Describe the work (material, technology, space it sit within)
This piece is a structure that is constructed using wood, rugs, ropes, lights and pillows. There are three benches around the inside of the structure and the lights are circulating from within the wooden parts. There are also two pillows right in the centre. The piece itself is located in a busy market.
What do you think was its process?
From the wooden parts, it is clear that there is a lot of craftsmanship that went into this piece. The wooden pieces are cleverly cut by a carpenter so that each piece fits into the other piece, almost looking organic while at the same time opposing that by creating geometrical shapes that might not happen in nature. The lights were carefully placed inside each wooden block which also probably required hard and detailed work of a programmer.
How much do you think the work may cost?
I would think around 1,000 to 2,000 pounds.
Which individual, what organisation may have contacted to make the work happen?
I was thinking that the reasoning behind this piece is to encompass a person into a private space right in the middle of a busy market so it could be part of an organisation trying to relieve anxiety and stress.
What are the levels of interactions? (how did you behave with the work? how others behaved with the work?)
You can touch the entire piece, specifically the lights and the wood which captured my attention and that was the first thing I did. You could also sit on the wooden benches inside the piece or on the rug in the middle which helps interact and observe the piece as a whole. My reaction was to touch everything and sit in the middle right away but I have noticed that some people stood outside the piece as if they were unsure or afraid to interact with the piece which I though was interesting. I think this could be because as a society we are always reminded never to touch anything that doesn’t belong to you, especially art pieces so this could maybe reflect on how the society is more reserved.
Do you relate/identify with the work? if so how? if not, why?
I think if the piece was intended to help deal with anxiety then I can see how providing a place that has rugs inside which people often associate with their home which also constitutes a safe place. However, I wasn’t sure if the piece was working appropriately and therefore I didn’t feel like I could really relate to it.
Can the work be perceived politically?
I definitely think that by incorporating wood into the piece the artists could be addressing environmental issues and raising awareness towards nature. This work could also relate to the work of Dominic Wilcox who aims to stimulate creativity and remind us that in the midst of our busy lives, it is important to be creative.
What do you think the work is for?
I think the work is for everyone shopping at the Open Market. The space this piece is located at plays a key role in the type of audience that it attracts. This could be parents with children or just everyday people (general public). I think its main purpose is to provide a safe space to get away from the busyness beyond the open market while at the same time re-introduce nature into the world where people don’t often expect to see it.
The one thing that really surprised me was that the piece actually cost 15,000 pounds and not 2,000 as I had previously expected. However, when we were told the actual cost of the piece, it put everything into perspective. This made me think about all the actual work that went into the making of this piece such as publication costs, location rental costs, the materials as well as many other expenses. This really made me think about the costs involved when making my own project and that in order to realize the project it is necessary to be realistic about its production and its costs. Thus, a piece that seemed pretty straightforward to me ended up being a lot more complicated in its making. This made me aware of the costs and work that goes into a project for the future.
Additionally, this piece was targeted at kids. This could be somehow understandable based on the fact that it could be argued that it was meant to be playful in its nature and since there was a bouncy castle right behind the piece, you can see the similarities in the intention. However, I felt like the piece was not at all target at children mainly because of the hight of the benches and the rugs themselves had Persian patterns which was not childlike at all. Additionally, we observed a young child interacting with this piece and it was evident that he did not understand nor was he interested in this piece at all. He sat on the bench for maybe three seconds and then moved on. This could mean that because the piece was commissioned by the digital festival, the artists themselves didn’t have that much say in the publication of the even. Nevertheless, this piece made me realize that for my project I have to think about questions like how will I hold my target audience?