Los Angeles, USA 2011
By altering our magnetic anisotropic properties, this project challenges our mental perceptions and questions the way we move through space. It creates a series of spaces, each unique in spatial experience, though physically similar. Each space created is dis-functional, in order to alter and obscure the perception we construct of space and place.
The sense of space is the basis of all social experience and of perceptual experience in general. Normally, the perception of space is forged through the analysis of sensory information gathered from our surroundings. Our position, orientation, proximity and other such relationships between us and the objects and people surrounding us. Images of a gravity-bound or man-made environment are particularly anisotropic in the orientation domain, with image structures located at orientations parallel with or orthogonal to the direction of gravity.
The project questions the way we move through a space as to challenge the mental perception we have by means of altering our magnetic anisotropic properties. The project is both a sensual experimentation and a implementation of modern physics. Anisotropy in a broad sense can be described as a difference, when measured along different axes. Physicists use the term anisotropy to describe direction-dependent properties of materials e.g. magnetic anisotropy material which will align it's moment with one of the easy axes.
The project creates a series of spaces, each unique in spatial experience, though the physical space stays the same. The primary geometry of each space is the triangle, but by inclining the walls at different angles one perceives the space as something different. This rigid shape, when perfectly geometrical, creates a space where the demagnetizing field will be equal for all directions as to dangle the mind in a virtual space.
Furthermore, all the walls are cladded with mirror, thus as one moves through these spaces, you experience each space as being infinite. Each space created is dis-functional, as to alter and obscure the perception we construct of the space and places the mind in a constant state of disorientation, first in time, then in place and finally in person.
The way through these spaces is a constant play of reflection and illusions. Each entrance/exit is reflected on the same plane, which creates the illusion of two entrances/exits. A visual maze of sorts, a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route. This tension alters our magnetic behavior and obscures the energetically favorable direction. Only as you move through the space do you gather information as to which one of the two is the actual and which one is a mere reflection.
The project aims to create a sensory experience, both vivid and discomforting, as to pull the human mind in various direction simultaneously. Thus, when exiting the viewer is imprinted with a lasting effect of disorientation and dis-functionality. A state of cognitive disability in which the senses of time, direction, and recognition of people and places become difficult to distinguish.
All images © Studio Odile Decq