.
The experiential vehicles for the design of affect are the phenomenology of glow and pattern along a surface, and the defamiliarization of scale and material. The space is an undulating ceilingscape, whose topography is derived from a modeling process addressing plan and section considerations of scale and weak program. The existing gallery space provides faint spatial conditions; light and dark, open and closed, visible and hidden – these are amplified by the surface topography. The surface deforms to allow for a dome, a cavernous enclosure with the column, and a perimeter height which is optimal for sitting below. Although the surface is modeled from human scale parameters, the curvature creates a scalar and aesthetic defamiliarization.
The surface is tesselated into an approximation of it’s original curvature, into a series of parts. The parts are triangular components which are parametrically controlled in terms of surface area, fabrication methods, material logic, tectonics, and effects such as perforation and texture. The tesselation of components represents an intelligent system, interconnected and adaptive. Each component has a dashed edge for multi-direction folding, tabs for connection between components, openings for ties to hanging.
Experiential conditions are mediated by a system of lights and projections, and a sound component. Using the existing infrastructure of the space of lights and projectors, the surface is backlit in a differentiated, regioned manner. There are zones of intense light, distributed light, and cavernous shadow. The projectors provide a changing color effect, computed over time to keep the experience changing. The color pallete selected attempts to subtely limit the ability to clearly discern spatial boundaries and definition, blurring the space and allowing affect to emerge.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
gN: Affect Theory, Juan Enriquez, Kevin Kelly
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
gN: The Knife – tomorrow in a year, Ryoji Ikeda.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
gN: THEVERYMANY, FreelandBuck, MOS, NADAAA