Cal Poly, Pomona
critic: Axel SCHMITZBERGER.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Juan SALAZAR: Polish-American scientist Alfred Korzybski’s dictum “The map is not the territory” is used to explain the fact that individual people do not have access to an absolute knowledge of reality . . .
Polish-American scientist Alfred Korzybski’s dictum “The map is not the territory”1 is used to explain the fact that individual people do not have access to an absolute knowledge of reality, but rather only have access to a set of beliefs they have built up over time about reality.2 Thus, it is important to be aware that people’s beliefs about reality and their awareness of things, the map is not reality itself, but the territory. This type of a disjointed reading between the perceived and reality is further emphasized by elements of schizophrenia in which perceptual functions of the individual are frequently disrupted. The project operates within this context, in which a simple two-dimensional pattern, characterized by harsh contrast, is used to camouflage spatial conditions and distort the perception of form in space.
The project, a public cultural park in the Hollywood Hills, is characterized by an exaggerated landscape that signifies the organization of programmatic elements. By projecting this pattern onto the land-form without bias towards any architectural elements—that is, building, wall, contoured surface, flat surface, and so on—but rather based on perspective and procession through the project, the pattern is able to distort the individual’s perception of form. Opposing many Renaissance painters’ technique to use an exaggeration of shadow and light, to achieve a sense of 3-dimensional volume in their subject. Instead, contrast is used to mask this exaggerated form from its context creating visual plays such as false shadows and flattened edges, portraying a heightened incoherency in the user’s perception.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
JS: Francis Bacon, Neil Spiller, and Mark Smout & Laura Allen.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
JS: Reading: Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows; Lars Lerup, Planned Assaults; and Log 23.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
JS: FreelandBuck, Clark Thenhaus, Jonah Rowen, and The Bartlett.
1. The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and its representation, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Polish-American scientist Alfred Korzybski remarked that “The map is not the territory,” encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. ↩
2. Ibid. ↩